i have recently found that there are two distinct populations existing right here in my neighborhood of lake highlands. those that have, and those that have not. it sounds very black and white, and it truly is.
lake highlands is a part of the risd school district...however, we are like our own little sub-district. we are blocked off by northwest highway, plano road, skillman and 635...that is the basic lake highlands area. we have four main elementary schools: white rock elem, lake highlands elem, wallace elem and northlake elem. one main junior high: lake highlands junior high, and then the high school. we are a tight community...most of us attending friday night football games, school events, christmas parties, etc. this is what the "haves" are a part of.

the "have nots" are generally apartment kids in our neighborhood. the extreme lower level of income, lack of involvement from some parents, and lack of inexpensive recreational activities tends to leave them out on their own. these two groups can even be seen in the classes at the junior high and high school levels...the "haves" take mostly pre-ap classes, and the "have nots" are in regular courses.

i want to reach the "have nots". it is my goal to work with the elementary and junior high principals, pta's and teachers to find out what exactly the needs are and how my church community can help fulfill those. can we offer a free tutoring program to help build their confidence in school and get them into the pre-ap courses? can we offer college prepatory support and help them take their sat/act tests and complete college applications? can we offer financial support and guidance for families trying to remove themselves from the welfare system? can we coach and sponsor recreational sports teams through local agencies to help develop their skills as a teammate and an athlete? can we offer meals during school holidays and summer vacation when they don't receive their free meal plan

these are all questions that have been raised and that i will continue to put in front of those that are closest to these kids...the principals and teachers.

i want to know the "have nots"...but most importantly, i want them to know that they are not forgotten by highland oaks church of christ...or its' members...but especially not by God.

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Jennifer. Thank you for your heart for the "have-nots." We felt a similar calling at Liberty. So I went and met with the principal of the school right behind us. I asked her how we could help. She said that we could come be a part of their mentoring program, where an adult goes and spends an hour or two each week with a child that is struggling for whatever reason. She also said that volunteering to help the teachers was also needed.

My brother has told me that his minister in Katy, TX, is passionate about this type of ministry through the local schools. His name is Aaron Walling and is on the network. Reggie McNeal, author of The Present-Future, really advocates every church adopting a local school and ministering in this way.

One key on all of this is for those who volunteer to try to do so with another Christian. Not only does this provide mutual encouragement, but it also allows those in the schools to see the Christian love that is found in God's people.
This is what Louie Giglio referes to as those living on the fringe-the forgotten ones! I don't want to make my reply an ACU reply just because I work for ACU. My goal is to organize some of my fellow ACU alumni who live in the Dallas area to get together and "DO SOMETHING". Simply DO SOMETHING! If you know of some ACU grads who attend HOCOC-forward my contact information to them so we can start somewhere, anywhere-just do something!!



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