Churches offer entry point for Waco ISD community support

Shelly Conlon for WACO TRIBUNE – December 16, 2017

Each Tuesday, Pastor Bob Rainey, “Mr. Bob” to Kendrick Elementary School kindergartners and teachers, spends about an hour and a half pulling a few students out of class, one by one.

He sits beside them in a small chair in the middle of a long school hallway and turns page after page, mentoring the students as they sift through story after story together.

“My favorite part is just getting to talk to them. Some have more personality than others, and some just talk and talk and talk. Some don’t want to go back in for whatever reason, but it’s fun to talk to them,” said Rainey, who leads the Central United Methodist Church down the road from the campus. “But it’s all about relationships anyway. Quite frankly, that’s what Christianity is at its heart, at its base. We believe that and we’re glad to have a relationship with the school when they need something.”

The moment is fleeting with children’s books taking only a few minutes to finish, but Rainey’s brief reading sessions are part of a wider effort.

In the Bible Belt of Texas, churches are providing an entry point for community support for public schools.

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