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Adapted with permission from the South Carolina Baptist Convention.

Many of the needs of your community can be traced back to insufficient education. Heart4Schools is a proactive approach to dealing with potential future needs within a community.

  • 17% of children in Michigan live in households that were food insecure at some point during the year

  • Nearly 300,000 school-aged children in southeast Michigan are eligible for free or reduced-price school lunch.

  • 21% of Michigan children live in poverty, with incomes under $24,339 for a family of four.

  • More than half of Detroit's children live in poverty.

  • Michigan schools showed the largest decline in third-grade reading levels among 11 comparable states in the last 3 years.

  • 56% of third-graders did not pass the reading test on Michigan's state assessment in 2017.

  • 60,308 students would have faced being retained under Michigan's new reading law.

  • In the Detroit Public Schools Community District, more than 90% of third-graders could not pass the M-STEP reading test.

Serving public schools is a great way for Michigan Baptist churches to demonstrate Christ’s love for the community around them.




Helping kids read at grade level by the third grade.


Relieving the stress of overworked teachers.


Providing for children who live in hunger.

Commit to read with a child for 30 minutes once a week.

  • This can improve their reading level as well as their confidence.

  • Children who have a mentor once a week for 6 months or longer are 87% more likely to graduate from high school.

  • When a child does not read on grade level in third grade, future success is hindered. This is because in early grades, students learn to read.  After third grade, they read to learn.

  • Reading Scores are directly related to future achievement in all other subject areas and can be a future predictor of drop-out rates.

Provide tangible support and encouragement for teachers.

  • Provide teacher meals such as a Back to School Brunch, a Christmas meal, Teacher Appreciation luncheon, or End of Year Celebration, or something as simple as a coffee bar.

  • Gift classrooms with school supplies after Christmas when teachers often have to replenish out of their own pockets.

  • Give first and second-year teachers gift cards. It takes a lot to set up a classroom.  Gift cards to Wal-Mart, Target, or a teacher supply store would show your appreciation and support.

Provide weekend food for students who are hungry.

  • Provide nutritious foods that do not require cooking to help children during times when they are unable to get meals from school.

  • Provide food items in backpacks to send home over the weekend, or over the summer.

  • Involve church members in collecting funds, food items, packing bags, and delivering backpacks to schools.

For more information about Heart4Schools or to get involved, contact mike@bscm.org.