The Lord has opened the doors for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be taught in the Public schools through after school programs. If a school allows any outside group or club to use their facilities then that school may not deny a Christian group “Use of Facilities.” All students who attend clubs have parental permission, thus it’s not a forced audience. The American Center For Law and Justice is a great legal resource if you need one.
Choose A School: This after school club is intended for second grade through sixth grade, although, some clubs allow younger grades to attend their meetings. You may have already formed a relationship with a particular school by helping with other resources or you may have church members who are teachers or have kids there. If so, talk to the principal about starting an after school club at that school.
Approaching the schools: Contact the superintendent’s office to find out what your school district’s policies are regarding approaching schools. Each school district has rules on how to approach their schools. Some require that you have a letter from the superintendent’s office before you may approach a principal. Other school districts let you approach principals without a letter. Most require a “Use of Facilities” or application form.
Liability Insurance: Your church must provide of copy of your liability insurance to the school. Most churches are insured and should have no problem getting a copy of their liability insurance from their insurance provider. Your church is responsible for obtaining insurance.
Finger prints: For the safety of the children you should have all of your volunteers fingerprinted. Go to your local police station and to find out their procedure.
Pick a school and request a meeting with the principal: If possible pick a school near your church or one where you or members of your church have students enrolled at the school. Set up an appointment with the principal.
1. Ask if you can start a Christian after school club.
2. If required fill out application for use of school facilities.
3. Have proof of liability insurance.
4. Agree on a day of the week for club meetings.
5. Ask if your club could have a weekly reminder announcement before the car or bus bell. This is for the safety of the children. You don’t want children to get on the bus and head home if they are expected to be at your club meeting. The child’s parents may not be home and will expect their child to be at your club meeting.
6. Ask how they would like to handle the registration process. It’s great if you’re allowed to have the club registration during the school's open house / Meet the teacher day. If so, set up a decorative table with balloons. You’ll need your registration forms, pens and clip boards. Have all of your volunteers wear something fun like head boppers or jumbo sunglasses.
If the principal doesn’t allow you to have your registration at the open house you’ll most likely be asked to make fliers with a registration form attached. If that’s the case make your fliers fun and exciting. Staple your registration form to it.
7. Ask the principal for suggestions on how to run the car line. You’ll need a system in place so that each child gets into the right car after the club meetings. Whatever your system is, it will need to be on the registration form.
8. Most schools have an after school/extended day program. Children will need to be walked to these programs after your club meeting.