Prayer partners donate books for students starting school

Published 7:15 pm Tuesday, August 20, 2019

As students at local elementary schools return to class next week, they will do so with the prayers of the community behind them and a brand new book to call their own. It’s a trend that’s growing among local teachers, who are asking the community to serve as prayer partners for kids in their classrooms.

At Eastern Elementary School, Mary Martin Moore is one such teacher. After seeing a post on social media from a fellow teacher last year, she decided to call on the community to help her students start off the year right.

“It was asking if anyone would like to sponsor a child and be like a prayer partner,” Moore said of the post. “The people in your contact list would sign up, and you would give them a number.”

Once the prayer partners pick a number that corresponds to the children in the class, the teacher shares the child’s first name with them. The prayer partner in turn sends a book for the child to read, or for parents to read to them, along with a note of encouragement for the coming school year.

SMILING FACES: Students from Mary Martin Moore’s 2018-19 kindergarten class show off the books donated by adult prayer partners in the area. Each book contained a note of encouragement to start the kids on the right foot for the school year. (Mary Martin Moore)

“Sometimes, a lot of these children do not have their own books at home,” Moore said. “The prayer partner just writes a little encouraging message inside. … Just a little positive encouragement to start the year off.”

Last year, Moore received such a positive response that each of her students ended up with two prayer partners. While she capped the number this year at one partner per student, there are others throughout the community who are looking for people to sponsor a child. For other educators, Moore encourages them to try something similar, even if it’s not on the first day of school.

“It’s just another positive, encouraging way for the children to see that others care for them,” Moore said. “They get excited to know that there’s a special person that they do not know that took the time to buy them a book and who will be praying for them throughout the school year. It makes them feel special. For some of these children, this is what they need to go on — just knowing that they are loved.”