Good News Clubs help children grow

Published 10:36 pm Friday, March 18, 2011

Leaders of the Kilby Shores Good News Club set up for a meeting. The clubs are held in several schools in Suffolk.

A local organization and dozens of students are helping to spread the Good News.

The nondenominational Child Evangelism Fellowship recently started a “Good News Club” at Kilby Shores Elementary School and has already established clubs at Creekside and Northern Shores elementary schools. They’re getting ready to start one at Mount Zion.

“We’re a children’s ministry organization,” said Wanda Keith, director of CEF Tidewater. “We partner with local churches and get them to adopt a school that’s close in the neighborhood.”

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The churches, along with CEF, then operate the Good News Clubs in the schools. They are not affiliated with the school or the school system, but simply meet there. Anyone is welcome to come, Keith said.

Children who attend the meetings participate in activities and games, hear missions stories and Bible lessons, memorize Bible verses and more.

“Not only does it teach the Bible lessons, it helps the child learn Biblical principles, moral values, character and respect for authority,” Keith said.

The Northern Shores club has nearly 30 students who attend regularly, Keith said. At Creekside, the number is about half that.

“Kilby Shores has just started, so they don’t have as many yet,” Keith said, adding that club has had attendance of about eight so far.

Students who attend the club meetings must have a permission slip signed by a parent. The permission slip spells out what kind of activities take place, “so they understand what the kids are coming to,” Keith said.

Parents are welcome to attend with the students, as well. Children who are home schooled or go to other schools without a club also are welcome.

Throughout Hampton Roads, the organization has 24 clubs going now, Keith said.

Every adult who works with the clubs gets a full background check, Keith added.

The organization also runs similar programs during the summer, called 5-Day Clubs. Similar to a Vacation Bible School, the program is taught by teenagers and moves to several locations throughout the summer.

“We do a lot of those as well,” Keith said. “They’re just not in the public school.”

The clubs meet on a set day of the week each week after school. The club is open to all students between the ages of 5 and 12, regardless of religious background.

To find out more about the Good News Clubs, visit