Elementary school is over and now your child is headed to junior high. We know these years can be tough mentally, physically, and socially, but they can also take a toll on children’s spirituality. That’s where Students Standing Strong comes in.
Created by a mother who was concerned about her son entering his sixth-grade year in a new school, this non-profit organization created a way to not only connect her child to other Christian students, but also bring the hope of the gospel to kids who’d never heard it before.
It all started with a Strong Send-off Party where President and Founder Terry Ann Kelly invited over 100 students to her home in the last few weeks of her son’s fifth grade year to learn about God and receive a free T-shirt. They even got to meet with high school students and ask questions about the years ahead.
“I kind of thought I was done and we shipped those kids off into middle school with a T-shirt with the Bible verse, 1 Corinthians 15:58 on it that said, ‘Stand firm, don’t let anything move you and let all of your work be unto the Lord,’” Kelly said.
But soon, the founder realized that there was a need for more Christian-based camaraderie inside the secular school environment. Students Standing Strong or S3 was born from this need, and now the organization hosts student-led school Bible studies all over the country.
The curriculum allows students to teach and lead each other while encouraging one another to make good biblical choices.
The organization has relocated its national headquarters to Waco, TX and there is already a student-led S3 Bible study at China Spring intermediate and middle schools.
Kelly said anyone can bring this program to their child’s school. All they have to do is visit the organization’s website at www.MyS3.org or email Terry Ann Kelly directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and request the “Students Standing Strong: How to Get Started” materials.
The tween and teen years can be difficult for children and parents, but S3 wants to bring hope to families all across Central Texas.
“This generation needs to be encouraged that they are fully loved and embraced by God,” Kelly said. “Students Standing Strong offers a safe place for students to connect with other kids at school, find a sense of belonging, and understand God’s plan for their lives.”
If you don’t have a child entering junior high or high school, but would still like to help the organization, visit the S3 website for more information and to purchase tickets for their upcoming celebratory dinner and fundraiser on Sept. 21 at the Old Bethany Venue in Waco, TX.
Jessa is the Editor-in-Chief of Hooray for Family and the mom of three energetic children. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and is a long-time resident of Central Texas. When she isn't writing and editing, she enjoys playing board games with her kids, teaching Sunday school and channeling her creativity into craft projects.