Linden Methodists are working to create a new children's center to serve infants to 3 year olds with year-round daycare starting this fall.
The project is the local church's participation with the Texas Methodist Conference's "We Love All God's Children" community service initiative.Gallery: Puzzles for November 23rd
"We're leasing the site at Linden Elementary which once was Head Start as established by Community Services of Northeast Texas. Then, last year it became part of Linden-Kildare School District's day school program. The school district recently asked us if we could open the center to take over their daycare," said Dr. Kelly Krone, pastor of the Linden First United Methodist Church.
"We'd been discussing how we might serve since I came last July. What we needed was the building."
The We Love All God's Children is a program that reaches the under-served with daycare, reading and feeding, trying to improve children's lives. The program empowers local churches to cooperate with the local community and school district.
Dr. Krone said the local effort is fortunate to have the resources of the Texas Annual Conference and its 700 churches stretching from Texarkana to Houston and the Gulf Coast.
"The wonderful thing our conference does is to have grants to support us through time. All supplies and training and teaching materials we're using will be approved by the state, which will ensure that our children are prepared for their grade level. We have members on our board who are educators. We'll have the equipment and furnishing we need. It will all be arriving.
"We've hired a director, looked at applications for the work staff, and are working with the state to have everything we need to open by early August. What we are doing now is making sure we are meeting all requirements for a daycare center. We'll see if we can get through everything."
Dr. Krone said the local church is excited about the possibilities. Recently, members of the Fishermen Sunday School class painted the interior of the three classrooms, offices and storage areas.
"We're excited to meet this need for Cass County to have a daycare with Christian values and using curriculum that will prepare them for their educational work at L-K.
"Times have changed," Dr. Krone concluded. "Our church is smaller, especially with the COVID pandemic and other attendance matters. But even if we are smaller, we are working hard to become more missionary with our outreach effort. Our church is excited about the direction we're taking."