Sep 17, 2013 7:56 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck
Churches all over Lafayette Parish are coming together to volunteer in the school system. This effort so far involves about 30 churches, forming what they're calling a "Faith And Character Task Force." This multi-denomination group will make a presentation ahead of Wednesday's school board meeting.
This is an idea supported by Superintendent Pat Cooper. He says having more trained, responsible adults in the school system will help no matter what their religious beliefs.
The dozens of churches who have already signed up adopt certain schools, and help them with whatever they request. Volunteering can range from mentoring or tutoring students, to hosting events that will promote "Character-building, self-esteem, and a spirit of excellence."
The task force says the hope is this will help Lafayette Parish School System's goal of a "Hundred percent in and a hundred percent out." That's Dr. Cooper's six year turn-around plan to make Lafayette an A-rated school district.
What the task force won't be doing it says, is teach or promote a particular church's beliefs at a school.
"We're not there to proselytize or anything of that nature. our message is no drugs, finish school, and sexual abstinence, no violence. that's our message. So we're not going to proselytize any family or anything of that nature, and we're really at the administration's discretion," Chairman of the "Faith And Character Task Force" Pastor Bobby Richard said.
Many churches have been helping out schools for years, but this is the first school year an effort is being made to bring churches from all denominations together. So far about 13 schools in Lafayette Parish have been adopted, and the task force is hoping to have all parish school adopted.