Slipping daytime attendance and issues surrounding how to get children to vacation Bible schools are the driving forces behind the move to later events at area churches.
"We've always done them in the afternoons because we have a better participation rate," said Yvonne Dent, the coordinator of this year's "Jesus Family Reunion" vacation Bible school at Gospel Water Branch Baptist Church in Evans.
The church also offers a summer enrichment program that concludes at 6 p.m., which would pose a conflict if the Bible school were to be held during the day.
Averaging an attendance of between 200 and 225 youngsters through adults, the church holds a vacation Bible school program open to preschoolers to adults.
Evans Community Baptist Church typically has held adult-based programs at the same time as its vacation Bible school.
"In years past we've held adult programs at the same time, but we aren't doing that this year," said Angela Dowds, the coordinator of the church's "Fiesta"-themed program, who hopes to attract 100 kindergarten through fifth-graders.
The move to evening programs is a trend in most area churches, in part because it's easier for parents to get their children to those later-in-the-day programs. However, some churches are keeping with the traditional daytime vacation Bible school.
"We're trying to give the kids something to do during the day," said Jackie Maronski, the coordinator of the vacation Bible school at Episcopal Church of Our Savior, in Martinez. "We're hoping parents can carpool or find a way to bring their children."
Episcopal Church of Our Savior, like most other area churches, opens its vacation Bible school to all children, regardless of denomination.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOLS
Here are some of the vacation Bible schools being offered this summer:
Gospel Water Branch Baptist Church, 703 Furys Ferry Road, in Evans, will hold vacation Bible school from 6-8 p.m. June 5-9. For information, call (706) 860-7091.
Evans Community Baptist Church, 302 Byrd Road, Evans, will hold vacation Bible school from 6:05-9:05 p.m. June 18-22. For information, call Angela Dowds at (706) 737-8174.
Powell Baptist Church, 1577 Old Appling-Harlem Highway, Harlem, will hold "Soul Survivor" camp for ages 3 to eighth grade from 6-9 p.m. June 5-9. For information, call (706) 556-3771.
Episcopal Church of Our Savior, in Martinez, will hold vacation Bible school from 9 a.m. to noon June 12-16, followed by a family picnic June 16. For information, call (706) 863-1718.
Marvin United Methodist Church, on Belair Road at Wheeler Road, will hold vacation Bible school from 6:15-8:30 p.m. June 19-23 for ages 4 through fifth grade. For information, call (706) 863-0510.
West Acres Baptist Church, 555 Gibbs Road, in Evans, will hold vacation Bible school for first- through fifth-graders from 6-9:30 p.m. June 19-23. For more information, call Beth Jenks at (706) 860-6573.
Warren Baptist Church, 3203 Washington Road, in Martinez, will hold vacation Bible school for rising kindergartners to rising seventh-graders from 9 a.m. to noon June 12-16. For information, call (706) 860-1586.
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