What is a Crossroads Kids Club program?
A Crossroads Kids Club is a church-led, school-based character formation club designed to enrich the lives of young people.
What are the aims of a Crossroads Kids Club program?
The purpose of a Crossroads Kids Club program is to promote healthy relationships and spiritual growth. We desire for every child to be in a personal relationship with the God who made them and loves them. We believe that this relationship empowers students to live lives full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These virtues create a foundation for a lifetime of positive relationships with peers and adults.
I’m concerned about getting in trouble because of a partnership with a religious organization. What about the separation of church and state?
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled very specifically about how schools should relate to groups like Crossroads (Good News v. Milford). The Court has determined that schools must be religiously neutral. In other words, the fact that a group is religious or secular cannot be the basis for discriminating against nor working with a group. Similar groups and programs must be treated the same without regard to a particular religious viewpoint. Essentially, this means that Crossroads should be treated the same as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Big Brothers and Sisters, and other character-formation programs and clubs. The essence of the club (character formation) and not the viewpoint (Christian) is the issue with regard to how after school groups led by outside organizations are treated by public schools. One final note on this point is that Crossroads’ religious instruction is done after school and is completely voluntary and at the parents’ sole discretion. Crossroads recruits parents to sign up children and is not seeking to allow young children to choose for themselves if they wish to participate.
What can be expected at a Crossroads Kids Club?
Our churches agree that together:
- We will treat all people with dignity and respect because we believe they are made in God’s image and have intrinsic worth.
- We will create a healthy and safe environment for students by selecting, screening and training well-qualified team members who are excellent role models and who work well with children. They will be positive, committed, trustworthy and enthusiastic.
- We will work for our club to be open, fair and accepting. We will not tolerate discrimination against students or parents based upon race, gender, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, church participation or disability.
- We aim to shape the character of students according to biblical values, inspiring them by our example, teaching them God’s ways and challenging them continuously to grow in their love for God and others. To this end, we will follow a Crossroads-approved curriculum plan in order to ensure quality content
- We will cultivate the best possible relationships with students, parents, school leaders, members of our team and the community at large.
- We seek to earn the trust of parents, educational leaders and the broader school community by demonstrating integrity in everything we do.
What benefits does having a Crossroads Kids Club at a particular school provide to the students and the school?
Giving parents the opportunity for their children to receive faith-based instruction can have a large impact on student achievement. According to one study, religiously-affiliated youth are 40% more likely to graduate high school and 70% more likely to enroll in college (read more). As well, Crossroads Kids Club helps create a culture of non-violence and empathy by leading children to think of others first and to treat them well. Finally, Crossroads-affiliated churches welcome opportunities to build connections to support a school’s mission. Our aim is not simply for the church to lead a Kids Club and then vanish when it ends but to become engaged as a community partner of the school in supporting its academic mission and in meeting the needs of children holistically. In the past, staff in the Crossroads Kids Club program have helped in tutoring, mentoring, teaching Junior Achievement, serving popcorn at family movie nights, helping with the PTA “trunk or treat” program, helping with landscaping at a school, and more. Please feel free to communicate any specific needs or ideas to your Crossroads team leader at any time. We love to serve!
Are there other public school administrators with whom I could speak about their experiences with Crossroads?
Absolutely! We would love to connect you with other educational leaders who can share their positive experiences in working with Crossroads.
I have more questions. How can I get them answered?
For questions pertaining to the Crossroads Kids Club program in general and to separation of church and state issues, please feel free to contact Crossroads Kids Club at 630-504-2630 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have detailed questions about the possibility of holding a club at your particular school, then please contact the sponsoring church’s Crossroads Kids Club team leader.