If you haven’t been able to tell by the hyperactivity of your children, the longer and warmer days or the “senioritis” that seems to be hitting people of all ages, the end of another school year is quickly approaching. For many, December is often a time of year for reflection and introspection. But those with children or workingin the education field often save this transition time for the close of yet another school year.

As we move into the summer and begin making plans for next fall, I often find myself pausing. I pause to celebrate a wonderful year with wonderful children at Floris UMC. The children have learned so much this past year: how to read the Bible, why tithing is important and how to be better followers of Jesus.

When we began our school year in the fall, about 53 percent of students in grades 3-5 brought their Bibles on Sunday mornings, and only 22 percent tithed on Sunday mornings. But as we wind down the school year, over 76 percent of those students now bring their Bibles, and 56 percent tithe regularly. These students are learning habits and skills that will hopefully be with them throughout their lives.

I also pause to celebrate our incredible volunteers. Here in Children’s Ministries, we have approximately 150 volunteers who serve as teachers, SIMs (Students in Ministry), Buddies (who working with special needs children) and check-in volunteers. And that’s only on Sunday mornings! With each volunteer working an average of three hours each month, they’ve given atotal of more than 3,600 hours this school year alone!

And last, but certainly not least, I pause tocelebrate the parents and families who support all that we do here. We know how busy people’s schedules are these days. Between school, work, sports, music lessons, scouts and family, it’s hard to do it all. But in the month of April, 54 percent of our students came 2/5th of the time and 78 percent came 3/5th of the time!

Now at the end of this school year, as we enter into a period of (hopefully) rest and relaxation, the idea of spending more time reflecting on the past year may seem a bit strange and uncomfortable to some. But this is a wonderful time of year to look at how far we have come. Let’s look at what we did, where we went, who we met, what we learned and how we made the lives of others just a little bit better.

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