History: In October 2004, we officially began a relationship with Cherrydale Elementary School that has blossomed into a warm friendship. With the permission of Scarlet Black, the school principal, and the blessing of many parents, we were afforded the opportunity to pick up students from school on Wednesday afternoons during the final half hour of the school day. After transporting the students to our church, we spend about one hour in Bible class activities, have a tasty snack, and then work away at homework until about 4:30.
We hold separate classes divided either according to academic grade or gender. The leadership team in each class consists of a teacher, an assistant teacher, and, if possible, other helpers. The teacher coordinates the involvement of the leadership team in the singing, lessons, activities, etc.
Released Time Ministry Team (2013-14)
Busdrivers: Nation Dion, Jesse Keck, Pastor Vincent
Bus riders: Tony Payne (1), Vincents (4), Dahlhausens (2), Naselli (1), (arrive in time to depart for CES by 1:55)
Childcare: Caitlyn Murphy
Coordinating Teacher: Cathy Payne
Assistant Teachers: Rachel Quattlebaum, Elena Reyes, Susan Evans, Becca Talbert
Helper: Joann Matthia
Coordinating Teacher: Valorie Barnett
Assistant Teachers: Kathy Oliver, Susan Gills, Heidi Barnett
Helper: Sophia Vincent
Second Grade Girls
Coordinating Teacher: Dottie Smitley
Assistant Teachers: Mary Kraus, Chris Dewey
Helper: Allison Sterr
Third Grade Girls
Coordinating Teacher: Jeanne Vincent
Assistant Teachers: Margaret Sterr, Tiffani Stokes, Amy Sterr
Fourth Grade Girls
Coordinating Teacher: Anne Sterr
Assistant Teachers: Amanda Barley, Lydia Keck, Hina Rogers
Fifth Grade Girls
Coordinating Teacher: Cyndi Wiginton
Assistant Teachers: Linda Baker, Anna Vincent, Tori Wiginton
Homework: Wendy Naselli
Second / Third Grade Guys
Coordinating Teachers: Tim Peterson / Claire Darlin
Assistant Teachers: Betty Dahlhausen, Tim Dahlhausen, Kyle Frederick, Asher Vincent
Helpers: Haddon Wiginton
Fourth / Fifth Grade Guys
Coordinating Teachers: Tony Payne / Pastor Vincent
Assistant Teachers: Rajesh Gandhi, Malcolm Evans, Jason Matthia, Daniel Smitley, Lydia Vincent
Hostess: Elena Reyes
Refreshment Coordinators: Jeanne Keck, Toni Goodall, Wendy Naselli
(an ode on the last day of RT by Charlie Gills)
No frazzled bus time helpers . . . No dashing through the halls,
No shrieks of childish laughter resounding from the walls.
The classrooms are all empty, the noise has disappeared,
Released time is all over . . . a time we all have feared!
Mt. Calvary goes into mourning, Black armbands we all wear . . .
But especially Pastor Vincent, with that vacant, Vincent stare!
There are no kitchen ladies, preparing a snack time treat,
No candy to distribute . . . No homework to complete.
Life seems strangely quiet, no vacuums fill the air,
There are no boisterous children, no teachers' dark despair.
The helpers all are wandering . . . Asher and "Wigs" look lost,
They can't fill the air with footballs, There's no Frisbee they can toss!
No shrieks out on the playground, no buses on the street,
No hosts of waiting parents, no sound of running feet.
No lost, forgotten clothing to fill the "Lost and Found,"
Just an empty . . . forlorn building devoid of children – sound.
Without a line of parents extending out the door,
Gail Yost has lost her smile . . . Her chin drops to the floor.
Bill Yost without an object lesson? He barely looks alive.
Jesse and Jay seem listless . . . With no more buses to drive,
The copiers all stand idle, sharpeners go unused.
Esther roams the hallways, looking more and more confused.
Heidi's guitar is silent, the walls of Val's room are bare,
There's no sign of Kathy and Susan. . . no Calvinos anywhere!
No Kecks are in the kitchen, Caitlyn's stories are no more,
Yvonne's back in the office, Uncle Charlie's out the door!
The Dahlhausens have deserted, Claire & Tim are through. . .
The Sterr girls left the premises, Wendy's back there in her pew!
No more tunes from Rajesh Gandhi, Linda Baker goes unseen . . .
And we note the sad demeanor of Dr. Kraus, the homework queen!
With no more kids to counsel, Anna Vincent's in a stew,
Chris and Tiffani stare blankly, They haven't got a clue!
Lydia's lost her clipboard, Sophia looks for it in vain,
And when we search for Tony . . . His eyes are wet with pain!
Released from all Released time? You'd think that we'd be glad!
But the wake of this blessed respite . . . Leaves us all a little sad!
No more discipline problems, No more lessons to teach.
But the reason for our sadness? . . . No more children left to REACH!
No chance to give the gospel, To plant a seed or two . . .
It’s the LOSS of opportunity that saddens me and you!
In splendid isolation, we all have had a part,
Bringin’ a “glimpse” of Jesus to some sinful, little heart.
In sidebar conversations, in formal lessons too,
The Lord has said to each of us . . . “I have a job for you!
It’s not FLOORS you need to clean up . . . It’s not HALLS you need to sweep
It’s the HEARTS of these dear children – Remember – “Feed My sheep!”
Our lives have lost much meaning with no children there, it’s true,
But my fellow Released Time workers, there’s one “Wednesday-thing” to do.
When the week rolls round to Wednesday, when our inner clock strikes three,
Let’s still the sounds around us and get down upon one knee
Let’s pray that all our efforts, Weak, feeble, frail indeed . . .
Are blessed by the Lord of the Harvest . . . and He’ll grow His precious seed!
The time for planting is over . . . the seeds have all been sown . . .
But PRAY for your kids each Wednesday, bringing them before His throne!