Center preacher gives children a 'backpack blessing' - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Center preacher gives children a 'backpack blessing'

5-year-old Harrison and Kiara start Kindergarten Monday morning. 5-year-old Harrison and Kiara start Kindergarten Monday morning.

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

CENTER, TX (KTRE) – As parents prepare to send their kids back to school Monday morning, a Center preacher is sending his blessings. Children brought their backpacks to a special service Sunday morning at the First United Methodist Church in Center. The children say the blessings will help them tackle their books and big dreams this school year.

Behind all the excitement and anticipation of a child's first day of school, there's even more ambition.

"I just want to learn how to read," said Harrison, age 5.

"I want to learn how to read and I want to learn how to read big books and all kinds of books," said Kiara, age 5.

Harrison and Kiara have a bit of the first day jitters. Monday morning they start kindergarten.

"I'm kind of excited because there's new things to learn," said Harrison.

There's also new faces the two will meet. Naturally, Kiara is a little nervous, but says she's ready to expand her social life. "I'm going to try to make new friends," she said. "I'm going to be scared at my new school because it's big, but on another day when I go to school I'm not going to be scared anymore."

To help calm those fears, children lined up, backpacks in hand, waiting for the preacher's blessing. It's a new tradition Kiara says will help her face her "big day".

"He wanted to bless all the children when they go to school," she said.

So, when Kiara and Harrison open a book, they're no longer left wondering what it's about. "I just look at the pictures. I don't really read because I still don't know how to read."

Now, Harrison says his dream to read already looks more promising.

The First United Methodist Church in Center plans to make the "backpack blessing" service a tradition.

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