Church gets a head start on preparing children for the first day of school

CENTER, TX (KTRE) - The generosity never seems to end from the Bennett Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Center. It adopts children, hands out free food and currently is furthering the education of local youth.

You wouldn't think math, reading and science instruction would attract close to 90 kids, four days a week, to the Piney Woods Summer Enrichment Camp, but it does. Perhaps it's all the fun thrown in.

"What we try to do is to keep their minds fresh," says Pastor Bishop Martin, of Bennett Chapel Missionary Baptist Church.

It's totally a volunteer program. Retired teachers help out. So do college students preparing for the classroom.

"I love working with the kids, making a difference in their lives, so when they go back to school they feel a lot more confident. Makes me feel good to know I can make a difference," says Jacquelyn Suell, a future teacher.

Most children arrive by a church van. The day starts early, around 7:30.

"We eat breakfast, then we go to class and then we do math, we do reading and then next, we start playing and then we eat," says 8-year-old, Talasia Lister.

Pastor martin prayed about how to feed all these children.

"I didn't have a clue how we was going to feed these children this year, but the Lord came through and blessed us with a company that's saying, 'look, I can take care of this. Don't worry about that no more.' And that was a huge load off of my shoulders," says Pastor Martin.

Such generosity has kept the enrichment camp going for about 8 years.

"It's getting better and better and better," says Pastor Martin.

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