- Eight middle school students gather around a classroom table at the Holland Park Church of Christ.
Teacher Becky Mays asks if anyone has a prayer request.
“My grandma,” one student says.
“My uncle,” another says. “He might be paralyzed.”
“My dad because he lost his job a while back,” a third student adds. “He’s still going through a hard time.”
This is no extraordinary scene, except that these are not
Sunday school pupils.
they are students from the public school across the street, studying
the Bible during the regular school day on a Friday — and it’s totally
The Christian Learning Centers of Greenville County
a nonprofit organization directed by Janice Butler, a member of the
Holland Park church — provides “Released Time”
Bible instruction to more
than 1,800 students in 20 public elementary, middle and high schools.
Butler explains, “Released Time is time during the school day when
public school students are released from school, with parental consent,
to receive biblical instruction.”