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Trio Of Local Churches Join Together For VBS
As inevitable as summer, Vacation Bible School comes around every June and July in the local area. Churches throughout Escalon typically host some type of summer VBS for children and the most recent one was the combined effort of Saron Lutheran, Escalon Presbyterian and Escalon United Methodist churches.

The three have joined forces to put on a cooperative VBS for years, rotating the host church from year to year. This time, it was Saron Lutheran's turn and the church on North Street played host to dozens of youngsters, teachers and teen helpers for the week of June 21 through 25.

Overseeing the VBS this year was Jenni Spears, who said they started with an enrollment of 88 on Monday, June 21. Theme was "SonQuest Rainforest" and children did projects and learned songs based on the rainforest theme.

Projects included making planter boxes, picture frames and more, while some time was dedicated to learning the songs and the recreation time featured a variety of games, many with a water theme and focusing on teamwork.

Children were grouped by age, with classes for nursery and preschool, kindergarten-first, second-third, and fourth-fifth. Sixth through eighth graders participated in the opening assembly and Bible Story time, then rotated to be helpers at the various stations, from music to crafts to recreation and snack. Some high school students also served as volunteer helpers during the week.

Friday included a special performance for parents and friends, the children singing the songs they had learned during the week, with a barbecue lunch to wrap up the program.

Spears said planning began several weeks ago, with the curriculum picked out and people lined up for the various VBS areas.

"The material for this one was better for the kids, age wise," Spears said of using the SonQuest curriculum. "The Bible verses were done by age and grade level, we also have a lot of songs."

Part of the theme was also focused on giving back, so organizers had children bring in food donations for the local C.A.R.E. Center each day.

"We're just trying to make them aware" of the local needs, said Spears.

A different collection was done each day, from proteins to vegetables, cereals to fruit. Monetary donations for C.A.R.E. were also accepted.

Spears said the VBS offered youngsters a safe, fun place to come spend the morning.

"They get an opportunity to interact with kids their own age," she said. "They are sharing and growing in their faith."

Escalon Covenant and Trinity Church previously had a combined VBS and this week, through July 2, Escalon Christian Reformed Church, 2203 California St., is hosting High Seas Expedition Vacation Bible School, from 9 a.m. to noon each day.