Dr. David Vroonland currently serves as the superintendent of schools in Mesquite Independent School District and is a prominent supporter of KiDs Beach Club®. Vroonland delivered the keynote message at a recent KiDs Beach Club® training event.
As superintendent, Vroonland oversees a district of 33 elementary schools. Currently, Mesquite ISD has Beach Clubs in 15 of those schools. Vroonland looks forward to the day when every one of the elementary schools in his district has its own Beach Club.
“I hope we get a Beach Club at every single one of our elementary schools,” Vroonland said. “All of those children need the opportunity to experience the love and the faith and the educational experiences.”
Those are three key elements to the success of a child, he continued. That is an opportunity for Beach Club volunteers.
“That’s what I mean when I say you have impact to do great things,” Vroonland said. “That is an opportunity to do something great – to provide guidance and direction – and really build promise in young peoples’ lives.”
The first element is love. A child must feel loved. “A child can always use more love; there is never enough,” Vroonland said. “Children need more people to invest in them, teach them and love them with their time.” Beach Club volunteers help fill this need by serving in schools.
The second element is faith. A child needs to be brought up in faith.
"This is not a little thing," Vroonland warned. "They have to have a faith, and in my way of thinking they have to have a faith in Christ.
“There is always going to be a beast that will come and attack what KiDs Beach Club® is doing in our schools, but what is sad to me, is you do no harm," he said. “It depends a lot upon the family and the church whether a child will stay in the faith or not but teaching a child faith does no harm.
“In fact, it moves it forward; It makes them better. I just want you to remember that and approach those things with a sense of peace and calm. You are serving Christ and you are doing a good thing for these children.”
The last thing a child needs for success, according to Vroonland, is a strong education system. The public education system was designed with a purpose so that every child could receive a quality education, regardless of wealth or poverty.
As a young child, Vroonland grew up in poverty. Approximately 75 percent of the children in his school district come from poverty. Without these three elements in his life, Vroonland could very well have been stuck in poverty, but through his adoptive family he was shown love, brought up in faith and received a quality education.
“Those three things made a huge difference in my life,” Vroonland said. “Significantly and obviously is God’s presence. Those three things matter. They helped me overcome a difficult situation.
“That’s why your love, your helping people in faith, and your ensuring the quality of their education will provide a direction for young people you just simply can’t understand. You can’t understand the impact of that.”
KiDs Beach Club® is a voluntary after-school experience for the kids whose parents sign them up to participate. They are taught character words through the lens of scripture and provided with a KBC Study Bible.
“From a superintendent’s perspective and a Christian’s perspective, honestly, I’m not sure I want a leader in my building proselytizing in my building,” Vroonland said. “I mean that honestly because your faith may not be my faith. Your understanding of God might be different than mine.
“What I want is a leader in my building who characterizes themselves as they walk around as a person of faith, but not proselytizing. That is not our place. That’s the family’s place. That’s the church’s place and if we can have people come after school in a voluntary place for children, that’s wonderful.”
He also wanted to dispel the notion by some people who say that God is not in our schools.
“God is in our schools. There is no taking Him out,” Vroonland said. “There may be people who say, ‘God is not in schools.’ Nonsense! God is in schools. Children can pray in schools and they can read their Bible in schools and I think we have to dispel that notion, and frankly, honor the sovereignty of God.”
Vroonland said that we were all designed to have impact, and we were all designed to have great impact.
“You don’t always know your impact, but you’re out there to have impact, in this case, an impact for Christ. You need to persist in it.”
Please let us know if you are interested in bringing Beach Club to your district or school or if your church is interested in partnering with us to take the message of Christ outside its church walls and into an elementary school in your community.
Published on Mar 21 @ 12:07 PM CDT