The Released Time Bible Program
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Imagine if every child realized he was valued and loved.
Imagine if children were equipped to make good choices in a culture that is far from good.
Imagine if every child understood why character matters and had role models
who lived out positive character qualities.
All of this IS POSSIBLE and takes place in The Released Time Bible Program.
What is the Released Time Bible Program?
The Released Time Bible Program is a Pennsylvania state approved program which allows public school students to be dismissed from school for religious instruction. Students must have parental permission to participate. Released Time is not illegal in any state, but laws and restrictions vary from state to state. Contact Joy El Generation for information concerning Pennsylvania or your home state.
The Benefits of Released Time
The benefits for your children
Enrolling your child in the Released Time Bible Program benefits him or her in many ways. The National Council on Crime and Delinquency did a study on Released Time classes that found the following:
- “A comparative review of all 4th and 5th graders involved in this program perform better than their classmates as a whole in almost every category”;
- “Released Time students improved after one year in three categories of literacy skills: comprehension, spelling, and vocabulary”;
- “The program also provides youth with strong adult mentorship and bonding, and reinforces positive moral and character development in an environment where teachers and administrators struggle with unruly students.”
Students who participate in Released Time are being educated far beyond their peers who don’t attend. These are just a few of the proven benefits that Released Time has provided to students.
- Bible instruction—Bible lessons are taught simply and clearly, incorporating an understandable Bible principle for the child to practice. We don’t want to overwhelm children with too much instruction at once. The lessons we’ve developed allow children to grasp and apply a simple principle before moving onto the next one. The teaching of biblical principles by caring adult role models results in both spiritual and academic growth.
- Bible memory work- God’s memorized Word is a valuable resource to the mind and heart for life. Scripture memory develops mental sharpness and equips children to live in the abundant life God offers.
- Character instruction- Good character qualities and attitudes are modeled and taught, with encouragement for the child to make them personal habits. Spiritual and character training equips children to make good choices in a culture that often promotes less than God’s best.
- Relationships- Beneficial bonds of friendship, trust, and affirmation are established between your child and at least one caring adult.
- Learning skills- Practice at listening, memorizing, thinking, and processing along with positive social interaction strengthens the same skills that are vital to public school education.
The benefits for the parents
The instruction of moral values that you provide your child at home are affirmed in Released Time by caring adult volunteers who intentionally invest in your child.
Your child can learn in a safe environment. All volunteers undergo a background check for the safety of the children. Released Time is also a spiritually safe environment in which children can openly ask questions about God, the Bible, and the Christian faith.
You have the opportunity to serve as a volunteer in your child’s Released Time class, thus giving you the chance to be involved with your child during the school day.
Released Time students earn awards for scripture memory work that adds up to discounts they can use toward summer camp or weekend retreats. Earning 300 points provides your child a free week of summer camp.
The benefits for volunteers
Joy El seeks to serve our volunteers in many capacities through training and equipping so you are able to have a more effective Released Time. Skills you learn as a Released Time volunteer also better equip you for other ministry roles at your church or in your community.
Released Time has a Great Commission focus so that you can fulfill your purpose as a follower of Christ (Ephesians 2:10, Matthew 28:18-20).
Volunteering for Released Time provides weekly opportunities to invest into the next generation, so that we will ignite a generation that seeks God.
Released Time provides opportunity to serve using your gifts. It provides you with fellowship in a group of believers who also love children and are seeking spiritual growth. Released Time enhances your spiritual growth through the renewing of your mind as you memorize scripture along with your students.
Released Time allows you to experience God as you lead children into a saving relationship with Jesus.
Ready to volunteer? Click here to send us your contact information. We will follow up with you to get you started.
Who sponsors Released Time?
Joy El has been sponsoring and conducting Released Time in south-central Pennsylvania for 40 years. Joy El Generation is part of Joy El Ministries, a non-denominational Christian organization focusing on providing opportunities for people to experience life-change through personal encounters with God. To learn more about Joy El, click here: About Joy El.
Who is involved in Joy El Generation’s Released Time program?
- Over 3,300 students in grades 3 through 8
- 75 elementary schools and 14 middle schools
- 27 school districts
- 9 counties
- Over 1,200 volunteers serve per week
What happens in a Released Time class?
Students are dismissed from public school at a designated time each week for up to 30 weeks during each school year. They are transported or walked to a nearby church or other facility for classes. Class time is structured into three main parts:
- singing and announcements
- a Bible lesson
- reciting selected scripture passages during small group time
Students earn awards for scripture memorization, Bible lessons, daily devotions, and service projects. The students also earn discounts on the cost of a week of summer camp at Camp Joy El. Students memorizing verses and achieving 300 points earn a free week of summer camp.
Joy El Generation offers Released Time classes for two age levels: elementary and middle school. The middle school program is called CIA, or Christians In Action. CIA is open to students in grades 6 through 8.