By Dr. Vona Wilson

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. – Proverbs 22:6

What is your favorite part of the “back to school” season? Tax free day? New notebooks? Returning to a rhythm and schedules that shape the week?

My favorite is the sparkle in the eyes of a child who has hope for something new. Whether they are walking into a classroom or the safe space of a YMCA after-school program—there is always a chance an adult is going to notice their presence and offer some encouragement and help along the way. Maybe that adult is going to be YOU! You may be holding the hope and encouragement someone needs today. Just share it; don’t hold back. Our kids are counting on us to care.

Let’s pray together

God, we pray that your peace be present in our schools and programs where students seek safety, learning and belonging. Where words of encouragement and hope are needed, please provide them with clarity and grace at just the right time. Let there be many teachable moments!

Give our students wisdom that comes from you, and let their voices speak as we need to hear. Open their minds to instruction, and tune their ears to truth. When words of destruction are spoken, we boldly ask that you protect all who hear them and deflect the lies. We invite and welcome your peace in our own spirits, minds and bodies. Thank you for your love and faithfulness. We pray in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Learn more about the Y's Spirit and Mind Ministries

Growing in spirit, mind and body is the surest path to holistic well-being. The Y offers Spirit and Mind workshops, seminars and small group classes, including a group for those who are navigating the waters of grief. Let us help support your growth in physical, emotional, spiritual and financial health.