Eastern York High School now allows students to leave school for one hour each week to learn about the Bible and memorize the scriptures, which is already in use at Eastern York Middle School and at Wrightsville and Kreutz Creek elementary schools.
The statewide Joy El program led by Adam Ziebarth was founded in 1938. Laurie Lehman is the Eastern District Coordinator and has worked with Joy El for 16 years.
“We have a good relationship with the school and we represent Jesus. I was really impressed with the quality of their collaboration with us, ”said Lehman.
Joy El volunteers, known as listeners, are passionate about what is happening at school and in the lives of the students, she said.
“The joy I get to see a student getting to know the Lord is so precious, and I have more pleasure in feeling that feeling than if you had given me a million dollars,” said Lehman.
There are learning benefits for students who are part of Joy El as well as spiritual benefits. Many students who go to Joy El have become better at memorizing scripture verses, which has helped some of them memorize math facts and vocabulary words, Lehman said.
“We teach them values and morals that they can take to school and apply them there,” Lehman said.
Joy El students collect soda drops for Ronald McDonald House charities.
Lehman is very passionate about Joy El and helping children learn more about God, but it hasn’t been easy.
“We went through some challenges and one of them not being enough listeners. When I started we had 15 students, ”she said.
Now the program works with over 100 children each week at Wrightsville’s only elementary school.
Morgan McNatt is a student at Eastern York High School and a member of the York Daily Record’s Teen Takeover program.