Join Our Mailing List!
Latest News:
Westmoreland County Parks and Trails Comedy ... -- "The Westmoreland Heritage and Five Star Trails are hosting two different Comedy ..." -- 30 December 2021
Veterans Helping Veterans Hosting Awareness Event ... -- "New Nonprofit Echoes Mon Valley Tradition Of Helping Vets   By Michael ..." -- 30 December 2021
Elks Lodge 2213 in Bethel Park Delivers Gifts to ... -- "Pittsburgh South Hills Elks Lodge 2213 in Bethel Park delivered 235 gifts, 15 ..." -- 30 December 2021
Area Youth Can Enter the Elks National ‘Hoop ... -- "For nearly 50 years, the Elks ‘Hoop Shoot’ has been developing ..." -- 30 December 2021
Bethel Park Els Lodge to Offer Free Soup -- "Pittsburgh South Hills Elks Lodge 2213 in Bethel Park will be giving free ..." -- 30 December 2021
Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees Will ... -- "Attention all US Steel SOAR members of Chapter 15-7 who normally meet at the ..." -- 30 December 2021
Vendor Registration Open for 2022 ‘Fleatique on ... -- "24th Annual Event Set for Saturday, June 4 Artisans, crafters, flea market, ..." -- 30 December 2021
Pittsburgh Sports Icons Gather at Goodfellows ... -- "On December 16, 2021 the monthly Good Fellows Luncheon was held at ..." -- 30 December 2021
Cal U Holds 193rd Commencement Ceremonies -- "Cal U held its 193rd Commencement Dec. 10-11 at the Convocation Center on the ..." -- 30 December 2021
Pennsylvania Western University Wordmark Design ... -- "Students At Cal U, Clarion and Edinboro Choose The Look For Integrated ..." -- 30 December 2021

School News

By Lois Thomson


Darla Holmes is program coordinator for MPACT – Monessen Positive Action Community Team – an afterschool program for Monessen Middle School students that was implemented early in 2021.  The program is intended to improve student behavior and academic motivation, but Holmes figured the students needed a little more: so Sunday Fundays have been created at Christian Life Ministries Church in Monessen.

MPACT Funday
Faith Jackson, Isabella Grogan and Destiny Porter attended the December ‘Sunday Funday’ as part of Monessen’s MPACT program.

The idea originated from a Pennsylvania youth survey that identified risk factors for local youth, and one area that needed to increase was religiosity.  Holmes agreed.  "Our children don't have a connection to their community through faith," she said.  "Our young people, and families in general, don't attend church the way we did in the past.  The results (of the survey) found they have no attachment to the community through their faith and through the congregation."

Holmes discussed the problem with her husband Robert, pastor at Christian Life Ministries, and Teresa Seh of Communities That Care, and they decided to try to engage the children in what they call "Sunday Fundays."

Held at the church the second Sunday of the month, the program began in November.  "We provide transportation and bring them into our fellowship hall.  So they're not in a traditional church service, but we wanted to let them know the church was a vital part of their community, where they can come together and fellowship."

At the first Funday in November, Holmes told them this would be a time to have good, healthy fun.  "We discussed what did they want to see, what did they want to do.  They shared a lot of things, like their struggles, their friends, their families.  We're trying to help them navigate through that, to teach those values, because you can touch on (the teachings of Jesus) without really mentioning it.  We're having faith-based discussions but not preaching to them."

In December, the kids wanted to watch the movie "The Grinch That Stole Christmas" starring Jim Carrey.  Holmes agreed, but said they had to be able to tie it in with something they could learn from the movie.  "We talked about it and I said he was kind of bullied because he looked and acted different, so they made fun of him, and that caused him to withdraw.  So that's what we watched, and we learned bullying is not good."

The group also enjoyed breakfast from McDonald's, and Holmes said the meal helped teach them how to eat and




Pizza Station


Mon Valley Hospital

  • Prev
  • Featured Advertisers
Scroll to top