Many students in public schools are not familiar with the Bible. For many of the 2.4 million public school students across Australia, God’s story found in the Bible is – amazingly – a new story. For some of them, no-one has ever shown them how the Bible is relevant to them and the world they live in. However, in some public schools, religious education classes can be conducted by volunteers from various churches.
Bible Society Australia is committed to helping these teams of dedicated volunteers bring the message of the Bible to the children of Australia – by providing them free class sets of Bibles.
The Bibles in Schools Grant enables Scripture teachers to give their students the privilege of holding, navigating, and reading a Bible within their classes in public schools. This includes a Scripture Grant for Bibles in Schools, to equip and support volunteer teachers and instructors participating in Special Religious Education (SRE) and Christian Religious Instruction (CRI).
We are so glad to be able to share some of the great stories we are hearing come from this Bibles in Schools project
“Year six at a new school in a new town was tricky. Their difficult behaviour, though, seemed to calm and become more reverent once we opened God’s awesome word.
Students volunteered to read and I know seeds were planted, due to this Word, more than my words.
“Students often ask ‘Is this real?’ When we can use a Bible as a history book that is still relevant today, it gives much more hope and a basis of good discussion… and takes the pressure from me to the ‘author and perfecter’ of our faith. Bible Society’s grant is a wonderful way of providing access to truth and God’s word that many Australian students would never otherwise have access to.”
~ RI instructor Helen
“I really enjoyed opening the Bible with my Kindergarten kids this year. For a lot of them, this is the first time they had opened a Bible, so it was a privilege to be the person to do this with them.
It was interesting to see how the kids processed Jesus coming back to life.
“Was he a zombie? Did he actually die? Was he a ghost? It was great to be able to say ‘No! Jesus died and then came alive again’ and see the wonder of them understanding the miracle of that. Really helpful to have Bibles.”
~ SRE teacher and coordinator Tara
“The story of Joseph had the children eager to hear more. We opened the children’s Bibles received from Bible Society in class. We saw that the same story was told in different ways. The children were excited at the possibility of reading Scripture stories with their parents at home. I used the set curriculum with its visuals to tell the story of Joseph. I used my own tattered Bible to read excerpts of the story. Children would say, ‘Wait… is that really what it says?’
‘Come up here and read it for yourself!’ I would reply. ‘Oh yeah…!’ the children would say, as the lights came on.
“Then when I brought the borrow Bibles in, the children opened them and browsed. They were excited to see depictions of the story they knew from my Bible and the lesson I had taught. They felt they had an ‘in road’ to gleaning from the Bible for themselves. This program is generous and a great idea. Thank you, Bible Society Australia.”
~ SRE teacher and coordinator Mary
“It was just wonderful sharing the Bibles and telling students that this is where our lessons each week come from, as most students didn’t attend church. This opportunity is terrific and the only time many students would open up and read a Bible. It was great opening the Bible together and letting children find verses and also to read from Bibles in our lessons.”
~ SRE teacher Annette