Questions and Answers
I’ve never heard of this. What is Bible Released Time?
Bible Released Time (BRT) is an exciting opportunity for children to learn about the Bible during school! Nationwide, over 300,000 public school students attend BRT programs. In some Tennessee school districts, children have had this opportunity for many years.
In 2020, a new Tennessee law was enacted, recognizing a parent’s right to have their child excused from school to receive “religious moral instruction” during the school day. This has removed the legal concerns that school boards sometimes have when making decisions about whether to allow Released Time programs for their schools. Even though it is permitted, public schools and school boards cannot sponsor or endorse any religious program but must remain neutral.
How often are classes held?
Even though Tennessee law allows for students to attend BRT as often once per day, classes for your child’s school will be provided once per month. Your principal will decide a day and time for the class each month.
Who sponsors the program?
The program is sponsored by Children’s Bible Ministries and Camp Ta-Pa-Win-Go, located near Elizabethton, in cooperation with local churches who open their facilities for the program.
How can my child join in?
Once you complete the online consent form, your school will be notified. Your child will then be able to attend the next scheduled trip along with other students. The program is held at a nearby church (or other approved building) and the program will be chaperoned by trained volunteers who will accompany the children from the time they leave school until they return.
What will they be doing in the class?
The class will consist of a fun time for students as they learn from God’s Word through a creatively presented Bible lesson. Our classes teach Bible basics, using a variety of methods, with a topic or Bible story for the day. CBM’s teachers welcome questions and feedback during the lesson and time passes quickly.
Our best reviews come from our students! With new programs, attendance numbers often grow each month as students go back to school and invite their friends to come with them the next time!
How long has CBM been in our area?
CBM began visiting schools in east Tennessee in the 1940’s. Many area parents and grandparents can remember when CBM had monthly Bible assembly programs at their school. In-school programs ended in 1988 and Bible Released Time classes began.
What kind of precautions are taken during the trip?
Safety is very important to us. Children stay together as a group and are never left alone. All CBM programs are insured. Leaders and volunteers are required to undergo background checks.
Still have questions?
If you would like to know more, or if you or a grandparent would like to know how you can become a volunteer, please call CBM at 423-543-2201.
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