WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – Bethlehem Apostolic Temple is celebrating our youth’s return to the classroom this Saturday, Aug. 19 with their annual Adopt-a-Student Program.

Children of all ages will be able to pick out their own bookbag, school supplies and clothes to help them start out their new school year with a smile.  

The event starts at 10 a.m. at the North Wheeling Community Dream Center located at 407 Main Street. 

Pastor Darrell Cummings says getting kids back to school with a good attitude will determine their altitude. 

“Our whole core purpose is to send the kids back to school with a smile. Children must be present for the clothes and the school supplies.”  

Pastor Darrell Cummings | Bethlehem Apostolic Temple

Pastor Cummings says they will also be giving away laptops, bikes and food during Adopt-a-Student.  

Everything at the event is on a first come, first serve basis.  

Pastor Cummings also says when they adopt a student, they adopt the whole family.

“So, the students that get adopted, God forbid they have a need. They run out of the school supplies or any of those things. We will help them with the school supplies, not just on this Saturday, but also all year long. We will help. God forbid there’s a crisis that comes up in the family. Working with Chamber Foundation, we will help them to pay the gas bill, pay the rent. We will give food. Our food pantry will be open to them. Whatever we can do to help that child to have a good school year, we’re going to do it. We do this at great cost us. But we just believe that our hope is in our children and we want to make sure that our children are taken”

Pastor Darrell Cummings | Bethlehem Apostolic Temple

According to Pastor Cummings, the church helped nearly 400-600 students last year, and they hope to help as many if not more this year.

The church is also hosting their Back-to-School festival Sunday, Aug. 20 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Wheeling Amphitheater.  

The festival will include free games, food and carnival rides.