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Families get help with back-to-school readiness at Penn “Servolution” Aug. 13

NORTH LIBERTY– Inspired by community members and with a mission to get local kids on track for a productive school year, a “Servolution” is coming to North Liberty.
But it won’t work without your help.
The Aug. 13 Servolution at Penn Elementary was created by Adam Kolosik, as part of his Love Wins Ministry at Life Church, and was made possible by Kris Hynek of the North Liberty Family Resource Center (NLFRC) at Penn.
What’s a Servolution? What does it mean?
It’s a revolution of service, according Kolosik, a pastor at Life Church, who said, “Mission is why we exist; love is how we do it.”
Koloski has been looking for ways to get his congregation even more fired up to complete the mission.
For the Love Wins Ministry at Life Church, First United Methodist and Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, that means helping kids get ready for school.
Kolosik spoke from Los Angeles, where he was on another mission with area high school kids, serving food and helping out in L.A. When he returns, his focus will be North Liberty, and not just Life Church members.
“Anything we can do to help, that’s why we’re here,” he said. “We want to be here to support our community and we want our community to flourish.”
Kolosik has no doubt the event will be successful, even though it is the first of its kind.
First United Methodist and Life Church are holding an on-going shoe drive as part of the back-to-school readiness event. So far, the drive has brought in over 300 pairs of shoes.
That’s a lot of tread.
In addition, the Servolution team has thought of everything for those who need help getting their children back to school, fully-stocked, looking sharp and ready for academic life.
For example, through Servolution, kids can getfree haircuts. The team will also help with taking family portraits, and getting free basic assistance in setting up a family budget.
It’s all that, and a bouncy house to boot.
The bouncy house is provided so kids can cut loose while the grown-ups get financial advice, made available by Hills Bank & Trust through its outreach program.
Kolosik said none of it would be possible without Kris Hynek.
Hynek, in turn, had high praise for Kolosik and Life Church, “They come through with anything we need to help students (in North Liberty),” she said.
Hynek said Kolosik and his miraculous crew always go above and beyond to help students.
Penn Principal Kristy Heffner said Servolution would serve all North Liberty students, including home-schooled students, those from Heritage Christian School, and Clear Creek Amana students.
Everybody can come to Penn Elementary on one night of the year to pick up school supplies and get ready to learn.
“This is a great project because there are many barriers that keep students from being ready to learn, and anytime we can take away those barriers it increases the likelihood of success,” Heffner said.
“Ready-to-learn” is a phrase also used by both Hynek and Kolosik, and it means getting kids totally prepped for scholastics, regardless of their situation.
“Many people haven’t had positive experiences with school and maybe haven’t factored in school supplies,” Hynek said. “It’s hard to budget [for supplies] when you don’t even have a budget, or if you live check-to-check, barely making it.”
The Servolution team will host a carnival-like night on Monday, Aug. 13, from 3 until 7 p.m.
Donations are welcome through Life Church and ToGather Together, the school district’s school supply drive.
The event will also have a photo booth for families to take pictures.
There’s a need for backpacks, Hynek said. They’re a hot item and kids like to pick them out and then fill them up on their own with the supplies they’ll need.
At Penn, there’s a need for pink, beveled erasers, watercolors and, for older kids, 1-inch, 3-ring binder folders.
Hynek encouraged people to check in with their school to find out more about helping families in need. Or, attend Servolution on Aug. 13 and get involved, because the needs will continue throughout this school year and the next.
Principal Heffner predicted the event would be a big community builder.
To find out more about getting involved, to donate new shoes, backpacks or other school supplies, contact Marsha Lowe, of ToGather Together, by email at marshalowe@gmail.com. Or contact the NLFRC team: Kris Hynek, Penn Elementary, 319-688-1154; Allison Krause, Van Allen Elementary, 319-688-1189; and Jill Winders, Garner Elementary, 319-688-1194.
Call Life Church at 319-435-8090, or email Adam Kolosik at adam@lifechurchnow.org.