Counties school resource has half a million reasons to celebrate
An innovative mobile classroom which helps secondary school pupils think about real-life issues through the stories of Jesus reached a milestone this week when its half millionth visitor stepped on board.
Pupil Olivia Wallis-Sarbo, from the Bishop of Hereford's Bluecoat School, was the 500,000th pupil to visit the popular schools resource GSUS Live from Christian charity Counties.
To mark the occasion, Olivia was presented with a New Testament and Psalms by local volunteer and coordinator Andy Goode and Counties Schools Resource Coordinator Dave Thomas.
Since 2000, GSUS Live has visited over 800 secondary schools across the UK helping pupils explore the themes of fear, forgiveness and rejection through the teachings of Jesus. The interactive learning experience uses Bible story animations, contemporary Christian music plus short films on historical and famous figures.
Hereford volunteer from Putson Baptist Church Andy Goode said: “I was very proud to be on GSUS Live to see the 500,000th pupil on the unit. Praise God for every pupil that has been on both units over the years. Amazing to see the progression of the technology since the early trials.
“The messages of hope in fear, rejection and forgiveness remain for every pupil to discover. It was lovely to see the same impact of the lesson on the 500,000th pupil as the first.
“Thanks for the opportunity to be a part of God's project at the beginning and to still be involved all these years on. My prayers are that God will continue to open doors into schools, bless the work of GSUS Live and Counties and bless all that both work on the units as well as those that attend the lesson.”
Counties CEO, Martin Erwin, added: “We’re thrilled to have welcomed on board half a million school children to GSUS Live. We always get great feedback from schools and pupils alike.
“Counties works with various Christian missions in the UK, and amongst the evangelists we support there are around 17 who work regularly in schools. We support them thanks to the monthly giving of our donors.
“Our schools’ workers speak to an estimated 50,000 children and teenagers in schools every month. These contacts are involved in various projects, lead assemblies, advise SACRE councils, take RE and PSHE lessons, offer mentoring, run voluntary clubs and camps, host music gigs, and lead youth work.”
Churches and organisations can host GSUS Live for half a term for their local area and the 14-metre unit usually spends a week in different secondary schools where local church volunteers help to present the programme.
The innovative lesson has been developed by Counties along with education specialist, to encourage pupils to question, challenge and form their own opinions on the teachings of Jesus.