The first two hours of Kids Night Out are fun, but for Jackie Estes, there’s nothing like the last hour.
“It’s the best part because we get to learn about God,” said the 12-year-old.
Kids Night Out, in its third year, is held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Fridays through March 16 at North Augusta Bible Chapel.
It offers children in kindergarten through sixth grade the opportunity to have fun, socialize, come together to share their faith and learn more about God in a format similar to Vacation Bible School, said Chris Hoffmann, who organized the activity along with his wife, Debbie, and many volunteers.
The children are provided supper before rotating through stations such as bingo, foursquare, Uno, crafts and gaga ball. The children may also watch a cartoon or movie.
The last hour contains what is at the heart of Kids Night Out — singing and Bible lessons. This year, the Bible lesson is focused on the Gospel of John. Each child received a booklet, written in story form, of the Gospel of John.
“I tell the kids that I believe the Bible is true. That’s why we do this,” he said. “I tell them that the Bible tells us where we came from, why we’re here and where we’re going. My goal is to convince them that the Bible is true.”
Kids Night Out draws children from the North Augusta area, and some Fridays, about 50 attend.
Markees Murray comes to the program each year.
“What I really like about coming is learning a lot about God, playing gaga ball, (being with) Mr. Chris and Ms. Hoffmann,” said the 12-year-old. “We have so much fun.”
Kids Night Out costs $2 per child, and parents are asked to contact the Hoffmanns at (803) 300-1084 by Thursday so they will know many children to prepare for.