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Students rally at flagpole to pray

ERICA RODRIGUEZ

By ERICA RODRIGUEZ
Sept. 22, 2010 at 4:22 a.m.

Bowing her head in prayer, Andrea Jackson listens to fellow students read scripture and sing along to contemporary Christian music.

Howell Middle School students lowered their heads and fidgeted as they prayed in unison around the school's flagpole on Wednesday morning.

The gathering was one of many across the area recognizing See You at the Pole, an international student-led prayer rally that began in 1990.

Students with the Christian Club read a Bible verse, sang and clapped to Christian music to honor the day.

Kaylie Funk, an eighth-grader, came to pray for her father, who needs a kidney transplant.

"I've got family members that are in pain and I've got to pray for them," she said. "It just makes me feel that I can feel better for them."

Students felt the day was special because it was the one time they could pray together on campus.

"I go to church, I go to Sunday school, I learn about God. I get closer to Him," said Rachel Wood, an eighth-grade student. "It's just a different sort of thing, that one annual time of year you get to do it for school."

Teachers, staff and parents mingled with the students as the music continued.

"It gives them a little bit more encouragement and lets them know the Christian environment is allowed on campus, regardless of whether it's in the classroom or on the front porch," said Nelda Guajardo, a parent who also prayed. "It is still part of their lives."

Guajardo said she believes prayer at the start of the day helps prepare the children for the school.

"It makes it a little bit more unified," she said.

After the closing song, students hustled into the building, calmly.

"It means you're really close to God," Rachel said.

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