Children’s Mission Work

WAFFLE: Wholesome Accepting Fun Friday Late-Start Experiences

Waffle is a before-school program at State Street Elementary School that Topeka First UMC initiated in 2013 in response to USD 501’s late-start schedule. The WAFFLE program allows working parents to drop their kids off at school without compromising their working hours to accommodate the later start time.

WAFFLE Fridays begin at 8:00 a.m. when volunteers gather for a devotion and prayer for the children. At 8:15, the students gather by grade into groups of 8-12. WAFFLE volunteers use the rest of the hour to lead games, crafts, sports, reading and many more educational, hands-on activities while building meaningful relationships with the children. The WAFFLE program was immediately popular and now has a long waiting list for students to join.

To learn more about WAFFLE, contact Jaena Greenwood.

View the 2017-18 WAFFLE Brochure


Lunch buddies are assigned one child to have lunch with once a week at State Street Elementary School. This program asks for just 30 minutes of your time to brighten a child’s school year. Contact Chris Stewart from The Bridge for more information: 785-215-7735.

Click here to watch a short video about Lunch Buddies.


Each week, volunteers from Topeka First UMC and Oakland UMC work 1-on-1 with students at State Street Elementary School to improve reading and math skills. Volunteers use flashcards and books to challenge the students academically while engaging with them compassionately. The students’ progress is rewarded with stickers and books to take home. To become a State Street Mentor, contact Dorothy Iliff.


Volunteers from Topeka First UMC provide an after-school theater program for 4th and 5th graders at State Street Elementary School. Each spring they present a full-scale drama performed completely by the students. First UMC volunteers serve as director, head seamstress, scenic designer, and acting coach. Past productions include Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White, and Jack and the Beanstalk.

To participate or serve in this fun and creative outreach, contact Dorothy Iliff.