Thursday, August 7, 2014
Three decades ago, Pastor Frank Holsclaw and his wife, Gail, were looking for a program to keep their young daughters, who both have special needs, busy during the summer.
When they couldn’t find one for Joy and Abigail, they started J.O.Y. School at their church, Pawleys Island Presbyterian. “J.O.Y.” is short for Jesus. Others. Yourself.
Last week, the 30th season of the J.O.Y. School came to a close with a music and comedy program in front of an overflow crowd at the church.
“It’s really grown leaps and bounds since we began,” Pastor Holsclaw said.
“The support from all the different organizations, the churches and the community has really been great.”
The Holsclaws have watched the children grow up, and the still get pleasure from seeing the kids “full of happiness and joy,” the pastor said.
The program, which is free for participants, takes place very June and July. Along with educational, music and drama activities, there are also field trips to the beach, a swimming pool, a bowling alley and boat rides.
“A lot of these children, if they were not at a program like this would be at home, with their parents having to look after them,” Pastor Holsclaw said.
“So just to be able to see children be able to have a wonderful summer like other children are able to enjoy, that what thrills me the most.”
This was the 24th year for program director Martha Insignares.
“I can’t imagine spending my summer anywhere else,” she said. “I can’t imagine spending six weeks with any better people then these: the kids, the parents, the staff.”
The title of this year’s closing program was “In Search of the You Can Bird in the Rainforest.” In additional to musical performances, many of the J.O.Y. School participants also told jokes and told the audience who their favorite teachers were.
This was the first year dialogue was added to the show, Insignares said.
Granger Brown of Pawleys Island signed up his brother George, for the first time this summer. George was visiting from Stillwater, Okla.
Brown said he doesn’t know of any programs like J.O.Y. School in Oklahoma.
“He had a great time,” Brown said. “I didn’t know anything like this existed. And to see the turnout of how many people came out here in this small of a town, community.”
Brown said he hopes to bring George back every summer.
For more information on J.O.Y. School go to www.pawleysislandpresby.com and click on the link for “ministries.” There is an application at the bottom left-hand corner of the page.