Iowa students gather early this (Wednesday) morning outside their school buildings for the twelfth annual “See You At the Pole” observance. The student-run gatherings include prayer, but they’re voluntary and not organized by schools or teachers. Pastor David Overstreet with the National Network of Youth Ministries He says in North America, the largest group unreached by organized religion is teenagers. Pastor Overstreet says says a group of kids on a retreat more than a decade ago just decided to go to their school’s flagpole and pray. The idea caught on and now a gathering is held annually at many schools on the third Wednesday in September. The “See You At the Pole” event typically begins at 7 AM across the country, and he loves the image of kids starting in the Eastern Time Zone first, with “a big wave of prayer” rolling across the country. Principal Larry Mitchell at Dubuque Senior High says students there will be holding their own gathering at the flagpole today (Wednesday). He says they’ve had it for several years now, and he describes it as “respectful” and well-organized with a couple dozen students taking part who cause no problems. The principal says neither he nor teachers at the school have any part in organizing or holding the prayer gathering, but students have told him they’re doing it again this year.
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