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LifeWay expands VBS Tools Online

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–VBS Tools Online, after being unveiled in 2005, is being expanded to provide added help for Vacation Bible School leaders in 2006.

Last year, 800-plus VBS coordinators used VBS Tools Online to register students and volunteers online; coordinate classes and rotations; and communicate quickly and easily with volunteers and families through the customized website and e-mail center.

For 2006, the e-business department at LifeWay Christian Resources has released an updated version of VBS Tools Online with new features that include an enhanced version of class rolls that includes volunteers and teachers and medical/allergy information for participants.

“The online tools are meant to be a time saver for [VBS] directors so they are not overloaded with paperwork and can focus on other important matters such as enlisting quality volunteers and planning VBS events,” said Bethany Webster, VBS Internet producer at LifeWay.

For those who used VBS Tools Online in 2005, LifeWay also has made it possible to transfer the 2005 enrollment information into the 2006 version through a quick and easy process.

The online tools not only benefit VBS leaders but parents and volunteers as well by providing online registration through a customized website that can be linked to the individual church’s website.

“The VBS director can print valuable reports such as volunteer lists, class lists, participants by class and VBS schedules for volunteers to create a safer and more efficient VBS,” said Allyson Hobbie, solutions specialist with LifeWay’s e-business department.

For Reed Christian of Hickory Heights Baptist Church in Dallas, Ga., the online tools made the organizational side of VBS much easier.

“The online tools were a benefit to us in many ways,” Christian said. “Assigning kids to classes was a breeze as [was] the ease in record-keeping and generating rolls for classrooms. We were able to keep a running count each evening for snacks and [we] generated labels for craft identification and follow-up mailings.”

LifeWay developed VBS Tools Online to be used by anyone with basic computer skills. The icon-based system makes navigating the tools easy for VBS administrators and produces reports that are clear and helpful to volunteers and teachers.

“I was able to begin the administrative process with the online tool and then easily and confidently hand it over to someone else knowing I didn’t have to explain my system,” Christian said. “It was all there in black and white.

“No more difficult spreadsheets for us!” she added.

For more information on 2006 VBS Tools Online, visit www.lifeway.com/vbstools. More than 3 million VBS participants are anticipated this year in Southern Baptist churches across the country.

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