Churches are stepping up to meet the needs of students with working parents.

In Columbus, Ohio, schools have not opened for in-person instruction due to COVID-19. As a result, churches were asked to assist by providing space for students whose parents worked during the day and could not stay home alone for online learning, the Christian Post reports.

Churches have taken his opportunity to care for the welfare of their city. The buildings of worship allow students to access their tech devices and the internet and facilitate a location for adult supervision and where food can be provided.

The faith-based group, Catalyst for Columbus, has spearheaded this initiative. The churches partaking have been called Learning Extension Centres. Children can complete their online schoolwork with help from tutors in a safe environment.

Dozens of churches are contributing, without receiving compensation.

The Dream Centre, a ministry local to the area, has plans to open 20 of these centres across the city.

The relationship between schools and churches in Ohio has been strained in the past.

Lawmakers in the state passed a bill in June that clarified the rights of students to express their faith at school. Supporters of the bill claimed schools treated Christian clubs differently than other clubs, including not allowing them to gather in school buildings and disallowing students to express their beliefs in school assignments.

John Stonestreet and Maria Baer write there is some frustration after this hostility that schools have now turned for help to churches with this past history. However, churches themselves have put this aside to "seize an opportunity to offer Christian generosity as a powerful witness to the city of Columbus," Stonestreet and Baer say.

"The Church should help like this, wherever and whenever it can, whether or not it’s getting paid, and whether or not it’s ever thanked," they write.