Va. Students Rise Early for 'See You at the Pole'

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Elementary and high school students across the U.S. and around the world gathered around their respective school's flagpole before class early Wednesday morning for the annual "See You at the Pole" event.
  
At Atlantic Shores High School in Virginia Beach, Va., students arrived an hour before the school bell sounded to take part in the event.

"It's a great opportunity for the students to do something physically, to sacrifice a little time in the morning, maybe skip breakfast, to get up a little early to come out and gather with their peers and pray," said Kelley Peter, director of Christian Life at Atlantic Shores.
    
At this private Christian school, there are prayers for classmates and teachers.  But there are also prayers for young Christians at public schools who are bravely demonstrating their faith at similar events.

"Those in a secular school, in a secular environment, they are really taking a stand out there in front of their school and have their peers come by and see they are a Christian," Peter told CBN News.

See You at The Pole is a more than 20-year-old tradition that began with one church youth group in Texas. Today, there are prayer circles on campuses across the country.

"We feel like this generation is a really big one that can make or break what our religion is or what our movement is, trying to move more towards God," Atlantic Shores senior Blake Phillips said.
     
Phillips led the morning devotion.
  
"I was not living for God for 16 years of my life, and I was in the church. I was living that," he revealed. 

"I was in Christian school my whole life," Phillips continued. "But it didn't really become anything to me until God sought after me, instead of me trying to go by my own work."

Phillip's message to his classmates is to spend even more time praying after this event ends because that time will strengthen their relationship with the God they so passionately sing about.

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Efrem Graham

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Efrem Graham is an award-winning journalist, who comes to CBN News from the ABC owned and operated station in Toledo, Ohio.  He received his master's degree from the Columbia University Journalism School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Follow Efrem on Twitter @EfremGraham and "like" him at Facebook.com/EfremGrahamCBN.