SHERMAN, Texas (KTEN) — The Sherman Independent School District's Stand in the Gap program acknowledges the role community churches play in education.

"We met with our church pastors in the area, invited them over to have lunch with us," said Superintendent Dr. Tyson Bennett. "They're also planning a community wide prayer event for our schools."

Churches are asked to identify a school that they'll be praying for.

"We have volunteered to be a sponsor for Dillingham Elementary, where my wife teaches and we know the people there very well," said First Baptist in Sherman Pastor Mike Lawson. "So we've chosen that as the place that we would sign up to keep on our regular prayer list."

Lawson said they think this opportunity to spread prayer is a great thing.

"Kids come from all different kinds of backgrounds and they're trying to meld them and mesh them together in classrooms," he said. "And the belief that we as people of faith have is that God can enter into those situations as we invite Him through prayer."

Since 2001, there have been at least three incidents of guns found on Sherman ISD campuses. Students and staffers have also faced mental health struggles as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The district is reaching out to churches for help, and those houses of worship are planning a prayer event on Sunday, August 14.

"It truly is our community and church congregations saying, 'Hey, we want to do this prayer event for you guys,'" Bennett said. "And we just say, 'Yes, great, thank you.' And so this is really our second year of doing something like this."