ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Back-to-school season is well underway, marking the start of a new year. But traditional schools aren’t the only ones kicking off their curriculum, religious schools around the area are as well.

Susan Rizzo runs the religious school program at Temple Sinai in Penfield and said getting kids back in the door is something they’ve been waiting for all summer long, especially this year since they can welcome kids in without any COVID restrictions.

“We’re just really excited to all be here together, again,” Rizzo said. “I think it’s really important as a community to be aware of the difference in diversity in the community. And I think this is just one this kind of profiling of the different religious schools is one way to kind of heighten that. So I think that there’s, you know, potential trickled down to students in sort of regular secular schools to just kind of know, what their classmates might be doing on a weekend.”

Paula Dugan heads the children’s ministry program at Asbury United Methodist Church in Rochester and explains bringing light to religious school offerings around the area is important so folks know there can be more to an education than K-12 schooling.

“The schools do a great job. But we need to get back to teaching relationships and how to care for one another. Schools are teaching math, science reading, we’re teaching about love and how to care,” Dugan said.

While the Islamic Center of Rochester in Brighton has it’s own full-time school, they also have Sunday school classes teaching Quran, Islamic Studies, and Arabic. School Head of Operations, Amanee Albaram said having kids back in the building after a summer away just feels right.

“It’s the first time to be back in person for the Sunday School, which is exciting for everyone,” Albaram said. “We get a lot of support from community members. We want to bring the community together with the Islamic center. It’s like a family for us.”

School programs for the synagogue, church, and mosque all kick off this Sunday.

The Sikh Society of Rochester is kicking off classes September 20, and the Hindu Temple of Rochester on September 12.