Word of Life, Naperville IL
Topic: Church-School Relationships
We began our meeting with a visit from Stephanie Christian, the administrative assistant for the K.I.D.S. Program. K.I.D.S. (Kids Into Discipleship and Stewardship) is a Lutheran Church Extension Fund sponsored stamp program which helps teach young people the importance of giving back what God has shared with us. This stewardship education program engages children and students in thought and discussion about managing the resources with which we've been blessed.
For further information contact Stephanie Christian at (708) 223-3113 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Church & School Relationship:
My hope for all our early childhood schools is that you are building a positive relationship with your church. Here are some additional ways to bring church and school together:
-Get to know your Sunday School teachers!
-Invite congregants to your school chapel time
-Ask your pastor to lead at least one chapel/Jesus time per month
-Give your pastor a free lunch and invite him to sit with the children during this time. It is important that he is visible and knows the children in the school. Don't forget to follow up with a "thank you" card!
-As an administrator, pray with your students AND families. When a parents shares a personal/family situation with you, ask to pray with them right then and there!
-Have your students make "get well cards" or "birthday cards" to members of the congregation.
-Before hiring staff, make sure you explain what we teach and believe in the LCMS. Does your current staff know what we teach and believe? Many of us directors have staff working in our schools who are not Lutheran. It's important that these staff members understand that they are working in conjunction with the church and there may be church activities they will be required to attend. Play a game using Lutheran acronyms with your staff. Here are just a few you can test them on: LCEF, LEA, CUC, LCMS, CLEF, SBH, NID. Or even those abbreviations associated with early childhood education: DCFS, NAEYC, IAFC, INCCRRA. You can add in abbreviations specific to your church/school as well. Some of your families might not know the meanings behind these abbreviations as well. At St. Andrews we have a large group called WOSA (Women Of St. Andrews). Inform your staff, school families, and church members, don't just assume they know the meaning behind all our groups!
-Publicize a "Teacher-of-the-Month" for the congregation, either in the bulletin or on a board near the church. Ask the teacher to include: favorite Bible verse, hobbies, family information, picture, etc.
-Ask staff to take turns attending church events or have students volunteer at these events.
-Adopt a congregation member as a "grandparent" or "friend-of-the-classroom" to come in a few times throughout the year to volunteer in class.
-Tell prospective families about your pastor as you give tours/observations.
-Have students help decorate areas near or inside the church with their artwork so you are visible to congregation members.
-Allow grades to visit church groups that are attending Bible study or other events during the school day. Just a friendly hello or sing a song can make a difference!
-Talk to your pastor about having the preschoolers lead a sermon, song, or present an acted out story during a Sunday service. If you would like more information on a preschool-led service contact me and I would be happy to e-mail you my lesson plan outline for this type of church/school connection event!
-Mark Your Calendars! The Early Childhood Education Conference will be held on August 9, 2013 at Concordia Chicago. Dr. Marie Masterson (who is amazing!) will be the guest speaker.
-"In His Hands" operating manual has been updated and will be ready for the public in about one month!
-BRING A TEACHER FROM YOUR SCHOOL TO OUR NEXT MEETING!