March Meetings!

Missional Outreach Documents (click on the following links):
Missional Church Climate Survey
A Mission Focused Early Childhood Center

West Network School of the Month: Grace Preschool, Loves Park

1.         Concordia University Early Childhood Conference  Friday, August 5, 2016.  Info will be on the CUC website shortly.  Dr. Kevin Lehman will be the keynote; lots of great EC sectionals; Author session, too.
2.         University of Whitewater Early Childhood Conference  April 8 & 9, 2016
 3.        Lutheran Education Association (LEA) National Administrators Conference with special tracks for Early Childhood Administrators and Admissions Counselors  April 7-9, 2016 in Milwaukee.
4.         Next Meeting: Thursday, April 28, 4:30 – 6:30 PM at Christ the Rock, Rockford.  Contact Doreen Peterson at  815-332-5551 to RSVP

 Meeting Topic:      Missional  Outreach
Practical Ideas-
1.         (Grace, Loves Park)     Intergenerational Play Date with preschoolers and seniors.  Bead bracelets which tell the salvation story are a great craft idea to do with this group.
2.         (Grace, Loves Park)  They host an after school program called “Friday FunFest” for their local public school families one day per week.  They also host a community Easter Egg hunt in which their Holy Week schedule is printed on the bags, which the children use for the egg hunt.  They also make very intentional efforts to invite their school families to church events and their church families to school events.
3.         (Immanuel, Belvidere)  They are hosting author, Marc Brown, at their campus this week.  They are busing in students from local day care centers, Catholic schools, etc, as well has having their own students, homeschool students and other families joining them for this special event which will host lots of people in their sanctuary.  It was planned strategically to be a week before Easters so people might feel comfortable with their building and ministry in hopes that some families might come back for Easter.  They are anticipating @700 people at this event.  It was advertised in the local media and on their church sign.
4.         (Immanuel, Belvidere)  They hosted a “Chamber of Commerce” luncheon at their sight.  Their sixth graders did a skit.  The admissions director talked about their school as well as taking people on building tours.  There was special invitations to the local police, firemen, and aldermen.
5.         (Immanuel, Belvidere)  “Celebrity Reading Day” :  They bring in players from the “Ice Hawks” who read and talk with the students and their families.  “Rockford Peach” has been there, too.  This is a very well received event in the community.
6.         (Rockford Lutheran)  Rockford Lutheran is very open to hosting events for the community and local schools.    They also are hosting an upcoming “Family Pillow Fight and Comedy Night” for everyone
7.         (Alpine Academy)  Alpine Academy recently experienced a fire, which took place only 30 minutes before their Childrens Christmas Service.  Everyone was safe and they are close to being done doing the necessary clean up and rebuilding of certain areas of their building.  The blessings from this fire is that the local media is showing them much favor and interest in hosting stories about their rebuilding, as well as many of their special events.  They are using this special media advantage to get the word out to more people about their school and church.
8.         (St. Peter, Arlington Heights)  Information was shared about their yearly “Community Open House” which has multiple objectives:
·         A fun family fellowship activity for their own students and their families. 
·         An easy way for their present families to invite their friends and family to come to “their school.”
·         A way for new families who are showing interest in the school to experience the “school climate” and meet some of the existing families. 
These Community Open Houses are thematic in nature and are designed by the various departments of the school.  Each department (preschool, kindergarten, primary, intermediate, and middle school)  hosts a special activity related to the theme in their section of the building.  In this way, the students and families get a chance to move around the various parts of the building and interact with the various faculty and staff members.  The admissions counselor coordinates the details of this evening along with a committee of the teachers.  Tours are given by present parents so they are able to share their perspectives on the school.  Special welcome bags are passed out to new families.  Both new families who have already enrolled as well as those families who have made any type of contact with the school are invited to this event.  This event takes place during “enrollment season” of each year (usually March).

Other related discussions and resources:

1.         What are the spiritual pressures of young families of today?
·                     A lack of peace about what is going on around them and their families in today’s world.
·                     Time constraints/too much stress/busyness
·                     Not knowing/understanding the developmental needs of their children
2.         How do we meet the need of today’s young families?
·                     Talk with families about these topics,  especially during appropriate “teachable moments.”
·                     Give parents opportunities for some respite with some planned “nights out.”
·                     Use updated technology (as young families are so inclined to do and use) to complete tasks such as enrollment, financial payments, sign in & out, record keeping etc.  Grace, Loves Park charges $4 - $5 per month per child as a technology fee to cover the cost of these types of technology.  They are presently in the process of switching to “Smart Care” for many of these (& more) child care management tasks.  Other similar programs are:
                  -Jack Rabbit Care
-ProCare  ( their internet site is temporarily down)

Lockdown Drill Window Covers
New Classroom Hallway Signs!
Blue Calming Covers for Ceiling Lights

 East Network School of the Month: Immanuel Lutheran, Batavia

Next Meeting:  Thursday, April 14 at St. Johns Lutheran Preschool and Early Childhood Center,  Darien.  Please contact Nancy Chibe at or 630-324-6582 to RSVP.      The meeting topic will be “Developmentally Appropriate Practice.”

Meeting Topic:      Missional  Outreach
Practical Ideas-
1.         (Our Savior, Carol Stream)  They have a yearly theme.  This year’s theme is “I Am Jesus Little Lamb.”  They had a real lamb at the Open House before school started.  The students could get their photo taken with the lamb.  These photos were then used on a “welcoming” bulletin board for the first day of school.  Also at the Open House:  lamb cookies.
2.         (St. Paul, Aurora)  A discussion took place regarding whether it is appropriate to have preschoolers in the “Opening Day” chapel.   It is often hard for many of the young children and their families since they are not yet used to the school and often worship experiences.
3.         (Immanuel, Batavia & St. Peter, Arlington Heights)  These schools host a “Blessing of the Backpacks” at a fellowship event like a school picnic before the school year starts.
4.         (Our Savior, Carol Stream)  It is important to include the pastors in your school as much as possible.  It is helpful when they can make time to “meet and greet” at the door in the mornings as well as learn the names of the young children
5.         (St. Peter, Arlington Heights)  They host a “Boo-Whoo Hoo” party on the first day of school for the parents.  It helps them celebrate the new school year as well as develop a strong support system with the other parents, especially those who are having a hard time with their young children going off to school for the first time.  This event is about 1 – 1.5 hours in length with food and informal fellowship.
6.         (St. Peter, Arlington Heights)    A book student of “Joining Jesus on the Mission” was used with their staff and congregation to assist individuals with learning about missional outreach.  Easy read, lots of practical and spiritual suggestions.
7.         (St. Paul, Aurora)  They shared about their “Join the Force” program (Fathers-of-Real-Cool- Education).  It uses introductory activities such as their “Donuts with Dad” program to introduce the dads to each other and the school.  It is held twice per year before the school day starts.  At that event there is opportunities to meet the other dads as well as learn about how they can become more involved with their school. 
8.         (St Paul, Aurora)  “City Limits” is an non-traditional worship opportunity in one of the downtown “establishments” on a Sunday morning.  It offers families and individuals an alternate look to worship and fellowship on a Sunday morning.
9.         (St. Peter, Arlington Heights & Mike Zimmer/NID)  Some missional outreach handouts were shared. 
Classroom Quilt

ABC Game

Classroom Altar

Bulletin Board






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