Summer Sunday school is more like summer camp than Sunday school, with fun activities that often emphasize being part of a cooperative group. All ages from gr. K-8 are invited to join in. Middle schoolers make take on leadership roles by helping the lead teacher. High school students are always welcome to participate as co-teachers with the lead teacher. Summer Sunday school is a great way for kids to meet other kids of all ages, and it helps us towards one of our four major educational goals of building community.
Here are the planned activities that we’ll do in summer Sunday school:
June 30: Edie Keating will lead charades and other fun games.
July 7: Edie Keating will take everyone on a field trip to Mitchell Park (permission forms required, as we will be going off campus).
July 14: Kids help Edie Keating and other adults make Second Sunday Lunch.
July 21: Edie Keating, assisted by Dan Harper, will show how to decorate jars to make an attractive container.
July 28: Paul Kostka, assisted by Dan Harper, will teach kids how to make using paper and masking tape. Then we will launch the rockets using compressed air at Mitchell Park (parents join kids at Mitchell Park for the all church picnic; permission forms required, as we will be going off campus).
August 4: To be determined.
One of our OWL teachers works as a therapist with children and adolescents. She recommends the following resources for parents who are trying to get a handle on the complicated issues of social media use by children and teens, cyberbullying, and related issues:
There’s been a small controversy in Mountain View High School (where some of our UUCPA teens go to school, or will soon go to school) about a special section in the school newspaper on sex and relationships. Some parents objected to the articles written by the student journalists, but Superintendent Barry Groves and other school officials backed up the student journalists. Kudos to Groves — teens need good information about human sexuality, in whatever form they are most comfortable getting it.
I wrote a letter supporting the student journalists’ efforts to report on this topic, which you can read here. (I’ll also include the text of my letter after the jump, if you want to read it on this site).
If you’re a resident of Mountain View, Los Altos, or Los Altos Hills, you may want to write a letter of support to Superintendent Barry Groves for his support of the rights of student journalists to report on this topic.
— Rev. Dan Harper
Continue reading “Supporting sexuality education in the wider community”
On Sunday, June 3, we did our annual evaluation session with children here at UUCPA. 14 children participated, representing all classes in grades K-8. First we brainstormed a list of everything the children could remember doing at church during the past year, and then the children voted on their favorite activities. I’ve included a lesson plan at the very end of this post, and a more complete description of the process is available here. The complete brainstormed list appears after this executive summary.
The children remembered a variety of kinds of church activities, ranging from Sunday services and Sunday school, to after-service activities and evening events. For regular Sunday services, the children remembered singing hymns. They also remembered two intergenerational services, Flower Communion and Water Communion, and one older child remembered being asked to speak in a Sunday service.
For Sunday school, the children in the grade 2-3 class remembered the most specific activities; this may well have been because there were more children from this class than from any other class. Many children remembered the giant Jenga game that the middle school class played after Sunday services; this game originated as a Sunday school activity. Quite a few children remembered activities from the Peace Experiment program, which is not surprising since that program just ended.
This year, the Children and Youth Religious Education Committee worked on improving the after-service activities, and this appeared to pay off in terms of what the children remembered. The children remembered (and said they liked) the second Sunday lunches and the fourth Sunday brunches, the ice cream social, the Maypole dance, and the Easter egg hunt. As in past years, the children remembered and liked drinking hot chocolate after the service, though this was not as popular as in previous years, perhaps because there is now more for children to do after the service.
More detailed information follows…. Continue reading “Evaluation session with kids”