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By Nancy Derr, Church School Director
A great day in our church school season is the Sunday falling closest to Valentine’s Day. Our Heart to Heart exchange puts two classes together, as widely spaced in age as we can manage, for all twelve classes. It’s a wonderful event, because we see our age-mates, whom we thought we knew, in different lights, and we make new friends.
Fourth graders and three-year-olds assembled puzzles on the floor, worked at the tables together on red and white creations, and learned each other’s names. The second grade joined the J2A for similar kinds of fun, snacks, games, and projects. The pilgrims took their crew of third graders on a church-wide scavenger hunt; the fifth grade and the pre-K paired up to decorate some incredible-looking cookies.
The seventh and eighth graders took their places at four stations, while the kindergarten and the first grade rotated around to them. Besides the absorbing valentine creation and cookie decoration, they enjoyed an animated story session and a corner devoted to games of Duck, Duck, Goose and I Spy. Even the teachers had new partners for the day, and many people saw a byway of the church they hadn’t known existed. It took a lot of planning, but it provided a terrific reward of new friends, new perspectives, and a new sense of belonging to our St. John’s community.
Although we had to count out the sixth grade, who made up time lost to our blizzard Sunday, I could say some of the same things about their special activity. They are singing, dancing, and acting their way through rehearsals for “Moses and the Freedom Fanatics,” to be presented to the parish at 10 am on Sunday, February 28. In this activity too we get enhanced attendance, different ways of interacting that help us bond with each other, and lots of excitement, as they work hard to prepare their musical.
I’ll close with a congratulations to the third grade class. Twenty-one of them received “The Action Bible,” a
graphic version of the Old and New Testaments that has once again proved its fascination for this age group. This big class grew by one more on Sunday, as Sebastian Yurcisin joined them. His sister Vivian was part of the kindergarten party in the Youth Room, a nice introduction for their family’s first Sunday at St. John’s.
I want to thank our teachers and the several substitutes who hosted our parties and Nike Refshauge for supplies and red drinks. They helped our children spread a vibrant Valentine’s Day spirit of affection for one another over our community.