Monday, September 10, 2007

Working with the Baha'i School

Permanent Bahá’í schools can be great partners for the Five Year Plan. Here is a brief account of how a study circle and Bosch Bahá’í School in Santa Cruz County North, CA (B) are working together to bring people into the Faith.

A couple attending a local study circle were encouraged by their hosts to attend a program at Bosch Bahá’í School designed for people investigating the Faith. At the session’s end, the couple called it a “life changing experience.” Indeed it was, for they became Bahá’ís while attending! As new believers, they were so enthused that they decided to return for the next session and bring along another friend from the same study circle. Hearing of the growing interest in these introductory sessions, and with encouragement, another friend from that same study circle decided to join them.

National Office of Education and Schools

Raising up youth for service

The permanent Bahá’í schools in the country are supporting the Five Year Plan in various ways. One particularly important focus has been to raise up youth to be human resources for the core activities. This report from Green Acre Bahá’í School in Eliot, ME (A) describes how youth in the summer program became empowered to serve as children’s class teachers.

Last summer, five youth volunteers arrived at Green Acre to serve as teachers for the children’s classes. Each of them had Institute training, with at least the first 3 Ruhi Books completed, and they were determined to strengthen their skills as teachers. When introduced to the materials used in the summer program, they literally squealed with excitement! They discovered a wealth of materials that they recognized would easily complement their Ruhi Book 3 training. The Children’s Program Coordinator was delighted with these young women, who could think on their feet and solve problems effectively. The children were drawn to them like magnets. At night, they would ask “how-to” questions about setting up neighborhood children’s classes in their home communities. By summer’s end, it was clear that they felt empowered to take the initiative when they returned home to start their own neighborhood children’s classes!

Office of Education and Schools

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Thrown to the Lions and Whales

Permanent Bahá’í schools play an important role in empowering young people to contribute to the core activities of the Five Year Plan. This report from Louhelen Bahá’í School in Davison, MI (C) shows how accompaniment and encouragement helped give one youth the confidence to serve as a children’s class teacher and as an animator of junior youth groups.

A recent high school graduate decided to offer service at Louhelen Bahá’í School for a few months, hoping to deepen her Faith before starting college. The experience surprised her. The very first day, she was thrown to the “Lions and Whales” as a teacher in the local community children’s class of that name. She had never taught children’s classes before, and, by her own admission, had always been afraid to try. With the support of her co-teachers and weekly practice, she reports, “I finally got over my fears and found that it was rewarding helping the children.

Later, she participated in training at Louhelen for animators of junior youth groups. She learned new games and songs and found the facilitators excellent. She described the program as “the best four days of my life”.

As a result of her experience at Louhelen, She is now better prepared to serve her community when she returns home and support the activities of the Five Year Plan.

Office of Education and Schools