Monday, September 29, 2008

A children's class begins in Reno

Perhaps you have participated in a teaching effort and found that many people you spoke to were interested in—or requested—a Bahá’í children’s class for their children. So an obvious question is, How do you now cross the bridge from “People are interested” to “It’s now begun”? What does it look like to set up and start a children’s class? Let us take a quick peek at Reno, NV (A), where the friends describe the first day of a children’s class they have started at one apartment complex.

We met at 3 pm to set up, go over who was going to do which part of the class, and to pray. At 3:50 we went around to invite to the class children of families who had previously expressed interest in it. Class was planned to start at 4 pm, but started closer to 4:30 with a group of three children and one parent of two of the children, but it soon grew to a group of ten children, plus another two that popped in periodically. . . .

It was a hot day but the class was held in the shade of a large tree.

The class opened with a prayer. The children learned a prayer by coming up with hand signs for the different parts.

A junior youth led everyone in the song “We Are Drops”.

The children began to learn a quote and the meanings of some of the words in it.

Children helped to pass out boards, clips and coloring pages, and everyone took crayons.

The Bahá’ís present modeled good manners by using “Please” and “Thank You” when asking for a different color crayon. The children quickly embraced this way of interacting.

The children’s finished coloring pages with their names on them were shown to the group and kept by the teachers to be later compiled into books of their work to take home to their parents. The children were wonderful at helping to gather up supplies so we could move on to the next activity.

The junior youth led a game. We all helped tie the children’s legs together “three-legged” style. The junior youth demonstrated how to walk together and then led the rest of the children around various obstacles.

At the end, the children were eager to help gather and put everything away.

Overall, the children were very happy to participate in the activities of memorizing the prayer and quotation, singing the song, and coloring.

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