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  COMMITTEE REPORT
 Religious Education

The Religious Education program continues to provide a warm, accepting and engaging environment for all of Meetings’ youth. We have had enough teachers to cover the classes and provide a meaningful experience for the students. Our numbers are low student wise, but the quality of the program remains high. We have combined our age ranges in the lower grades to create a larger class. We still have a full and vibrant Middle School and Young Friends group.

FUND RAISING
The Religious Education Committee (REC) created a schedule of events to ensure fundraising activities throughout the year. These fundraising efforts support the Young Friends Service Trip, such as the one to Big Creek People in Action, in Coretta, West Virginia in the summer of 2019, which occur every two years..

The fundraising activities included a poinsettia sale, tye-dye T-shirt sale at the Fall Festival, two barbecue dinners, a pasta dinner and dinner at The Pour House. The Committee greatly appreciates Meeting’s continued support of the Young Friends efforts to make these trips a reality.

SERVICE PROJECTS
The Young and Middle School Friends had a bake sale to raise money for disaster relief for Puerto Rico.

The First Day School “adopted a family” at Christmas time for the Lord Panty . They raised money, bought the gifts, and wrapped them.

The First Day students also helped with a few projects around the grounds of the Meeting.

Valentine Day Cards, homemade by the students, continue to be sent to selected individuals to brighten their day.

First Day School Breakfast had their annual food and money collection for the Lords Pantry.

Middle Schoolers made a Salvation Army dinner.

EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES
The Holiday Term annually features a trip to Broad Run Tree Farm, the making or ornaments and decorating of the tree, and baking cookies for the Meeting Christmas Party.

The REC sponsors an annual Easter Egg Hunt at the nearby home of two Meeting members which is always a fun time for all.

CURRICULUM
One of the most significant areas Committee members have been addressing is the First Day School curriculum. Members have reviewed the entire pre-existing curriculum and cataloged it. Now we’ve reshaped into a 2-3 year plan for the FDS classes from pre-k through middle school. The current layout for each year of classes is as follows:

    Fall                     Winter                    Spring

Quakerism            Self & Others                Bible

Each year the material varies and will be cumulative. Members of the committee have developed lesson plans for each grade and subject. In addition, we’ve established Guidelines for Religious Education to provide insight to the teachers on what Quakers believe and to help guide them in the classroom. We shared this document with Meeting and met the glowing approval of Business Meeting in July.

The Committee has developed critical understandings and assessments for each class. Goals have been established and a form developed that teachers complete at the end of the term. These forms provide feedback from the teachers and assist the REC to determine if they have met the criteria and if changes need to be made.

Teacher Manuals
The REC has created teacher manuals for each classroom. They’re used for teacher orientations which occur for all new teachers at the beginning of each term. We’ll be keeping a copy of the manual, containing the following documents, in each classroom:

Mission Statement
Teacher Notes
FDS Calendar
Attendance Sheets
New Family Welcome Letters
Child Safety Policy
FDS Roster/census
Photo Release Form
Teacher Guidelines
Critical Understandings and Assessments
End of Term Feedback/ Evaluation Form




Major projects that the committee has embarked upon in the last several years include the following:

Creating guidelines for Religious Education.
Reviewing all of the previously developed religious education curriculum.
The development of a new curriculum.
Instituting the Child Safety Policy and a parental permission for the use of
photographs for all of Meeting’s children.
The creation of curriculum goals and objectives for each class. 
Creation of a feedback/evaluation form.
The development of a lesson plan form.
Initiating Godly Play.
The development of a teacher manual and an orientation for teachers.

LEGAL REQUIREMENTS
The Committee continues to collect and track all required clearances for all who volunteers for First Day School. Additionally, orientations occur with teachers each term, to be sure they know their responsibilities and information regarding teaching our youth.

The REC greatly appreciates the support and involvement of all who contribute in so many different ways to our programs. The involvement of members and attenders helps make our program what it is and makes such a positive impact on our youth.

Download our First Day School Guidelines for Teachers.

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