Christ the Teacher
by the hand of Kh Denise Reardon
The function of All Saints children’s Church School is to nurture the religious and spiritual development of our children through both formal and informal instruction in the beliefs and practices of Orthodox Christianity.
All Saints church school meets every Sunday, beginning the second weekend in September and ending on the feast of Pentecost. We meet for approximately 45 minutes, immediately following Divine Liturgy. The children’s program serves preschool through high school. In addition, there is an adult church school class (led by Fr. Patrick), and a nursery for infants and toddlers.
All visitors are invited to join us for coffee, snacks, and Sunday School immediately after Divine Liturgy.
- Nursery age: There is a playroom for children under 3 years of age, supervised by parents of the children, during Sunday School. There is a separate nursery room for moms to nurse and infants to nap.
- Preschool: Children join the prescho0l class on their 3rd birthday, and remain in this class until the fall they enter Kindergarten. The focus of this class is adjustment to a classroom setting, Bible stories, Saints lives, and basic liturgical “etiquette”.
- Grades K-2: This class continues to develop the themes of the preschool class, with strong focus on Bible, the liturgical year, worship, and sacraments.
- Grades 3-4: We begin our rotation through cycles of material with this class: Year 1 is Life of Christ; Year 2 Divine Liturgy/ Sacraments.
- Grades 5-6: Year one Old Testament; Year 2 Book of Acts
- Grades 7-8: A study of the basics of Orthodox theology, worship, church history, and moral teaching is done in Year 1. Year 2 covers the Liturgical Year.
- High School: High School class is for students in grades 9-11. Curriculum varies year to year but will cover Scripture, Church history, and Patristics, as well as topical lessons on various issues of concern to teens today. The focus for the 2012/2013 school year will be a study of the Church Fathers and Church history.
- Senior independent study: This program for High School seniors was piloted during our 2008-2009 year and met with very positive feedback. Our high school seniors attend adult church school some Sundays, and meet with a mentor for more directed study of topics of interest/concern to the student, as well as discussion of the student(s)’ transition into the life of the church as an adult. Two high school seniors are scheduled to complete this program in the 2012/2013 school year.
- Adults: Adult Sunday School is led by Father Patrick, and meets in the fellowship hall immediately following coffee and snacks.
Our church school teachers meet 3-4 times during the course of the school year to ensure that we stay on track and to plan for additional special lessons as time allows.
Periodically, the church school director holds meetings of parent/teacher groups to consider curriculum revisions. Our standards for units of study at All Saints include a focus on materials which are visually/graphically interesting, lessons that are interactive as well as theoretical, and vigilance regarding content.
Special programs/speakers are also scheduled for the entire church school. These programs include:
- Music program, with the goal of increasing Liturgical participation of students
- Guest speakers to include missionaries, clergy, iconographers, service workers
- Service projects (in or out of classroom)
- Comparative religion/apologetics
- “Detox” – countering anti-Christian messages from the secular culture
Except for our very successful music program, not all of these special programs are done every year. In the 2012/2013 school year, we plan to partner with some of our long-term missionaries in order to increase the students’ awareness of, and participation in, the mission work of the church.
Each year, we try to do some type of special presentation. This year, we are planning a Nativity pageant to be held on Sunday December 16th.
On our patronal feast of All Saints, we have our year-end festivities. This includes the presentation of gifts to all students, and honoring of our graduates. Our year-end gift program consists of components of a personal prayer corner and library, with recommendations for parents and students regarding the development of a personal habit of prayer and spiritual reading. We also have a display of the students’ work downstairs in the basement, and a short performance of Liturgical music by the students immediately after Liturgy.
Our staff for the 2012/2013 year is:Director:
- Susan Letendre
- Christy Kellar, Sarah Kellar
- Preschool : Carolyn Freve, Sarah Kellar
- Grades K-2: Maria Cucuras, Christy Kellar
- Grades 3-4: James Stapleton, Julie Vassilatos
- Grades 5-6: Susan Letendre
- Grades 7-8: John Coatney
- High School : Joseph Letendre, Walid Abdul Karim
- Music: Elizabeth Betten
- Debbie Kellar, Shelby Kellar, Gosia Gumushian, Renata Moca, Kathleen Welch
We thank you all for your prayers and support.