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[dre-talk] Oct. Topic - Programs

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  • Katveee@aol.com
    Now that October is here, most of our programs have started or will shortly. So let s find out about each other s programs. What is your program called? Are
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 1, 1999
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      Now that October is here, most of our programs have started or will shortly.
      So let's find out about each other's programs. What is your program called?
      Are you paid, do you have benefits and do you have other paid Rel. Ed Staff?

      When do you hold registration? Do parents pay registration fees? How much
      per child? What if they say they can't afford to pay? Do they pay a
      different amount if they are not registered parishioners? Do you accept out
      of parish enrollments? Do you accept late registrations and if so do you
      have a guideline for them? Do any of you offer summer programs,
      homeschooling or other non-school year model program?

      What days and times do you have class and do they meet weekly? How many
      sessions do you have each year and how long are they? How many students are
      coming? How large is your parish? Do you offer bilingual programs and are
      you responsible for it? What is the average # of students/teachers/aides in
      each class and what is the teacher/student ratio? Any ideas on encouraging
      regular attendance. Do you share space with a parish school? If so, any
      creative ideas on how to make it better?
      In general tell us about religious Ed in your parish and a little about
      yourself and your responsibilities in the program.

      I'd like to welcome any new members. My name is Kathy and I am the
      listowner. I post a topic each month as a discussion starter, not as a
      discussion limiter. You are free to post on any subject relating to your
      role as a coordinator, DRE or Catechetical leader in your parish. Our rules
      are simple, religious education is our subject. We focus on ways we can
      become better at what we do by learning from each other

      I ask that you not forward cute stories, chain letters or other such things
      to this
      list unless you are telling us how you use with your volunteers or students.

      We have over 100 members and our purpose is to support each other by sharing
      our leadership skills and resources, our successes and failures in our roles
      as leaders in our church. I welcome any ideas on topics that you would like
      the group to discuss. I am also open to holding a chatroom time for the
      group if anyone is interested. (Only members of this group would allowed to
      chat)

      Keep in mind when you post a reply to a dre-talk@egroups.com , it goes to
      everyone on the list. You can email me or other list members by using their
      individual email addresses.

      Egroups provides us with this list, they are the ones who put the ads on the
      messages. If you go to their homepage and register: http://www.egroups.com
      you will have access to our archives (so you can see all the ideas posted in
      the past few months). You will also have access to our links. I'm hoping to
      start posting websites on the links page that may be helpful to us. If you
      have any great sites, you should be able to post them also. Let's keep them
      related to teaching religion, not general Catholic links.

      There is also a vault, a place where you can upload files that you think
      would be of interest to the group. I'm not too up on attaching files, so
      maybe someone out there could give us some direction on making good use of
      the vault rather than attaching files to our emails.


      Have a great month!

      Kathy
    • DAN1SCHWIE@aol.com
      Hi, Some ways we serve a 1,000 children in an inner city neighborhood through Sunday classes and doctrina in the public schools during the week. See
      Message 2 of 5 , Oct 4, 1999
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        Hi,

        Some ways we serve a 1,000 children in an inner city neighborhood through
        Sunday classes and "doctrina" in the public schools during the week. See
        attachment.
      • barbara shropshire
        Our formation for children 2 years through 8th grade is called STAR--Sunday: Together And Rejoicing. I am the Coordinator of Children s Religious Formation
        Message 3 of 5 , Oct 5, 1999
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          Our formation for children 2 years through 8th grade is called STAR--Sunday:
          Together And Rejoicing. I am the Coordinator of Children's Religious
          Formation for 30 hours a week (this includes STAR, Sacramental Prep for 1st
          Penance,1st Communion and RCIA adapted for children, Vacation Bible School,
          Gather the Children, and Junior High Youth Ministry). 30 hours is the
          minimum number of hours needed to qualify for benefits and retirement in the
          Diocese of Fort Worth. I am the only one paid to oversee the children. We
          also have paid adult and teen staff persons.

          We begin registration with the first class time in August (public and
          private schools now begin in late July or early August). The catechists
          register the families when they come to visit their classroom for open
          house. For the first time this year we have no registration fees after
          consultation with the Formation Commission. We ask for a love offering or
          donation based on what the families can afford to pay (if they press us we
          suggest $20/child, $40/family). This way there is no financial burden for
          families who cannot afford it. We do not charge for Sacramental Preparation
          (1st Penance, 1st Communion, RCIA adapted for children). We pray that
          through their joining the church, they will practice good stewardship and
          offer their time, talent, and resources so that others will be able to use
          the church when they cannot afford to pay. We take money throughout the
          year whenever the families would like to donate. Families can register
          throughout the year whenever the spirit calls them! We register families
          who are not parishioners, some who are not Catholic as well. We do not
          offer a summer program other than Vacation Bible School. Parents who choose
          to home school their children receive the catechists' newsletter and all
          their materials to help them teach at home.

          We are a parish of about 750 families with a school (3year through 8th). We
          have about 100 families in our STAR and we only meet on Sunday mornings
          between the Masses from 10:30-11:45 a.m. in the school building. We begin
          in the middle of August and continue until the first weekend in May. We
          have about 185 students. We do not offer bilingual programs, however, we do
          have bilingual teachers who usually help with the few parents who only speak
          Spanish. We also have a large Vietnamese population, however, we are now in
          the 2nd and 3rd generation and many do not speak Vietnamese. Their children
          prefer an English-speaking environment, however, the Vietnamese national
          church offers classes in Vietnamese for those who do speak, read, and write
          in Vietnamese.

          Each class usually has two team teachers and aides if necessary.Our
          student/catechist-aide ratio is about 8:1.We encourage attendance by sending
          postcards to those children who miss a session. If they miss three in a
          row, I usually call to find out if the child is sick or there is a family
          difficulty or they just don't want to participate anymore.

          Sharing the school has been a challenge throughout the years (I have been in
          charge of the Sunday School for 15 years). However, the principals and
          teachers are usually quite helpful and willing to share. We try to practice
          good stewardship and take care of electricity, trash, facilities, and
          materials whenever necessary. We are raising awareness with a discussion of
          CAtholic Education WEek as opposed to Catholic Schools Week and educating
          everyone that the school is a part of the parish, a part of facilities, and
          is to be shared by all parishioners as we all tithe for the same reasons--to
          build up the body of Christ and bring others to Christ. I meet with the
          teachers in the school at their in-service before school starts to introduce
          myself and then keep in touch with them and the principal throughout the
          year. I also help teach at special times so I can get to know everyone
          better. Some of our catechists are parents/guardians of children in the
          school as well and this keeps the dialogue open.

          This year the Pastoral Council approved a proposal to expand STAR to all
          children in the parish and their families. We began adult formation
          (computer class, Christology course, Bible study, Small Church Community),
          encouraged use of the nursery during this time, and offered coffee hour for
          those who would just like to relax and visit. It has been a great success
          due to one of our catechists and her vision coupled with more of an idea of
          Family Life. Also, our parishioners tend to like to spend Sunday morning as
          their faith time as opposed to other days or times of the week.

          We also began Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in the preschool and are using
          the Catechism (RCL) and Bible study (in 1st-8th) which the parish school
          does not use. This encourages families to give it a try because we are not
          doing the same thing as the school and we can offer community (or children's
          ministry) for all the parish children as well as service and worship. Two of
          our parishioners are liturgists for the preschool and older children. We
          are now in the process of trying to discern a coordinator of social outreach
          and a coordinator of hospitality to help the children and families in
          service and community.


          >From: Katveee@...
          >Reply-To: dre-talk@egroups.com
          >To: dre-talk@egroups.com
          >Subject: [dre-talk] Oct. Topic - Programs
          >Date: Fri, 1 Oct 1999 10:29:44 EDT
          >
          >Now that October is here, most of our programs have started or will
          >shortly.
          >So let's find out about each other's programs. What is your program
          >called?
          >Are you paid, do you have benefits and do you have other paid Rel. Ed
          >Staff?
          >
          >When do you hold registration? Do parents pay registration fees? How much
          >per child? What if they say they can't afford to pay? Do they pay a
          >different amount if they are not registered parishioners? Do you accept
          >out
          >of parish enrollments? Do you accept late registrations and if so do you
          >have a guideline for them? Do any of you offer summer programs,
          >homeschooling or other non-school year model program?
          >
          >What days and times do you have class and do they meet weekly? How many
          >sessions do you have each year and how long are they? How many students are
          >coming? How large is your parish? Do you offer bilingual programs and are
          >you responsible for it? What is the average # of students/teachers/aides
          >in
          >each class and what is the teacher/student ratio? Any ideas on encouraging
          >regular attendance. Do you share space with a parish school? If so, any
          >creative ideas on how to make it better?
          >In general tell us about religious Ed in your parish and a little about
          >yourself and your responsibilities in the program.
          >
          >I'd like to welcome any new members. My name is Kathy and I am the
          >listowner. I post a topic each month as a discussion starter, not as a
          >discussion limiter. You are free to post on any subject relating to your
          >role as a coordinator, DRE or Catechetical leader in your parish. Our
          >rules
          >are simple, religious education is our subject. We focus on ways we can
          >become better at what we do by learning from each other
          >
          >I ask that you not forward cute stories, chain letters or other such things
          >to this
          >list unless you are telling us how you use with your volunteers or
          >students.
          >
          >We have over 100 members and our purpose is to support each other by
          >sharing
          >our leadership skills and resources, our successes and failures in our
          >roles
          >as leaders in our church. I welcome any ideas on topics that you would
          >like
          >the group to discuss. I am also open to holding a chatroom time for the
          >group if anyone is interested. (Only members of this group would allowed
          >to
          >chat)
          >
          >Keep in mind when you post a reply to a dre-talk@egroups.com , it goes to
          >everyone on the list. You can email me or other list members by using
          >their
          >individual email addresses.
          >
          >Egroups provides us with this list, they are the ones who put the ads on
          >the
          >messages. If you go to their homepage and register:
          >http://www.egroups.com
          >you will have access to our archives (so you can see all the ideas posted
          >in
          >the past few months). You will also have access to our links. I'm hoping
          >to
          >start posting websites on the links page that may be helpful to us. If you
          >have any great sites, you should be able to post them also. Let's keep
          >them
          >related to teaching religion, not general Catholic links.
          >
          >There is also a vault, a place where you can upload files that you think
          >would be of interest to the group. I'm not too up on attaching files, so
          >maybe someone out there could give us some direction on making good use of
          >the vault rather than attaching files to our emails.
          >
          >
          > Have a great month!
          >
          >Kathy
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >------------------------------------------------------------------------
          >
          >eGroups.com home: http://www.egroups.com/group/dre-talk
          >http://www.egroups.com - Simplifying group communications
          >
          >
          >
          >

          ______________________________________________________
        • MicheleIW@aol.com
          Hi, I am really enjoying the descriptions of people s programs. We have gotten some great ideas. At St. Joachim s my title is the traditional one of Director
          Message 4 of 5 , Oct 7, 1999
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            Hi, I am really enjoying the descriptions of people's programs. We have
            gotten some great ideas. At St. Joachim's my title is the traditional one of
            Director of Religious Education, responsible for coordinating all
            catechetical programs from Infant Baptism to adult education. I am paid with
            benefits and retirement, and have a part-time (15 hours) paid (no benefits)
            coordinator for our Spanish-speaking program and a full-time assistant (paid
            with benefits and retirement) for both of us. We did have paid p/t youth
            ministers (10 hours per week each) until last June. I am now coordinating a
            volunteer core group of youth and adults.
            Our catechetical programs for Pre-K to 6th are lectionary-based. In the
            English-speaking program we use an extended Liturgy of the Word model,
            proclaiming and breaking open the Word in a ritual setting. We use Celebratin
            g the Lectionary supplemented with Faith First and other resources. Each
            week I send home a Family Activity sheet that continues the lesson from
            Sunday. It includes the gospel reading with a brief background, prayer
            suggestions, outreach and living the Word ideas.
            The first-year Spanish-speaking program uses Amigo de Jesus, supplemented
            with prayer and other resources. The second year is using Harcourt Brace's Ce
            lebrar Nuestra Fe.
            In our deanery and almost throughout the diocese, sacrament formation is a
            two-year process. During the second year parents and children gather for 5
            celebrations and 8 meetings spread out through the year (adapted from the old
            We Celebrate Eucharist). We only have a parish formation program that both
            the public and catholic school families attend.
            On registration: We take people whenever they come. Being lectionary-based
            helps us do that. To qualify for a full-year, though, people must be
            registered and attending for at least 22 out of the 30 sessions. During the
            summer we send home re-registration forms and parents can just call to update
            their information. They then only have to stop in to sign the emergency
            forms. We do accept people from out of the parish. If they were part of a
            catechetical program or catholic school the previous year, we request a
            letter from that parish.
            On fees: The English-speaking program has not raised the registration fee
            for a few years. We ask $75 for 1, $80 for 2 and $85 for a family. School
            families who participate pay $45. Youth Ministry with no children in preK-6,
            pay $50. For the Spanish-speaking program, it is $55 for 1 and $5 for each
            additional child. We take payment for the fee, send billing reminders, and
            expect that people make some attempt at payment. If they are unable to pay,
            we forgive the debt. The Church contributes $800 a month as a subsidy for
            formation programs such as Infant Baptism, the catechumenate and other adult
            programs.
            Expectations: Our parish goal is to animate all to full and active
            participation in the mission of Jesus Christ in the world through liturgy,
            the Word, prayer, community and faith formation. We encourage families to
            bring food offerings each week which are shared with those less fortunate in
            our area. We have other outreach programs that we invite them to participate
            in also.
            We have struggled for years with parents who drop their children off, but are
            not at all connected with the Church. We are very concerned about the
            families coming for sacraments, but are not regularly participating at Sunday
            Eucharist. Last year the Spanish-speaking program began expecting parents to
            have 10 hours of involvement in the life of the parish. With that
            involvement they found that parents felt more at home and began to come to
            Mass. We are adopting that expectation for the rest of the catechetical
            programs. The involvement can be as aides, liturgical ministers,
            participants in adult ed opportunities, helping with festivals, really almost
            anything beyond attendance at Sunday Mass. We hope it offers people an
            opportunity to experience Church in a way that is inviting.
            Days and Times: The Spanish-speaking first year meets on Friday evenings from
            6-7. The post-communion and junior high (Spanish & English) meet from 7-8.
            The second-year Spanish-speaking meet Saturday nights from 5-6.
            The English-speaking preK-6 meet Sunday mornings during the 9:00 or 10:30
            Masses with post-communion children coming a half-hour before and then
            joining their families for the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Each session lasts
            about an hour and fifteen minutes.

            The Family Catechumenate gathers for 15-30 minutes after the 10:30 Mass each
            week. All children are enrolled in the Liturgy of the Word catechetical
            session also.
            Youth Ministry for high school is on Mondays and/or Friday nights from 7-8:30.

            We are an urban parish of 3000 families with a Catholic school of 315
            children. Our preK-6 English and Spanish catechetical programs have about
            550 children. We share space with the school. Our 7-8 may have about 50
            and the high school may have another 50 or so.
            We have regular attendance. Families who might have children absent do call
            to let us know.

            In sharing space with the school, we have had only a few instances of
            difficulties through the years. It has helped that the administration has
            been supportive and understanding. I send a letter to the teachers at the
            beginning of each year explaining that on the weekend over 500 children will
            be using the space and to please put away anything they are concerned about.
            Some of the Catechists gather the children on blankets or rugs on the floor,
            at tables in the room for projects and. One bought a vinyl material to put
            over the tops of the desks which discouraged little hands from wandering. We
            are going to purchase more for the other catechists.

            Catechist Ratio: We have about 20 children in each grouping with two
            Catechists in each. We have young helpers who assist in the groups.
          • Heidi M Kellett
            ... What is your program called? We found parents had a hard time changing from CCD so we changed what the acronym stands for - in our program it is for
            Message 5 of 5 , Oct 12, 1999
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              On Fri, 1 Oct 1999 10:29:44 EDT Katveee@... writes:
              > Now that October is here, most of our programs have started or will
              > shortly.
              > So let's find out about each other's programs.

              What is your program called? We found parents had a hard time
              changing from "CCD" so we changed what the acronym stands for - in our
              program it is for "Children's Catholic Development", for grade school
              children, and "Continuing Catholic Development" from 7th grade on -
              stressing the importance of continuing to learn about our faith.
              Are you paid, do you have benefits and do you have other paid Rel. Ed
              Staff? I am not paid by my choice (it's a long story); the secretary
              and a Religious Ed Committee (volunteers) helps me.
              When do you hold registration? August & September
              Do parents pay registration fees? Yes
              How much per child? $15.00 What if they say they can't afford to
              pay? Many can't . We tell them the education of their children is more
              important than the money, and not to worry about it.
              Do they pay a different amount if they are not registered parishioners?
              no
              Do you accept out of parish enrollments? infrequently
              Do you accept late registrations and if so do you have a guideline for
              them? no, although this may change.
              Do any of you offer summer programs, homeschooling or other non-school
              year model program? VBS is our only summer program, and several
              families homeschool each year. While summer attendance would be a
              problem, I believe a year-round program would be more beneficial to the
              children.
              What days and times do you have class and do they meet weekly? Every
              Sunday 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. (this is likely to change next year when
              our Mass schedule changes, but the kids like being able to sleep in)
              How many sessions do you have each year and how long are they? about
              33 sessions one hour and 15 minutes.
              How many students are coming? 130
              How large is your parish? about 200 families
              Do you offer bilingual programs and are you responsible for it? no &
              no
              What is the average # of students/teachers/aides in each class ?
              14/1/1
              Any ideas on encouraging regular attendance. Attendance awards, and
              involving parents.
              Do you share space with a parish school? no
              If so, any creative ideas on how to make it better? Interact with the
              school class.(leave riddles...)
              In general tell us about religious Ed in your parish and a little about
              yourself and your responsibilities in the program.
              >I've coordinated the program for five years now, during this time it has
              grown from 50 to 130 students. We have added "Continuing Catholic
              Development" classes for grades 9-12, as well as monthly youth
              activities. Teacher's aides have become very valuable - classes are
              easier to manage; they will often substitute for their teacher; and
              several have returned to teach in following years. Additionally and a
              little sadly, it is "safer" to have two adults in a class, even in an
              innocent country community such as ours. We are always striving to keep
              ahead of our growth (Columbus, Ohio is spilling over into Plain City),
              which has, and will continue to cause changes in Mass schedules, class
              locations, etc. We tried offering classes on Wednesday evenings with
              very poor results, and currently have one Mass before, and one Mass after
              CCD. Most recently, our Pastor moved to another house so the
              residence/office he was in could be converted to much-needed
              office/classroom space, complete with a teen center in what was the
              garage. The teens are dying to decorate it 70's style, of course!

              Once my four boys, ages 3,5,7, and 9 are all in school, I hope to pursue
              a Master's degree in Religious Education. This is so much more
              interesting and rewarding than being a CPA!

              I've learned alot from dre-talk, thanks to everyone who has written in.

              Heidi Kellett
              CCD Coordinator
              St. Joseph Church - Plain City, Ohio
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