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elliotpreciouspants asked, elliotpreciouspants gets....
you may want to re-think what you ask for from me!

i would LOVE to tell you all about our programs and the worm.
the worm is short for workshop rotation model. it is a website/grassroots movement that began (somewhat) in chicago by people who, like me, were tired of the same old way of t-r-y-i-n-g to 'teach' our kids. the typical, the boring, the flannel-graph, i talk-you hush, sit-still, make a craft-no-like-this, kids bored out of skulls, teachers bored to tears method.
it doesn't work. it never has. the kids who they taught this to years ago are me and my and our generation, how many are in churches? that's right, the ones with kids who think it's important to bring their kids to church even if they don't fully get why.

so, i searched. and searched, and asked questions and finally on i found people who were talking about the worm. and someone finally posted a comment that the worm could be found here...

and so i went. i read. i fell in love. with a sunday school program.

i'm not kidding. i know i sound like i'm nuts, but please believe me when i say, i'm 85% sane.

this is the best thing i could have ever found. technically, it's mostly for kids. but there are links, curriculum, programs that utilize the same method for older youth and adults. is a good one for older youth. they love it!

ok, but the worm. what it is is the kids are split into groups, we have them by age, but it could be done however works best. ours are split into 3 groups, prek-1st, 2nd-4th, and 5&6. these three groups all attend 3 workshops (usually, we are doing 4 right now) in rotation. as in, one week the 5&6 will go to art and make blankets, while the prek-1 are in the first aid station meeting a good samaritan and making first aid kits, and at the same time the 2-4th are working on our food pantry, inventorying, and learning how our food pantry helps a few of the people locally that need food.

the next week, the 5&6 will be in the food pantry, the prek-1 are in the blankets station, and the 2-4 are in first aid. and the third week it switches again. this way, the three age groups get to see everything, do everything, and learn it all. AND the way we're doing it is that each of those three weeks, they hear the same story, but learn how to be good samaritans in different ways.

this appeals to all kids, because it's hands on, they hear it multiple times (which the 6 days between alter what they remember), and they do cool things. the blankets are being made for a local shelter (women's & children's shelter) so they are making blankets for other kids. and the food pantry, is in our church building, they see it all the time, they know we talk about CHOW (the name of it), they see people bringing food, but why? and the first aid kits help them be good samaritans to others. (as do the other two also).

as you can see, i am totally enamored with this program, i LOVE IT!!!

our older kids (grades 7-12) are doing the mustard seed dealy. the program is written for middle school/junior high. but it's working. it's also hands-on, kinestetic, learning the same idea/theme for several weeks (usually 4) but by doing something different, they GET IT. they however, due to space and numbers, do not go to different rooms each week as our little ones do, they have one classroom that is 'theirs' and the teachers come to them. even if one person teaches several weeks in a row, they are still doing something slightly different each week. it is designed to be one teacher per workshop, as the younger kids is, so the teacher can learn one lesson, and teach is 3-4 weeks in a row, thereby NOT having to do something totally different every week. however, it won't work as such with us.

the site is FREE. churches who become members and post messages et al do get the emails from the 'founders' and last month they did ask for help financially to keep the system up and running, but it isn't much. we sent $50, and will probably send another $50 in the spring. but it is free honestly. AND there is a TOM of curriculum, ideas, programs, and links to churches who are doing the program.

we haven't gotten nuts (except for me) about decorating and such, but i visited one in ithaca that has gone totally gung ho. painted walls, floors, hung curtains, made tents, etc. wildly awesome. we haven't gotten to that point, but i hope to get closer. when i get my pictures done, i'll send you the ones of our rooms. i'm thrilled with what's happened so far. and although our numbers are skyrocketing (which is the main concern for some people) the kids who are present and have been a part of the program LOVE IT. i need to say that again, they L-O-V-E IT!!!!!!!

as i wrote, chris told his dad he HAD TO BE BACK FOR SUNDAY SCHOOL.

this is a dying church, or it was. if our kids are this excited now, i can't wait to see what happens later. i know i've written of my frustrations and i know i've said i want to quit, but right now, i'm so excited about this program, i am working WAY overtime to help it get off the ground and succeed.

i hope that helps. i hope i haven't shown myself to be totally crazy, but honestly, this was the Godsend i was looking for. i am thrilled with it so far, it's tough recruiting constantly, but nothing compares to seeing how happy the kids are.

nothing. :)


Wow! Thanks for the info. That sounds really awesome. I haven't looked at the website links you posted yet, but I will. I'm not very involved in the religious ed at my church yet, but it's something I really think I would enjoy. Currently I am working with a couple of other adults, one is a theologian, to teach adults that are preparing for their confirmation. I'm really excited about it, and since I hope to someday get involved in the kids portion of the religious ed stuff, I'm interested in any idea. I work at our food pantry each saturday, and I would love to take a look at the links you provided and then talk to someone at our church. What an awesome thing to be involved in!

The woman who is in charge of the youth ministry at our church actually invited me to help out with a 'super session' thing they are doing for the teenagers after christmas, and I think that's going to be exciting too. I guess they have these weekend long workshops for the teens, and I get to help out! I was never involved in stuff like that when I was younger, and I feel sometimes like I missed out.

Thanks so much though for the info, and I will take a look at the websites and get back to you.

Talk to you later:)

4:27 PM  

The links didn't work:(. Do you have websites that you think would be good?

9:20 AM  

i don't know what's with the links. but the worm is at and the mustard seed (older kids mostly that we work with, it's their middle school program) is (i think!)
sorry about that. will have to fix it :)
it's exciting working with kids and teens. i love it. but although to me it was vital to my life as a teen, i really love being one of the grown-ups working with them. i think that i feel like i accomlish something sometimes that i couldn't ever do in any other job. :) love my kids!!

5:40 PM  

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