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Director of Christian Education Report Annual Meeting January 2004

Lana Kokayeff

Presently, there are 44 registered students, 9 regular teachers, and 2 substitute teachers. We’ve settled into our new building and continue making steady improvements in the classrooms. In 2004, we are looking forward to the challenge of sharing our space with another Orthodox community. We appreciate this opportunity for spiritual growth with humility; we have a building not because we deserve one, but through the grace and generosity of our Lord who has entrusted us to be worthy stewards. I can’t thank our competent staff enough for their selfless devotion to our youth. I also want to thank the members of this parish for their continued support and eager help.

2003 RECAP

Education

  • March - Family Lenten Retreat - 60 souls participated. Theme was Sundays of Great Lent. The schedule included: spaghetti dinner, family prosphoro baking, discussion groups for adults, classroom activities for students, final gathering and presentations in church nave.
  • September through November.- "Psalm 19:4 - Their Proclamation Has Gone Out to all the Earth and Their Words To the Ends of the Universe" - Church members and teachers combined forces in colorful and informative presentations that traced the spread of Christianity to Antioch, Lebanon, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Ireland, Far East, Slavic Lands, Romania, and North America. Parents, teachers, and students traveled through these countries where they sampled foods, listened to music, and acquired a taste of each culture.
  • Throughout the year our "icon lady" Alexandria Lukashonak continues to introduce icons of Saints and major Feastdays to our students. Our patron Saint (Luke) and Saint Nicholas were studied in depth in grades Kg through 4.
  • April - Classes on Egyptian palm weaving and Ukrainian eye dying were held on Lazarus Saturday for students and parents.
  • April - First Confession for 5 second graders on Lazarus Saturday.
  • December - It’s wonderfully fulfilling to watch our church school "kids" grow in the church and resume leadership. We felt this full circle experience when our Christmas play was competently directed and supervised by two "graduates" of our Church School.

    Administration

  • Fall - Teachers viewed two videos on risk factors. Forms were distributed for the entire staff to fill out for background checks.
  • Summer - Departmental meetings were conducted to help focus on specific needs/problems of various class levels.
  • Fall - We welcomed two new members to our staff.

    Building

  • Fall - A clock was mounted in the fellowship hall to remind students to be punctual in reporting to class.
  • October - Two new bookcases were placed in the church office. They house the many teacher reference materials and video tapes that have accumulated over the years.
  • October - The property team assisted in major cleanup and rearranging of educational material.
  • December - A "Hall of Saints" was started in our classroom wing. Other Biblical and inspirational posters dot the hallways thus adding a spiritual flavor to this area.

    Miscellaneous

  • March Charity - Spaghetti dinner donations for the family retreat amounted to $224; Lenten canister offering was $270. Combined with the proceeds from the April YO bake sale, $719 was donated to the Coptic Orphans.
  • June - Attendance and graduate awards helped acknowledge the noteworthy accomplishments of our students.
  • December - Canned soups contributions filled Saint Nicholas’ empty bag for distribution to the Evergreen Food Pantry.

    Improvement Needed

  • Poor attendance continues - In the 2003/003 school year 50% of the students attended 50% of the Sundays. (Some students attended only 3 Sundays.) This is very disappointing to teachers who spend time preparing lessons. Absenteeism causes a gap in learning and prevents continuity in the prescribed curriculum.
  • Interruptions also continue - Parents ask if students can leave early for a variety of reasons. This is frustrating to our teachers because it disrupts the entire class. Our children’s Church School participation should be a priority.
  • Vacation Church School was cancelled due to weekday schedule conflict.
  • Special services - Relatively few students attend Presanctified Liturgy, Vespers, or Feastday services- even if they are offered on a day and time convenient for our youth!

    2004 Projections

    February

  • Deanery Teachers’ Workshop and Women’s Retreat at Saint Luke.

    Great Lent

  • Sunday Family Lenten Retreat
  • Study of students’ patron Saints in 3, 4, 6,7,8 grades.
  • Egg dying and palm weaving
  • Charity collection for Coptic Orphans

    Summer/Fall

  • Vacation Church School
  • Conservation project to create awareness that we are stewards of God’s creation.
  • Completion and organization of reference/supplementary materials for teachers.
  • Activities to help teens become fully integrated into more church activities so that they use their talents and creativity. They must know that they are an important and vital part of the parish community.