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Director of Christian Education Report Annual Meeting January 2006

Lana Kokayeff

We have been blessed with another year of top-notch teaching and active learning in the Church School. Currently there are 11 regular teachers and 3 substitute teachers capable of filling in at the shortest notice. Our student body consists of 48 youth ranging from toddlers to 12th grade. The curriculum continues to be enriched by the study of icons and religious music. It is deeply rewarding to hear our parents comment that throughout the day, their children continue to sing the songs they learned. Now that we enjoy a lovely building for our school, the major setback to religious education remains the sporadic student attendance.

Our 2005 staff members are: Toddlers/Pat Harrison - Pre-school/Elizabeth Wassilkowsky- Kindergarten&Grade 1/Cheryl Evangelopoulos, Suzanne Kopulos- Grades 2,3/Lynn Betsanes, Pat Ketchmark - Intermediate/ Lynn Rizo, Mary Jo Werbiansky - Junior High/.Aristea Zekios - High School/ Christopher Dandeles, Fr.Dn. Andrew Werbiansky.

Our substitutes are Pearl Homiak, Sharon Mochel, and Diane Nickolaou

In addition, Alexandria Lukashonak provides iconography sessions and Maria Vrame leads our youngster in singing praises to our Lord. The first Sunday of the month, the Junior High and High School classes assemble as "YO" under the leadership of Maria Kopulos.

2005 Recap

Winter

  • ยจ Sunday, January 9 - The "Ten Commandments" was the subject of a short program presented by the students under the direction of Suzanne Kopulos, and in cooperation with Maria Vrame.

    Spring

  • Lent and preparation for Pascha are busy times for the St Luke Church School. Great Lent is not only a time to "give up," but also a time to "take on." Our children "took on" the SOUPER SHARING charity which involved donating dry and canned soups. Charities minister Karen Verderber visited classes, read "Stone Soup" and explained the importance of sharing our blessings.
  • Pre-Lenten Family Retreat - Sunday, March 6 from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm. The theme was "Destination- Pascha." A total of 75 souls participated. (25 children from ages 4 to 10, 12 12 YO members, 16 staff members, 19 parents, and 3 tots for childcare.)
  • The retreat started at 9:30 am with a youth instructional Divine Liturgy in the 'old' fellowship hall. Father Andrew stopped often to explain the history as well as meaning of the liturgy. Parents who joined their youngsters had a special opportunity to learn with their children. After this, families were invited to the pre-Lenten New Membership Brunch. The rest of the afternoon was filled with age-appropriate learning experiences based on the retreat theme. Each classroom was been given a Pre-Lenten Sunday theme to study. (Zacchaeus, Publican/Pharisee, Prodigal Son, Last Judgment.) For crafts, some of the classes made large banners, but each student through 6th grade made smaller banners to take home. The teens displayed their creativity by designing T-shirts with religious symbols. Meanwhile parents were involved in a discussion on the "Purpose Driven Life" led by Father Howard Sloan
  • On Saturday, April 23rd (Lazarus Saturday), four students participated in the Sacrament of Confession for the first time. They were awarded a certificate and gift. A pancake breakfast followed in the Fellowship Hall. During Sunday class time, the remaining students above 2nd grade had their confessions heard.

    Summer

  • The first Youth Sunday was held on Sunday, June 5th. Grades preschool through six presented some of the songs they learned. Following this, various students were honored in recognition of special accomplishments: attendance awards, graduates, and Junior Olympics. Our teens acted as ushers/greeters.
  • Although summer presents scheduling difficulties caused by vacation, we held two surprisingly well-attended "Craft Sundays" in August. While parents attended the parenting class led by Father Andrew, the students immersed themselves in creative endeavors. They worked on wooden crosses, sun catchers, sun visors and Bible book marks. They thoroughly enjoyed this new venture and no two finished items were alike! We will plan this again for the summer of 2006 and try to expand the program.
  • Registration for the fall Church School program began during the Sundays of August. The book fee was $15 per students (exception: Toddlers).
  • Staff meeting was help on Sunday August 28th after Liturgy.

    Fall

  • September 11 was the first Church School Session. A class photo was taken.
  • A total of 48 students are currently listed on our rosters.
  • Fire Drill - Under the direction of Jim Lewandowski, a practice fire drill was conducted. Exit route maps were posted in all the classrooms. The first drill involved only the students and teachers. Later another drill involved the entire parish.
  • Textbooks were purchased- approximately $513. Most of the registration fee covered this expense.
  • Three mini boom boxes with tape recorder/CD/AM/FM were purchased so that the music taught by Maria Vrame can be recorded and played back when teachers want to review. Cost was $83. Our next expense will be a TV/VCR/DVD which has not been purchased as yet.
  • Coat hooks were purchased and installed for the Toddler room.
  • The annual "CHURCH SCHOOL NEWSLETTER" was distributed on Sunday, November 20th. It included course descriptions and newsworthy Church School events
  • With the help of Dn. Danial, a listing of books for young readers was also distributed. These books are on display in the CRC of the Fellowship Hall. (For further details, please see the CRC annual report.)
  • Sunday, December 11- St. Nicholas made his annual visit. The morning started with a mesmerizing children's sermon on the Saint, followed by a children's music program and a "surprise" visit from St. Nicholas. It concluded with gifts for everyone. During class time, the students left shoes outside the classrooms, and the Saint filled them with treats. Working with Mary Jo Werbiansky, presents were collected for PASS which is a yearly tradition.

    In conclusion, I would like to thank the many parents and parishioners who have contributed in various ways to make the 2005 Church School year a success. Some of those (not all) are:
    1. Sue Lisowski and her team for lunch during the Lenten Retreat.
    2. Those who helped with Lazarus Saturday pancake breakfast.
    3. Mike Bauml for taking all those priceless photos.
    4. Jim Lewandowski for helping us with fire drills.
    5. Deacon Danial for compiling and ordering the children's books for the CRC.
    6. Father Alexander Lukashonak for acting as an impromptu substitute.

    2006 PLANS

  • Annual Lenten Retreat Summer Craft Sundays or Vacation Church School