LeAnne Struble often tells of her introduction to East Shore on Salmon Bake Sunday, a beloved Ingathering Tradition occurring in early September of, nearly, every year for the last 75. And then how by the next Sunday, she was signed up in the Nursery room to teach. And for the next ten years, she’s been doing just that: teaching the rudimentary foundations of our faith and our beloved values to children in ways that even the most advanced of adults mind would surely revel to hear. Let’s learn a little more about her experiences in RE over the last year. LeAnne writes:
I have performed the responsibilities of Lead Preschool Teacher and much more. During the past year I have led online sessions, outdoor sessions twice a month, and drive in events with take home activities. These require coordinating with parents, the DRE, and facilities staff to create a positive experience. I led the RE program in bringing the children back together for outdoor RE. Through rain and shine we came together
I value children as full members of our multigenerational community. I am committed to keeping children connected to our church community. During our time at the virtual church I have helped out as a worship associate and in the worship service using my skills as a crafter to bring more visuals and meaning to our services. I pray that children will be welcomed by the church when we are given the chance to return to in person worship.
Talking to children at their level is one of my core skills. I know how to keep children engaged whether they are online, outdoors, or have special needs. Knowing how to present content to children to meet their needs and bring them our UU values and history is one of my skills and one of the things that brings me joy in working in the RE program.
My greatest concern is for support from the congregation as a whole for children and families. Like many of the staff during the pandemic I worked hard to learn new technology to bring the same level of content to the children. I feel training on new curriculum and new ways of teaching in a hybrid model would benefit everyone associated with the Religious Exploration program.
by Amanda Alice, Director of Religious Education