2013 Annual Session report – Children’s Program Committee

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 Pacific Yearly Meeting

Children’s Program Committee Report

July, 2013

            The Children’s Program Committee has been meeting by conference call bi-monthly or weekly for the past five months to plan a quality program for PYM’s children during the Annual Session at Mt. Madonna.

            Our first order of business was to select a coordinator from four qualified applicants.  After consideration, the committee asked Keenan Lorenzato to be the coordinator, and Heather Levien to serve as his mentor.  This is a new arrangement, based, in part, on looking at how Intermountain Yearly Meeting structures the leadership for its Children’s Program.  Keenan provides youth, enthusiasm and energy, as well as being recommended for his communication and organizational skills.  Heather has served on the Children’s Committee for many years in the past and has also been coordinator two times.  She will have her registration and board covered, as do the teachers.  Both Keenan and Heather have met with the committee since this plan was created in April.

An ad hoc committee comprised of representatives from Ministry and Oversight, the Youth Program Supervisory committee, Junior Yearly Meeting, and the Children’s Program Committee, was created this year to consider PYM purchasing sexual misconduct insurance.  A decision to do so was approved at Rep Com.  As a result the ad hoc committee developed a more formal application process than has been used in the past for hiring teachers, and asked each teacher and coordinator to agree to a background check.  This has primarily been the job of the Children’s Program Committee clerk who has been appreciative of the cooperation of this year’s teachers in completing applications, providing references, and undergoing background checks.  Some of these seasoned applicants have worked with the Children’s Program for many years. Applications and the results of background checks will be kept on file for at least three years.

Each year, the committee encourages teachers to develop curriculum which reflects the theme of the Annual Session.  While each teaching team’s experience and autonomy is respected, the committee also provides written suggestions and guidelines.  To help children relate to this year’s theme of “Being Reached by the Life”, the committee suggested ideas and activities related to Light (physical and Spiritual), Affirmation of self and others, Community-Building, “Being a Quaker in Real Life”, and learning Quaker Process.  Specific resources were also listed.

Those attending PYM this year are encouraged to learn more about the Children’s Program by volunteering and/or attending our open committee meeting.  Job descriptions for the committee, the coordinator and the teachers are available on the PYM website.