Friends General Conference

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Children's Education Committee

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The mission of the Children’s Education Committee is the provision of a structure wherein the Meeting’s children receive systematic introduction to Quaker faith and practice. The Children’s Education Committee is responsible for facilitating the support system for the Meeting’s First Day School, its teachers and parent volunteers. After the manner of Friends, the Committee responds with receptivity, warmth and gentle concern to its community. The provision of a vibrant, responsive program for children is our goal.

Our First Day School program is divided into sections by age: Baby through preschool, Elementary and Teen; although depending on the number of children, sometimes we divide into one or two groups rather than 3. Heather Aymie and Rachel Kempf alternate teaching the older children/teens. It is our policy that if a member of the community teaches that they do so no more than 50% time, so that they have the other Sundays available to attend Meeting for Worship or for personal activities. When teachers must be absent from their classrooms it is their responsibility to secure substitutes, asking the Clerk for assistance if needed.

Family support is a vital part of our mission. To facilitate family participation in Meeting activities, the committee responds to requests for child care for special Meeting events and regularly provides for child care for Meeting for Business, and committee meetings when requested.

On occasion, when needed and subject to committee approval, capable and seasoned adults from the Meeting can substitute teach, and teens can provide childcare. The Committee, especially its Clerk, should often express appreciation to these vital and generous participants.

The Committee is available to respond to teacher and parent concerns and questions about the program.

As resources for adult participation as teachers and volunteers ebbs and flows, the clerk guides the Committee to feasible provision of child care and instructional programs.

The children’s education program is fortunate to have generous annual budgetary allocations from the Meeting. This allows us to hire professional teachers to provide appropriate instruction for First Day School. The Committee oversees the budget allocation for this program. The current budget is $8,000.

When either the baby/preschool teacher, teenage helper or substitute teacher is providing childcare for Meeting for Worship, they are expected to be there from 9:45 am to 11:30 (1.75 hours). The rates of pay are as follows:

  • Baby/preschool teacher is paid $30 for the one hour during Meeting for Worship, during which time it is expected that some instruction will occur on Quaker values and practices. In addition we pay the baby/preschool teacher $20/hr for lesson preparation time (up to 2 hours per month) and for the time spent doing non-instructional related childcare, such as during fellowship, Business Meeting or other committee meetings. 
  • Teens are paid minimum wage, which currently is $12.50/hr. Teens are paid $21 the 1.75 hours. 
  • Adult substitute teachers are paid $40 for the 1.75 hours. 
  • Teachers for older children/teens are paid $60 per week, or $20 if there are no kids. This includes up to 30 minutes per lesson of planning time. Teen teachers are expected to be in Worship from 10-10:15 with the teens.

The teachers formulate the curriculum with guidance and input from the children’s education committee and carry it out. There is a budget for books, art supplies and other classroom supplies.

The clerk communicates with our weekday tenant, the Aurelia Foundation, with the Friend in Residence acting as a liaison. In sharing the facility, issues arise with housekeeping, supplies and common interests. The Clerk responds in a way that assures harmony and good will among these interests.