Volunteer Roles for Religious Education

Are you wondering what is expected of an RE Volunteer?  You have options!

There are 3 levels of programming in RE: Sprouts, ages 0-4, meet in the nursery; Rainbow Kids, ages 5-10, meet in the large RE room; and Bridge Builders, ages 11-17, meet in the library.  In order for our programs to be safe and effective, at least two adults must be present in each room for the Sprouts and Rainbow Kids every Sunday.  We rely on volunteers to make sure this happens on days when our childcare staff are absent due to scheduled days off or illness.*  Here are the various ways you can help!

“Supporter” - Prerequisites: none

Bring nutritious snacks for the children before church starts, help clean up the RE rooms when the service is over.  Snacks should contain some protein and produce and be low in sugar.  Trail mix, granola bars, crackers and cheese, fruits, and veggies are popular favorites.

“Child’s Play” - Prerequisites: read and sign the Ethics Statement

Sit, play, and read to the Sprouts.  You are an extra pair of helping hands for the professional childcare staff. Singing and dancing are optional.

“Student” - Prerequisites: read and sign the Ethics Statement

Participate with the Rainbow Kids or the Bridge Builders as one of the children.  Sit and enjoy snack time, listen attentively to the lesson, move as the teacher directs the class, raise your hand to answer questions, and participate in any games/activities/crafts.  

This modeling of appropriate and engaged student behavior teaches the kids what is expected of them by example, it helps the teacher maintain enough order to cover the lesson materials, and it’s an easy way for new volunteers to become familiar with the structure and goals of RE lessons.

“Teaching Assistant” - Prerequisites: “Student” experience

RE lessons come from the Tapestry of Faith curriculum available at UUA.org, and each lesson includes a story component.  The RE Staff will inform you which lesson is being used at least 3 days prior to your volunteer date, and you can familiarize yourself with the included story before reading it to the children on Sunday.  Before and after the story, participate as a Student to help keep the children settled and focused.

This examination and sharing of the curriculum materials is a good way for volunteers to become familiar with the lesson plans that we use and to gain insight on how we tailor them to our RE classes’ unique needs.  TAs may volunteer with Rainbow Kids or Bridge Builders.

“Professor” - Prerequisites: “Teaching Assistant” experience

Take the wheel, teach our Rainbow Kids or Bridge Builders!  RE staff will inform you at least 3 days prior to your volunteer date which Tapestry of Faith lesson is scheduled.  Read through the material on UUA.org and tailor the lesson to fit our class sizes and learning styles, bringing your own discernment and creativity to the process.  Know that you’ll have the support of another adult while you teach.

“Guest Lecturer” - Prerequisites: “Teaching Assistant” experience, approval of the DRE

Tired of the established curriculum?  Have your own message or experience or passion to share? Teach a lesson of your own design to the Rainbow Kids or Bridge Builders.  Know that you’ll have the support of another adult while you teach.

Additional training is available!  Are you still nervous about jumping in?  Ashley Ford coordinates RE volunteers, and she has Training and Orientation sessions ready to empower you.  Contact her at ashley@peregrin.org to set up sessions individually or in groups.

*Beginning in September 2017, if two adults are NOT available for both Sprouts and Rainbow Kids, RE programming for those classes will be canceled for the day, and the children will sit with their parents or guardians for the worship service.