There’s a couple feet of snow out my window right now and May seems very far away, but we have had a few inquiries from other parishes about organizing an end-of-the-year celebration Family Formation style, so if you promise not to tell, I’ll post a few ideas we’ll be using this year.
First of all, I can’t over-emphasize the importance of celebrating your accomplishments! Whether it’s having dessert after each Home Lesson, closing your classroom time with a prayer of thanksgiving, or organizing some big, crazy celebration, IMPORTANT THINGS have happened and recognizing them should be a priority!
We always end the year by recognizing the top readers from each grade of our parish W.O.G. program. Kids get to come up front for a brief moment of fame and the top readers get a prize. (Dairy Queen gift cards are always a welcome prize around here.)
If you’ve been taking photos throughout the year, your last meeting is the perfect time for a slideshow set to music. Everyone loves to revisit the happy memories of the year and a slideshow is sure to hold people’s attention as they watch for pictures of themselves. If you haven’t been taking photos, make a note for next year. Chances are good that, in this digital age, you have several parents who would be willing to take snapshots of the action and you could also invite parents to submit photos of projects and lessons they’ve been doing at home.
Ending with a potluck or even just juice and cookies is a great community builder. It’s welcoming and just takes one more step toward encouraging those friendships that have begun this year.
We’re planning to end with a message reminding everyone about passing on the Light of Christ. Someone has passed the Faith on to each of us. Parents have put forth a great deal of effort in passing on the Faith to their children, and now we are asking the children to take that Light out of the church doors and out of their homes and pass it on to everyone they meet this summer. Candles would be the traditional visual aide here, but we’re opting for glow sticks instead. (Fun, eh?)
As always, we’d love to hear your ideas as well and look forward to your emails and comments!