Churches are uniquely positioned by location and mission to reach out to families and their children through their place of worship and where they live. In fact, parents have told us that they look to you as one of their trusted institutions to provide them with early childhood information. A great way to get involved in the early childhood movement is to host a playgroup for parents and children at your place of worship.
Step 1: Meet with Ready for School and find out the needs in your area.
Step 2: Create an information bulletin board in your church with materials provided by Ready for School
Step 3: Decide on a time, day of the week and place for the group to meet.
Step 4: Schedule the dates you will have your group taking into account, school, regular holidays and summer.
Step 5: Introduce the group to your congregation and recruit 4-6 volunteers to help with the playgroup each week.
Step 6: Advertise your group e.g.: postcards, posters or a flyer. Prepare enough material for Ready for School so they can hand them out at community events.
Step 7: Prepare a welcoming environment for the group by providing:
- a classroom or an open space
- 3-5 tables and chairs for activity stations (child size)
- an area for stories and singing
- a CD player for sing-alongs
- a blanket of quilt for babies to play on
Step 8: Provide a simple snack – fruit/cheese, crackers/pretzels and water or juice. You may need cups, bowls, pitcher, napkins.
Step 9: Prepare directional signs to help those unfamiliar with your campus find the playgroup: signs should be in English and Spanish.
Step 10: Welcome new families and children warmly! This is a parent- child group so please assure that parents are aware that they need to stay and participate with their children.