First Day School Information
Detroit Friends Meeting has a program for the children called First Day School. The children attend the first fifteen minutes of worshiping in silence with the entire group and then proceed to the First Day School area with the teachers for the last forty five minutes of worship.
Usually four to ten children and youth attend each week. There are sometimes two lessons each week to meet the needs of both the younger and older children.
There are teams of parents and adults that rotate the teaching responsibilities. Each week, the group explores a theme or testimony: famous Quakers, Quaker practice, and Bible stories, simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality or stewardship of the environment. The lessons try and incorporate hands-on-activities and engaging topics.
After the lessons, the children/youth join the adults in the worship area and are given an equal voice during announcement time to report on what they learned in First Day School.
The Meeting is enriched by the participation of the children and the adults value their voices and treasure their presence as an important part of our spiritual community.
Below is a list of recent First Day School lessons:
- Making peace flags
- Quaker terms Jeopardy!
- Meditation jars
- The story of Ferdinand the bull
- What is white privilege?
- Ingredients for Peace Soup
- Ramadan and making prayer rugs.
- The story of Easter
- Conflict resolution video and discussion
- Our carbon footprint
- Creating a list of priorities to help others in the world
- The Tower of Babel
- Practicing to become a better listener
- Making a God's Eye
- Learning how to center by focussing on stones
- First Day School teachers Sam Hays and Joel Ottenbreit did a lesson on clown ministry. This type of ministry is used to nurture another's soul by bringing comic relief in a variety of settings. See photo in the slide show.