Under the guidance of Ministry and Care, the First Day School creates and provides programming for the Meeting’s children and youth which supports their spiritual growth and strengthens our community.
First Day School joyfully invites children to learn and play together!
On Sunday mornings everyone gathers together in the Meeting House. Families may choose to come at 10:40 am for singing first, or arrive at 11:00 am for Meeting for Worship.
Children remain with their families for 5 to 10 minutes in silent worship (yes, there is some squirming, and we expect that). A teacher will then sing “As We Leave This Friendly Place,” (Hymnal #330). At this point the children leave with the adult volunteers.
If your family is visiting, please go with your children to help with introductions. Parents are welcome to stay as long as they wish.
We are in the process of rebuilding our program now that things are opening back up after the pandemic. At this time, children will be in one group, either on the playground or inside in the classroom in Margithaus if it’s raining (with masks optional).
Eventually, we hope First Day School will be divided into 2 groups on Sunday mornings: Infants through 5 years old, and Elementary/Middle School aged children. An announcement will be made on the CFM listserv when it’s time to make this change.
At the end of meeting for worship, a greeter will let the volunteers know that it is time for the children to return. At Celo Friends Meeting, we end our time together as we began – as a whole community. Everyone is then welcome to share in a meal.
Childcare: Infants through preschool/5 years
- The childcare group engages in mostly unstructured play in the Margithaus and on the fenced-in playground.
- Leading this group, there is one adult volunteer and one paid childcare helper
School-aged: Elementary and middle school children
- The school-aged group: engages in activities about Quaker testimonies, queries and history; goes on nature walks; virtue studies; practices and performs puppet shows and plays; organizes Meeting-wide events, (e.g. “Cocoa, Cookies and Community”), as well as other activities.
- Leading this group is a volunteer teacher or two on Sunday mornings.
While our teens do not meet regularly on Sundays, there is a wonderful opportunity to connect with other teens through the yearly Meeting, Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting and Association (SAYMA). Teens gather at the various Monthly Meetings throughout the year with their Quaker peers in North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia through Southern Appalachian Young Friends, commonly known as SAYF (pronounced safe). For more information, visit: http://awesomesayfers.org/