It is common to hear people saying that they do not start a Youth Education Program at the Spiritist Center where they belong to simply because they do not know how to. It takes time and dedication to think about all the little pieces involved in this work, but it is not a complex task. Jesus educated children by simply talking to them in a circle and sharing stories with moral lessons. His fraternal and loving presence is really what made all the difference. You might have access to great lesson plans and resources on how to implement the work, but it is your attitude and love towards the work and the children that will make the difference.
We hope the information we are sharing here will encourage people to initiate this work that is pure fraternal love.
Consider doing ONLINE MEETINGS with children/teens during the pandemic.
Important elements to be considered when initiating a Youth Education Program at a Spiritist Center (in-person):
1- Team cohesion and preparation
Once one or more educators decide to initiate classes for the youth, they need to seek support from the Center’s administration or the Center’s main workers (leadership). Youth Education is everyone’s responsibility at the Spiritist Center.
The entire team should be cohesive regarding the importance of the Youth Spiritist Education in the youth’s lives and the need of making an extra effort to make that happen.
Regarding the logistics, the team will need to check: space for the classes, school/art supplies, A/V equipment, small tables and chairs/bean bags, light decoration of the classes, etc.
Also, as part of the preparation, the youth education team also should do studies on the Gospel According to Spiritism and the main fundamentals of Spiritism. The continuous study of Spiritism by Allan Kardec and training on Spiritist Education will help volunteers not only do the task, but mainly keep improving as educators and immortal beings.
Once the team decides to start the classes, it is important to plan ahead: the lessons, the activities, and the program itself. Having a schedule that shows all the main information about the program is very important.
Here are the main reasons why creating a schedule is important in the implementation of the work:
- Increased commitment of volunteers;
- Better communication between the coordinator of the work and volunteers / parents
- Improved parents’ visibility (they know what’s been covered in class)
- Better organization which allows volunteers to get ready in advance for the classes.
3- Communication with families
It is important to keep a close relationship with families. It is important to create a study group for parents only, so they can talk about current topics related to Youth Education and the youth today’s challenges.
4- Lesson Plans / Resources
We strongly believe that a Spiritist Youth Program lessons should be customized to address each group specific needs. Everything we share regarding our experiences, including the lesson plans, might be a useful resource. However, every group needs to identify what works best for them when creating a Youth Education program.
The Youth Education program will definitely change from center to center, based on the children’s needs, participants’ experiences in life, and cultural influences. All this will generate a flexible curriculum. (Evangelização Mudando Vidas, Lucia Moysés)
These are some of the initial questions spiritist educators might reflect as a group when consolidating a Youth Program:
What are my kids/teen group’s current needs? What struggles do they currently have? What seeds of love would we like to plant in their hearts? What attitudes and actions would we like them to reflect on? What expectations do parents have regarding the program? What cultural influences affect my youth and how should that be reflected in the lessons? Are families and other spiritist workers on board?
Particularly, we design lessons with contents that are aligned with Spiritism’s knowledge by Allan Kardec as we strongly believe that all that knowledge is a safe path for anyone pursuing moral and spiritual growth in life. We also rely heavily on social-emotional themes.
Engaging, hands-on and reflexive lesson plans are the best!
Keep in mind: the kids can sense when the lessons are presented with love and dedication!
We think that these 5 topics are important areas to be considered before implementing a Youth Program at the Spiritist center. There are several other things to be aware of such as constant training, regular team meetings, parents’ study groups, special events and etc; but … “first things first.” One step at a time.
Formal guidelines for the Youth Education Program (sample) – Portuguese only
Schedules (samples) – English/Portuguese
We hope you will find useful information here on this site to start the work and keep improving it to make the classes a fun, reflective and a happy moment for the kids and teens.
Nosso Lar Spiritist Society – Nosso Lar Kids