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Kids of the Rock Volunteer Handbook • Black Rock Congregational Church


3685 Black Rock Tpke., Fairfield, CT 06825

203.255.3401 •
Kids of the Rock Volunteer Handbook • Black Rock Congregational Church

Welcome to Kids of the Rock!

Hello! You have agreed to take part in a high calling of influencing the next genera-
tion for Christ and we are excited to have you on the team.

We realize that the most formative decisions that any child makes happen before the
age of 12. What this means is that we take our job very seriously because we realize
how important and foundational our role can be in the life of a child.

This handbook is your guide to success. Become familiar with the information
inside as it will help you understand what you must (and must not) do.

We know that God has given you special unique abilities that can be used to bless
a child. Perhaps you are a shepherd who does well at connecting one-on-one.
Maybe you are organized and enjoy behind-the-scenes work.

My hope and prayer is that all of our gifts together will bless a child and will lead
them to know Christ in a very real and personal way.

I Corinthians 12:4-6
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are
different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working,
but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

1 Corinthians 12:12-14
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body,
so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—
whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to
drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

Your journey begins here. Read this carefully and make sure you know and under-
stand what we’ve included.

May you be a joy to the children you come in contact with, and may our children
come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Kent Currie
Director of Kids Ministry
Black Rock Church

Kids of the Rock Volunteer Handbook • Black Rock Congregational Church

Kids Ministry Leadership

Here’s a list of the staff in the Kids Department at Black Rock Congregational
Church. We are here to lead and serve you. Each volunteer works under a
coordinator and ultimately under the leadership of the Director of Kids Ministry.

Kent Currie, Director of Kids Ministry

203.255.3401 x108

Ada Lichac, Administrative Assistant

203.255.3401 x126

Doreen Esposito, Elementary Coordinator

203.255.3401 x126

Patsy Gerhart, Preschool Coordinator

203.255.3401 x126

Cindy Chiraboga, Nursery Coordinator

203.255.3401 x126

Kids of the Rock Volunteer Handbook • Black Rock Congregational Church

Black Rock Congregational Church

Purpose Statement
We seek to love God, love people and serve our world. We want to see people
develop into mature disciples who are equipped to glorify God through membership
in His family, ministry in the church, and mission to our community and beyond.

Doctrinal Statement
We believe in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as inspired by God and
inerrant in the original writings, and that they are of supreme and final authority in
faith and life.

We believe in one God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy

We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin
Mary, and is true God and true man.

We believe that man was created in the image of God; that he sinned, and thereby
incurred not only physical death, but also that spiritual death which is separation
from God; and that all human beings are born with a sinful nature, and, in the case
of those who reach moral responsibility, become sinners in thought, word and deed.

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures,
as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice; and that all who believe in Him
are justified on the ground of His shed blood.

We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord, and His ascension
into Heaven, and His present life there for us, as High Priest and Advocate.

We believe in “that blessed hope,” the personal return of our Lord and Savior Jesus

We believe that all who receive by faith the Lord Jesus Christ are born again of the
Holy Spirit, and, thereby, become children of God.

We believe that those who have been born again have everlasting life and shall not
come into condemnation but are passed from death unto life; and that the Lord
Jesus Christ gives unto them eternal life and that they shall never perish, neither
shall any man pluck them out of God’s hand.

We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and unjust, the everlasting blessed-
ness of the saved, and the everlasting punishment of the lost.

Kids of the Rock Volunteer Handbook • Black Rock Congregational Church

Kids of the Rock

Mission and Values
Mission: To partner with parents to reach the next generation for Christ and to
mentor kids to walk as disciples of Christ.
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and
watch over you.” Psalm 32:8

Our Core Values

1. Safety will be our top priority
Everything we do will be physically safe and in the best interest of the child. Check-
in procedures, background checks for all teachers and workers, and various protec-
tive measures will be put in place to protect the best interest of the child. We will do
our best to keep our environments emotionally safe for our children. We will treat
every child with respect and dignity and encourage him/her to treat each other with
the same Christ-like love for each other. Our environments will also be a safe, spiri-
tual place where kids can wrestle with tough spiritual questions and be free to learn
about Christ in an uplifting, protective way.
2. Relevant Bible Teaching & Applicable: Everything we do will be founded on
Deuteronomy 6:5-7 says “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all
your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are
to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at
home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
In other words, we want kids to love God with their lives first. Second, we want
Scripture and a love of Christ to be something woven into their daily lives. Third,
we want to partner with parents in making timeless truths of scripture something
that is relevant and applicable in their daily lives. We will also use selective current
events and certain media vehicles seen in their daily life to bring timeless accounts
of Scripture to our children in a relevant way.
3. Relational-We will place a strong emphasis on all connection points. This applies
to parents, kids, and teachers.
We will train our teachers and build time in the Sunday morning schedule for rela-
tionships through small groups. We want our teachers to know your child by name
and life experiences. We are a regional church and will train our teachers to create
an environment that accepts and treats all children with the same regard no matter
where they are from.
4. Creatively interactive
We will use storytellers, drama, and other creative elements to make the teaching
compelling. We will think outside of the box so that the outcome will be that the
kids “get it” rather than endure it. We will also use various interactive elements that
allow them to be active participants, not passive witnesses.
5. Fun - What we do needs to be something kids enjoy.
We will use goofy games and off-the-wall activities in an effort to create an environ-
ment where kids will want to come and invite friends.

Kids of the Rock Volunteer Handbook • Black Rock Congregational Church

Black Rock Congregational Church

Covenant for Teachers

I, _________________________, because I feel called by God, commit to being a Sun-

day School teacher for the period of ____________________ to ___________________.
I will strive to be faithful the following ways:

To Our Lord
• I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ which I desire to model
for children.
• I will put forth effort in living for Christ and becoming more like Christ this year.

To Our Church
• I worship regularly with our church family.
• I will support the statement of faith and leadership.
• I will seek to become a member of BRCC as soon as possible, but definitely with-
in 12 months of the commencement of my teaching.

To My Students
• I will pray for the children in my class to know God’s love in their lives.
• I will give an appropriate amount of time preparing my lessons during the week,
incorporating my own God-given gifts into each lesson.
• I will use the curriculum material purchased by the church.
• I will select appropriate learning activities for each session.
• I will be prepared to tell the Bible story with enthusiasm.
• I will take the initiative to build a personal, caring relationship with each student.
• I will be faithful in attendance, arriving at least 20 minutes before the session
begins. If I must be absent, I will contact an approved substitute and the Director.
An updated sub list can be received upon request from your coordinator.
• I will continue to improve my leadership skills by participating in training
• I will oversee all activities for safety and orderliness.

My Team
• I will communicate regularly with my Sunday School Assistant and assign him/
her specific tasks each week.
• I will care for and return all equipment and curriculum.
• I will express my needs as a teacher to the Sunday School Coordinator.
• I will commit to being a joyful team player.

____________________________________ __________________
Teacher’s signature Date

Kids of the Rock Volunteer Handbook • Black Rock Congregational Church

If you are a Kids of the Rock Volunteer

Here is what is expected of you:

Your walk
• A professed commitment to Jesus Christ that is demonstrated through Christian
growth and is modeled through spiritual leadership and lifestyle.
• A commitment to the Kids Ministry team supporting the programs, ministry and
philosophy of Kids Ministry and Black Rock in general through consistent
attendance at worship services and involvement in Kids Ministry.
• A teachable spirit exemplified by a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and
faithful attendance at Kids Ministry teacher training meetings.
• A desire to serve as a contributing member of a dynamic team praying regularly
for the other members of your ministry team, the children in your class and the
Kids Ministry staff.

The process
• A completed Kids of the Rock application form along with a background check.
• Coming with your lesson prepared, ready for what God would have you teach and
available to receive the kids and their needs.
• A commitment to excellence exemplified by being in your classroom a minimum
of 20 minutes prior to the beginning of your teaching hour ready to greet your
students and prepared to teach.
• Contacting your coordinator in a reasonable amount of time in the event that you
will be absent. Also reserving a sub when needed.
• The wearing of the Kids of the Rock Name Badge should be visible at all times.
This allows parents and staff to know that you are an approved worker in the
KOTR areas.
• You are a member or looking into becoming a member of Black Rock
Congregational Church.

Here’s what we promise you:

• To support and pray for you as you minister to kids.
• To provide you with adequate training, equipping you for your role.
• To provide adequate facilities, materials and curriculum and to keep these items
in good order.
• To provide adequate supervision and assistance.
• To provide each teacher with a clear statement of our philosophy of ministry and
job description for their role.
• To be available to troubleshoot problems as they arise.
• To respond to you in a timely manner to any questions or concerns you may have.

Kids of the Rock Volunteer Handbook • Black Rock Congregational Church

General Procedures
Kids of the Rock funds its programs through a budget approved by the Church
Finance & Property Board. We carefully monitor our budget in order to fully use
our resources wisely while staying within our budgeted funds. Volunteers may not
spend money and expect to be reimbursed without prior approval from your coor-
dinator. As a church, Black Rock does not pay sales tax. You should check with the
store where you make purchases and learn how they handle tax-exempt sales.

Communicating with Parents

• Any flyer you create to promote an activity (in or outside your class or group)
must be approved by the Kids Ministry Director. We do not ask this to hinder
your ministry, but only to make sure that everything we send home adequately
and accurately reflects our ministry. We also need to know what is going on so
we can provide accurate information when parents call.
• In addition, all activities should be announced on our Kids Ministry website at so parents will always know what is going on. You can
submit this information to Kent Currie at or by dropping it in
the box in the main office.
• All food for an activity must be approved by someone on the kids team staff. YOU
• Also, we would like to be able to provide a downloadable file of all sign-up forms
and flyers online. If you need help creating these, please notify your coordinator
or the director.

• If you would like to use a room at Black Rock for your event, please contact your
coordinator. We will try to accommodate your request. Many activities go on
during the week, so it is important that all requests be made with as much ad-
vance notice as possible. The more advance time you give, the greater the
likelihood that the room will be available.
• You may not use a room without scheduling it first.

Craft Supplies
• Each bin is stocked with a variety of craft items. These include construction
paper, glue, scissors, pencils, markers, etc. We also have copy machines,
laminating machines and letter machines. Your coordinator will train you in
the use of these machines.
• If you would like a craft supply that we do not stock, please let your coordinator
know and we’ll get it for you. We have many different suppliers and because of
the quantity we purchase, can usually get a good price. Please give as much
advance notice as possible.
• Crafts should only be used when they help the student learn what we want to
teach. Never do a craft that is just a time-filler or something “cute” the parents
will like.

Kids of the Rock Volunteer Handbook • Black Rock Congregational Church

Child Policy & Protection Practices

Check-in—Safety is one of our core values and a top priority here at Kids of the
Rock. We want parents to feel that they can trust that we will take care of their child’s
safety. It’s unfortunate in our day and age that we see child abductions, abuse, and
neglect with our most vulnerable and we want to be proactive to make sure that each
child is protected and safe in all of our areas. This is why we have a check-in proce-
dure. It ensures the safety of the child and will be an ineffective tool if it is not en-
forced. This is why we take it so seriously and require that it be carried out.
When children arrive in the classroom they should already have a name tag on.
Check them “IN” on the roster sheet. If the child is a visitor, write the child’s name
at the bottom of the roster and mark the child “IN.” Please note any allergies on the
ARE NOT WEARING A NAME BADGE. If you see a child without a badge, politely
send the child back with the parents and direct them the check-in at the KOTR
welcome center.

Dismissal—Compare the child’s name tag number to the parent’s badge number.
Release the child only to adults who are in the possession of the appropriate
matching family ID card. No child should be released without a corresponding
name badge.
General Guidelines—As a church body, we advocate the following policies and
principles in an effort to provide a safe place for all young people within our
community and beyond.

1. All new staff—paid and volunteer—who work with children must undergo
appropriate screening. No adult who has been previously convicted of child
abuse shall work with children.
2. At least two adults (or one adult and one teenage helper) should supervise
activities in which children are involved. One of these should be an adult at
least 21 years of age. If two of the adults present are a married couple, a third
person should also be present. This “two adult” policy should be followed in
all Christian Education activities. If a class or meeting is inadequately staffed,
a substitute should be recruited immediately.
3. No adult should spend unsupervised time alone with any child or adolescent
without the awareness and consent of that individual’s parents or legal
guardians. Permission slips are to be obtained from parents for trips away
from church, and for one-on-one adult/child time.
4. All adult volunteers working with children are required to be attendees of Black
Rock Congregational Church for a minimum of six months prior to beginning
such service, unless an exception is approved by the Board of Children’s
5. Adult volunteers should immediately report any behaviors which seem abusive
or inappropriate to their supervisor, who will then report to the Minister of
Children’s Ministries.
Kids of the Rock Volunteer Handbook • Black Rock Congregational Church

It is the desire of The Kids of the Rock Team to provide a positive growth experi-
ence for every child who attends our programs. We realize that children will come
from various discipline backgrounds with differing temperaments. The following
procedures will serve as a guide for our teachers.

• Teachers should clearly define the rules for their classroom and their expectations
verbally and also list them on a chart and explain them in such a way that all
students understand.
• Please use positive reinforcement as the main discipline in your classroom.
• A child that is disruptive should be guided toward changed behavior by:
o A direct look from the teacher
o A hand gently placed on the child’s shoulder
o Asking them a question
o Reviewing the classroom rules when you are quietly working together on a
• When a child continues to be disruptive, please:
o Isolate them within the room for no more than 5 minutes
o Bring them to the coordinator for parents to pick up
o Discipline always with a firm and calm spirit, but above all, with love and
with the person’s betterment in mind.
o Children should never be left unattended in their room, at the drinking
fountain, in the restrooms or on the playground.
o Older children dismissed early from the classroom for a restroom break or
drink should be monitored closely.
• Children should not be dismissed for a restroom break unless there is a definite
• Children should never be physically disciplined by Black Rock staff.
• Forced restraint should be used only when a child is out of control and in danger
of harming himself or another. This should only be done in the presence of anoth-
er teacher. Remove the child from your classroom as quickly as possible. Please
report this incident to your coordinator immediately.
• If a child is a continual discipline challenge, please report that information to
your coordinator.
• If a child is physically harmed or put in physical danger (such as by biting) by
another child, report this immediately to your coordinator. Only the coordinator
or director should discuss this with the parent.
• There are times when a child will need to be moved to another class to have a
successful classroom experience. This does not reflect on the skills of the teach-
er, but does show that we are aware of the different temperaments and styles of
learning for individual children. It is the responsibility of the classroom teacher
to report to the coordinator any child whom you feel cannot be safe in your class-
room because of disobedience or other issues.
• If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to talk to your coordinator or
feel free to call Kids Director, Kent Currie.

Kids of the Rock Volunteer Handbook • Black Rock Congregational Church

• Isolate the child and make him comfortable. Have coordinator call the parents
as soon as possible. Do not allow the child to spend the entire service feeling
• If you have a child with an EpiPen, please make sure you have communicated
with the parent and coordinator to make sure you know what to do if an
emergency with child should arise.

• If a child has a minor accident, calm the child and treat any wound. UNDER
STAFF. Notify the parents of the accident when they pick up their child. An
accident report is to be completed by the Coordinator and given to the Kids
Office. Please do this immediately while events are still fresh in your mind.

• If a child has a major accident (hard fall, broken limb etc.) stabilize the child.
GLOVES ARE TO BE WORN! Gloves can be found in each department. If you
are unsure where they are located, ask your coordinator. UNDER NO CIRCUM-
teacher should stay with the child and send a helper for the coordinator or desk
person. In the event that a coordinator cannot be found, call the Kids Ministry
Director on his cell phone immediately at 330.703.6742. We will notify the par-
ent and determine what further action to take. Under no circumstances are you
to call 911. The Director on duty will do that if necessary. As with any accident,
a report must be filled out immediately and turned in to the Kids Office. Please
make sure your Department Coordinator has all details needed.

Stay calm; children will respond to your mood. Follow directions given to you by
instructions posted in the classroom and by the coordinator. Take attendance book
with you. The building will be evacuated whenever the alarm system sounds un-
less otherwise notified. An Evacuation Floor Plan is posted in every room, on every
floor, and in each building of Black Rock Congregational Church’s campus and
offsite locations. Teachers from each class shall take the Sign-In Sheet.
Preschoolers and children – Teachers will instruct the children to form a line near
the door and walk together as a group. Teacher will lead the line and the Assistant
Teacher will bring up the rear of the line. The Assistant Teacher will verify that no
one is left in the room and will close and lock the door. Once outside, have them
sit close together on the ground. They will wait there until the parents can pick up
their children or an “all clear” signal is sounded.

Move children away from windows. Get under cribs or tables and keep calm.
-10 -
Kids of the Rock Volunteer Handbook • Black Rock Congregational Church

What to do When
This is the most frequent problem you will encounter. It can mean many things,
including frustration, anger or hunger. Take advantage of the toddler’s ability to be
distracted easily. Offer a toy or friendly talk. Although a toddler does not talk a lot,
he/she understands much of what you say.
• A cry of fear deserves special attention. It is very important that the child learns
to feel secure in his/her new environment, and that he/she learns to trust his/her
teachers and leaders. Use the child’s name often; assure him/her that dad and
mom will return soon. Give special attention for a while, reading to or helping the
child integrate into play. No child should cry over 15 minutes. If this occurs,
notify the Director and the parent will be contacted. Sometimes it will be neces-
sary for a parent to remain in class with his/her child for several weeks. However,
it is generally best for the child to adapt on his/her own.
• Crying due to illness also merits special attention. Children with signs of illness
are not allowed in class. If a child becomes ill, the parent is called by the director.
• Crying and what to check
o Diaper soiled
o Thirsty
o Hungry/ Tired
o Dressed too warmly or too lightly
o Wants a new toy or toy back from someone else
o Needs attention- talk with child first before holding
Watch for this problem and try to prevent it from happening. Do not discuss the
problem in front of other parents. Notify the Director and the parents will be
notified privately. Parents of the bitten child also need to be told. Any bite that
breaks the skin should be cleansed immediately with soap and water. Ice packs
are available to place on bites.
Little unsteady legs sometimes result in falls. Medical ice packs are kept in the
refrigerator in Room 308 kitchen if the fall results in a bruise.
Cuts and Bleeding
Rubber gloves and band-aids are available upon request. A First Aid kit is available in
the kitchenette outside the nursery (room 306) or in the kids office in Woodruff on
the top shelf to the left.
Keep an eye out for small objects on the floor and crayons that can go into mouths.
Mouths can usually be cleared with a finger. Use the Heimlich Maneuver if necessary.
The Heimlich Maneuver involves an inward-upward thrust between the navel and
the rib cage which turns lungs into bellows and blows out the obstruction.
If you see someone acting suspiciously in our of our areas, firmly ask the intruder
to leave. Contact the coordinator or ultimately the Kids Director. If neither is
immediately available, contact a member of the pastoral staff and ask for assistance.

Kids of the Rock Volunteer Handbook • Black Rock Congregational Church

General Guidelines
Protecting Our Children and Workers
One of the main goals at Kids of the Rock is to provide a safe, secure, loving
environment for children where parents feel comfortable leaving their child.
Therefore, we have a policy that reflects our desire to prevent child abuse and to
stop child abuse as we become aware of it. We also want to protect our staff and
volunteers from false accusations of abuse. Our first line of defense in preventing
child abuse is the application, screening and interview process that all volunteers
in our ministry must complete prior to being placed permanently in a classroom.
All people who work with children, regardless of their area of ministry, are expected
to adhere to the policies outlined in this document Failure to do so may result in
dismissal of their ministry position.

Worker Approval
All workers must have a completed and approved application on file in the church
office. A criminal background check will be performed on all workers. It is also
mandatory that in order to serve in Kids Ministry you must have attended Black
Rock Church for at least 6 months. Workers must be a member of Black Rock
Church, or in process in becoming a member.

What is Child Abuse?

It is possible that an inexperienced or young worker could innocently do something
that is within the legal definition of child abuse. It is important, therefore, that you
understand how the law looks at child abuse and never do anything that could be
even remotely confused with any illegal activity. These definitions are provided by
the National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse.
• Physical Abuse: Non-accidental injury, which may include beatings, violent shak-
ing, human bites, strangulations, suffocation, poisoning or burns. The results
may be bruises and welts, broken bones, scars, permanent disfigurement, long-
lasting psychological damage, serious internal injuries, brain damage or death.
• Neglect: The failure to provide a child with basic needs including food, clothing,
education, shelter and medical care; also abandonment and inadequate supervision.
• Sexual Abuse: The sexual exploitation of a child by an older person as in rape,
incest, fondling of the genitals, exhibitionism or pornography. It may be done for
the sexual gratification of the older person, out of a need for power or for econom-
ic reasons.
• Emotional Maltreatment: A pattern of behavior that attacks a child’s emotional
development and a sense of self worth, such as constant criticizing, belittling,
insulting, manipulation; also, providing no love, support or guidance.

Kids of the Rock Volunteer Handbook • Black Rock Congregational Church

Reporting Suspected Child Abuse

• Familiarize yourself with the definitions and descriptions of child abuse listed
• If you suspect that a child involved in any of the Kids of the Rock programs has
been abused, the following steps are to be followed:

• Report the suspected abuse to a member of the Kids Ministry Staff.

• Do not interview the child regarding the suspected abuse.
• Do not discuss the suspected abuse with other workers, parents, etc. All
information should be kept confidential with your ministry coordinator and
the proper authorities.
• After the suspected child abuse case has been reported by a volunteer worker,
proper steps will be taken by the Kids Ministry staff to report the suspected
abuse to the designated reporting agency. Recognize that while abuse is rampant
in today’s society, it is also easy to “misdiagnose” abuse if you are not familiar
with a particular child, race, or social group.

Classroom Procedures
Physical contact with children should be minimal and only in the presence of other
adults. Appropriate touching should be limited to handshakes, “high fives”, brief
side hugs or a brief touch on the shoulder.

• At least two workers should be present whenever possible. No child should be

alone with a worker. Please keep your door open until all your children arrive.
• Workers may not have children sit on their lap while the room is darkened or
when other workers are not present.