You are on page 1of 15

Kids of the Rock Volunteer Handbook Black Rock Congregational Church

volunteer handbook
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 generation 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 freeand 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 understand what weve 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. Sincerely, Kent Currie Director of Kids Ministry Black Rock Church


Kids of the Rock Volunteer Handbook Black Rock Congregational Church

Kids Ministry Leadership

Heres 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 Vera Barroso, Elementary Coordinator 203.255.3401 x126 Patsy Gerhart, Preschool Coordinator 203.255.3401 x126 Cindy Chiriboga, 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 Spirit. 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 Christ. 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 Gods hand. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and unjust, the everlasting blessedness 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 1. Safety will be our top priority Everything we do will be physically safe and in the best interest of the child. Checkin procedures, background checks for all teachers and workers, and various protective 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, spiritual 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 scripture. 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 relationships 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 environment where kids will want to come and invite friends.

Our Core Values


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 Sunday 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 within 12 months of the commencement of my teaching. To My Students I will pray for the children in my class to know Gods 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 activities. 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. ____________________________________ Teachers 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. Heres 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
Expenditures 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 coordinator. 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 MUST NEVER SERVE FOOD THAT CONTAINS PEANUTS WITHOUT PRIOR APPROVAL. 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. Rooms 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 advance 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 well 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-inSafety 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 childs safety. Its 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 procedure. It ensures the safety of the child and will be an ineffective tool if it is not enforced. 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 childs name at the bottom of the roster and mark the child IN. Please note any allergies on the childs badge. YOU MAY NOT ACCEPT A CHILD TO A CLASSROOM IF THEY 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. DismissalCompare the childs name tag number to the parents 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 GuidelinesAs 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 staffpaid and volunteerwho 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 individuals 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 Childrens Ministries. 5. Adult volunteers should immediately report any behaviors which seem abusive or inappropriate to their supervisor, who will then report to the Minister of Childrens 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 experience 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 childs shoulder o Asking them a question o Reviewing the classroom rules when you are quietly working together on a project 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 persons 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 need. 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 another 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 teacher, 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 classroom 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 ill. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES IS ANY MEDICATION (ASPIRIN, TUMS, ETC.) TO BE GIVEN TO A CHILD BY ANY OF OUR STAFF. 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 NO CIRCUMSTANCES IS MEDICATION TO BE APPLIED BY ANY OF OUR 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. IF THERE ARE BODILY FLUIDS INVOLVED IN ANY ACCIDENT, RUBBER 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 CIRCUMSTANCES IS MEDICATION TO BE APPLIED BY ANY OF OUR STAFF. The 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 parent 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.


Fire 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 unless otherwise notified. An Evacuation Floor Plan is posted in every room, on every floor, and in each building of Black Rock Congregational Churchs 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. Earthquake Move children away from windows. Get under cribs or tables and keep calm.


-10 -

Kids of the Rock Volunteer Handbook Black Rock Congregational Church Crying This is the most frequent problem you will encounter. It can mean many things, including frustration, anger or hunger. Take advantage of the toddlers 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 childs 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 necessary 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 Biting It is important that we maintain a safe environment for all children and that we are therefore diligent in preventing children from biting other children. It is important that all staff in the Childrens department watch for this problem. If biting incident occurs, the Director of Kids Ministries shall be notified immediately. If the Director is not available a member of the Pastoral staff will be notified. Both sets of parents, the parents of the child bitten and the parents of the biter, shall be notified. Any bite that breaks the skin should be cleansed immediately with soap and water and bandaged. Ice packs are available to place on bites. If a child has bitten another child, a parent will be required to stay in the nursery with the biting child until it has been observed by the coordinator that the child is safe from doing harm again. Once it has been deemed that the child has sufficiently passed the biting phase, the child may be allowed to stay in the room without parent supervision. Lost child In the event that a child is unaccounted for in our facility, one of the initial steps is that lay people working in Kids Ministry remain calm and in control of their emotions. Added stress can heighten a situation and cause alarm even when it may not be an emergency (i.e. picked up by another family member). In the event of a missing child, the coordinator shall be contacted immediately and a search of the building shall commence.The coordinator, shall notify the Director of Kids Ministries, who shall be responsible for notifying others on the Pastoral

What to do When


Kids of the Rock Volunteer Handbook Black Rock Congregational Church Staff and other emergency lay leaders. The Pastoral staff and other lay leaders shall immediately monitor all exits to the building and a search of the building shall be initiated. The parents of the lost child shall also be notified as soon as possible. If the child is not found, the police shall be notified of the incident. Bruises 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. Choking 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. Intruder 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.

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.


Kids of the Rock Volunteer Handbook Black Rock Congregational Church 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 shaking, human bites, strangulations, suffocation, poisoning or burns. The results may be bruises and welts, broken bones, scars, permanent disfigurement, longlasting 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 economic reasons. Emotional Maltreatment: A pattern of behavior that attacks a childs emotional development and a sense of self worth, such as constant criticizing, belittling, insulting, manipulation; also, providing no love, support or guidance. Reporting Suspected Child Abuse Familiarize yourself with the definitions and descriptions of child abuse listed above. 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 todays 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.


Kids of the Rock Volunteer Handbook Black Rock Congregational Church

By signing below, I am saying that I have read the handbook and will comply with all policies of our Kids Dept. and Black Rock Church. I am also saying that I will do my best to uphold the values of serving Christ and setting an example to the children that I will lead.

(Please tear off back page and return to a Kids of the Rock Coordinator)