From our blog:

6 Ways for Safer Sunday School This Fall

In addition to ordering Sunday school curriculum and buying supplies for classrooms, take a few moments to consider steps to ensure safety for the Sunday school students at your church this fall. Equipping teachers with the information and tools they need ahead of time can go a long way in supporting a healthy environment for all. Dove’s Nest is here to serve your church. 

1. Follow the two-adult rule: We recommend two adults (preferably unrelated) in all settings with children. Avoid one adult and one child situations at all costs. This means two Sunday school teachers or youth leaders in each class. See our video on the two-adult rule here.

2. Check out classrooms:
 Invite teachers or Sunday school coordinators to check out and evaluate the classrooms ahead of time. If you don’t already have windows in doors, install them; this aids in supervision and accountability. The space should be ready, inviting, and safe for all!
3. Schedule a teacher training: Plan for a Sunday school teacher training and/or orientation led by a Sunday school coordinator or a Dove’s Nest speaker. See our offerings here. Topics covered could include the following: nonviolent, positive discipline and classroom management techniques; consent, healthy touch, and boundaries; signs of abuse, and how to report abuse; supervision before and after Sunday school sessions; and other information from your protection policy. 

4. Plan a blessing: Consider planning a back-to-school and/or first day of Sunday school blessing during the worship service. This is a time to recognize students, teachers, and Sunday school volunteers. You may consider a small gift of school supplies for the students and a token of gratitude for the Sunday school teachers. Books about safety can also be utilized in a Children’s Time in the early fall. See book ideas here. 

5. Consider Circle of Grace: The fall is a good time to consider what month to implement the Circle of Grace curriculum, a Christian safe environment curriculum. The curriculum for ages preK to 12th grade is available in Spanish and English and includes 2–4 sessions, depending on the age group. The Circle of Grace curriculum teaches children and youth how to identify and maintain appropriate physical, emotional, spiritual, and sexual boundaries; recognize when boundary violations are about to occur; and demonstrate how to take action when boundaries are threatened or violated. The 2019 update is now available!

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Dove's Nest's mission is to empower and equip faith communities to keep children and youth safe in their homes, churches, and communities. "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children"  (Luke 18:16 NLT).