Circle of Grace Stories
Hinkletown Mennonite School, a kindergarten through grade eight school located in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, used the Circle of Grace curriculum for the first time this year. We decided to implement the curriculum school-wide during one week in January 2012.
As teachers, we loved the emphasis of the curriculum on God's love for each person. Each class did different activities, based on the age-appropriate lessons provided. Children learned how to keep themselves safe, including internet safety, through various scenarios.
Anette Raiser, grade 4 teacher, said that her students really enjoyed acting out the scenarios, and they were starting to use the language introduced in the curriculum.
The fifth grade teacher, Matthew Moyer, said, "I really enjoyed the discussion that came about from the Circle of Grace in the classroom. We talked a lot about safe choices with the media, and the students really thought about what they were watching. I feel that this creates a direct highway into what the students will be looking at in middle school. Adolescent life is full of making good choices. The Circle of Grace curriculum helped them to jumpstart making good, wholesome, and Godly choices."
Keven Boll wrote, "As a parent, I appreciated the lessons. At home one night that week, Cheyton (preK) brought it up on his own. Kaiya then talked about how in grade 2 they were learning about red light/green light. We talked about examples of red and green lights. It was a good discussion and one that wouldn't have happened were it not for the Circle of Grace lessons."
He further wrote, "As a teacher I thought they were valuable lessons and resulted in good discussions with the boys in my mentor group (grades 6, 7, and 8). (In middle school, we taught it in the mentor group setting.) They were teacher friendly—I didn't have to put huge amounts of prep time into it—yet they were meaningful."
Conversations about safety continued with parents at home and into the following weeks in the classroom. The curriculum was a wonderful way to introduce a confusing and uncomfortable topic to students, while emphasizing God's love and concern for all people.
-Cheryl Leaman with other teachers from Hinkletown Mennonite School