Have you ever wondered what we do in Chapel at TPK? Today’s guest post is by one of our Chapel leaders, Penelope Hayes. Read on to learn about our chapel program and why it’s special.
On the first floor of Truro Preschool and Kindergarten is a color filled room with large decoupaged “stained glass windows” and lots of happy images and encouraging words. This room is a space the children are introduced to as a special place created just for them…it’s even called “The Children’s Chapel.” It’s meant to be filled with joy and love, and to encourage the children to feel welcomed each week as they come in and learn about the many gifts God gives each of us.
Our Chapel time has a routine to help the children follow along. We begin with a greeting, taking moments to connect with our sweet Littles and hear about things that are important to them. Song is also an important part of our Chapel time, we sing and dance joyfully, lifting our voices together as a way to offer love back to God. Scripture is another aspect of Chapel. We learn together, using movements to assist in memory development, and then spend a brief time in prayer, where children volunteer as prayer helpers, offering their own requests, thanks, and words which always honor the love they have in their precious hearts.
Each week TPK classes come to the Chapel to listen and learn as their Chapel Ladies, Miss Penelope and Miss Anne, share a lesson on the love of God. The focus changes monthly, though there is a reoccurring theme of “gift,” an idea that most of us can connect to through our own love of both giving and receiving. The idea of “gift” is an important one, it covers so many important aspects of this precious life we live. In fact, the children were originally introduced to their Chapel Ladies and to the Chapel space at the start of this year through a special classroom visit. The Chapel Ladies brought in a large gift looking box (known as The Big Chapel Box) filled with items to help reveal some of the areas that would be focused on this year during Chapel as we learn about the many amazing ways God loves all of us. The children greatly enjoyed watching each item be taken out of the box, and were incredibly attentive as the purpose of each was briefly explained to them. Items ranged from a small globe and a heart pillow, to both a Noah’s Ark and Nativity wood block set. The children were encouraged to touch some of the items and share them with their classmates. We often bring out The Big Chapel Box during Chapel and the children quickly point out the “present” when they come in.
We love using visuals during our time together as we make a point to reach all styles of learning through many different ways of presenting our lessons. We often use manipulatives, felt-boards, drawing boards, story-telling with large images, and fun skits. The children interact with us and the lessons in many ways, and always enjoy being able to respond to us during our time together. One of the favorite ways they interact is with a very special friend who often comes to visit during Chapel. This favorite friend is Tiny the Turtle; a hand puppet you might think was a super star if one of the children was to introduce you to him. He is so popular that when we get to his “standard” visiting time the children can almost not contain their joy. Tiny often helps us to introduce or reinforce the lesson for the week. He can be easily confused which is greatly entertaining to the children (and to be honest to the rest of us as well!).
Needless to say, Miss Anne and Miss Penelope love the many ways we are able to share about the love of God with our sweet Littles. Love itself is the most incredible gift, one to be treasured, and we recognize that every opportunity we are given to spend time with the precious children of TPK is a gift unto itself. We strive to use these moments in the best way we can, working to honor God through what we teach and share, and feeling honored by the sweet love we receive in return from the children.