IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!.... VOLUNTEER SUPPORT NEEDED FOR SUNDAY CHILDREN'S PROGRAM
Going forward, now and in the future, we need consistent volunteer help in the classroom in a way we have never had before. The program is being used more heavily than ever and the number of children has grown over the past two years.
Until a permanent teacher is hired, there must be at least two adults signed up to volunteer in the classroom for the Sunday Children's Program to be open for any given Sunday. So, please consider supporting this very important function of giving the children in our sangha a firm foundation in the Dharma. You can sign up for a volunteer slot using the link below.
In the past, PIMC has been very informal about staffing the Sunday Children's Program, and parents have been comfortable with that. When we've had a teacher, we have all thought nothing about having just that one adult with the children for two hours. From time to time, people have volunteered, ususally in the spur of the moment, but it's always been considered something nice to have, but not necessary.
This needs to change, despite us having never had any problems that we're aware of. We don't want to think that, in a small, trusting sangha like ours, there might be adults who are not good choices for being around children. To continue having a children's program that is safe and nourishing for our kids, the current reality requires that we must consider the possibility of that.
At the same time, this program won't be sustainable unless the sangha as a whole, including people not parenting young children, actively participates in it.
What follows is our current plan, based on input from sangha participants who work with children professionally. This may change somewhat as we learn more.
THE PLAN - UNTIL THE HIRING OF A PERMANENT TEACHER
Until PIMC hires a permanent teacher, the operation of the Sunday Children's Program will be conditional on there always being at least two adults signed up to volunteer.
The SignUp list (see the link above) divides the program into two one-hour slots, each of which has room for two people to sign up. For any hour that shows less than two people, the room will be closed for that hour. If both hours show less than two people signed up, the Children's Program will be closed for that Sunday.
If two people sign up for both hours, two people are all that's needed for the room to be open. Or, two people could each sign up for one hour, with a third person who signs up for both hours. Or, four people could each take one hour
The deadline for people to sign up to volunteer each Sunday will be the previous Friday at noon. Each Friday, Avi will evaluate week-to-week, based on sign-ups in the sign-up list. Then Avi will contact parents to confirm for the following Sunday that the children's program will be either:
2. Open for one hour, or
IMPORTANT: Parents in the sangha need to understand that none of the volunteers will have been subject to a criminal background check by PIMC (background checks for Children's Program volunteers will be happening at some point, but not immediately). So, the sign in sheet for the program will contain a disclaimer stating this, and parents will be will need to write their signatures as an acknowledgement. We encourage parents who bring their children to the program to check in on them periodically during the Dharma gathering.
THE PLAN - AFTER A TEACHER IS HIRED
Once PIMC hires a permanent teacher, the Children's Program will still require 1-2 volunteer assistants each week. Even though any teacher we hire will need to pass a background check, dealing with even a small group of children goes most smoothly when there are at least two adults. So, on any given Sunday, if the teacher is present, but there are no volunteers signed up, the classroom will be closed for that day.
We are figuring this out as we go and we appreciate everyone's input into this new process, as well as everyone's patience.
Thank you so much for helping teach our children well.