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What I Like About Elevate Jr.

thumbs_up I’ve introduced the change we’ve made to Elevate Jr. earlier this week, and yesterday I talked about how we are using Elevate Jr.

Today let’s tackle What I like about Elevate Jr.:

  • It’s consistent.   It has long been a challenge to maintain a consistent level of teaching across all classrooms.   I needed something that would guarantee me that children were all going home with a biblical truth that was consistently taught to each child in each classroom.   I cannot overstate this enough, seriously.
  • It has forced our classrooms into a schedule.   I’ll be the first to admit that it has been a major weakness of our Early Childhood departments that we have not had a consistent schedule.   Some teachers were spending 45 minutes on crafts, while others were skipping it all together.   Elevate Jr. has been awesome at making it easy to walk down the 3 year old hallway, and realistically know what should be happening in each classroom.   It is going to hold our teachers much more accountable to doing what needs to be done and not getting bogged down in one area or another.
  • No More Snack Time!   There just isn’t time for it anymore, because Elevate Jr. has made our classrooms more deliberate about every minute of the classroom experience.   Elevate Jr. has allowed us to abandon the expensive, lunch-ruining snack tradition that exists in so many different Early Childhood areas.   This change alone has scared away a few leaders.   I’ve learned that snack time was being used as a crutch for poor planning…and that is an entire separate conversation.
  • The video portions are very well done.   I cannot state this more clearly to my Children’s Pastor friends: NOT all video materials are created equal.   Elevate Jr. is very well done.   The colors are vivid and sharp, the set designs are wonderfully created, the actors are lively and captivating to the kids, and the DVD itself is super easy to use.
  • It’s not a video-only curriculum.   While the video elements are key to teaching the lesson each week, it is not the sole presentation of the biblical elements.   My group leaders still have to prepare, lead, and become engaging storytellers.   This is a fact that I’ve had to demonstrate this to my existing leaders, so that they will not be misguided in their belief that we are asking our televisions to teach our kids on Sunday Mornings.
  • It gives leaders the opportunity to put more time into building relationships with the kids.   Elevate Jr. is great at taking the main teaching burden off my teachers (although it is still there in a smaller form), and instead puts the emphasis on what happens during classroom activity, main point activity and other elements that include teacher-child interaction.

If you use Elevate Jr., what am I missing?   Anything that you love about it that I forgot?

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.