September 8, 2020
A Conversation with our Children's Director Melanie
We had the chance to sit down with our Children's Director, Melanie, to talk about Little Ridge Kids (0-5) and Ridge Kids (Kindergarten-5th grade), which reopen in-person this Sunday. Check it out:
First, how excited are you?
I am so excited I could do cartwheels across the atrium (well, if I COULD do a cartwheel!). But seriously, it has been so good to re-gather in person, but to be honest, there have been a few important things missing, like the sound of the kids in Ridge Kids shouting their life app or verse for the week, the squeals of laughter coming from the Little Ridge Kids hall, and even the smell of dirty diapers and Lysol spray. We are SO ready to see your children in person and share God’s love with them.
So what’s the low-down on kids programs?
Kids programming will resume in person on September 13th, during our 10:00 and 11:00 services. We will welcome all ages zero through 5th grade. You may begin checking kids in 15 minutes prior to the service start time. Please look for signs in the atrium designating check-in areas and pickup areas. We ask that parents help us keep everyone safe by social distancing as much as possible when checking in and waiting to pick up children. As before, if you have children in both Little Ridge Kids and Ridge Kids, you can check them all in at one iPad. We will not have self check-in at this time. Parents of Ridge Kids, it will be VERY helpful if you have your children use the restroom before checking in to Ridge Kids.
What about masks?
Concerning masks, we are following BCSC guidelines. All children 3 and over will be asked to wear masks. Also, all volunteers in Ridge Kids and Little Ridge Kids will wear masks (except on stage). For the safety of all families and volunteers, we ask that parents wear masks when checking in their children and when entering the Little Ridge Kids hallway.
What’s sanitization going to look like?
All children and volunteers will have their temperature checked before entering the children’s areas and will use hand sanitizer. Volunteers will work with the children periodically during the service to hand sanitize, as needed. Volunteers will sanitize surfaces between services. Also, in nurseries and preschool rooms, toys and craft supplies will be swapped out between services.
So people are going to ask – why only two services?
We are excited to be able to welcome children back, and are working to re-build our attendance as well as our volunteer base. This will take some time, but we are remaining flexible and hopeful that we will soon be able to welcome children at all services. We will continue to evaluate attendance patterns as well as volunteer concerns and needs.
Can we use this as a shameless opportunity to recruit more volunteers?
Absolutely! If you are not considered high risk, and would be interested in helping us continue to serve families and children at The Ridge, we’d love to have you join our children’s ministry team. We have a variety of openings (from checking in kids to leading a group of kids, to rocking babies, and even running tech equipment). Let us know what you're interested in.
What if my family still isn’t ready to come back?
We will continue to share kids’ videos on our Facebook page (@RidgeKids24.7) and also at theridge.org/updates. In this way, your kids can still hear the stories that the kids who attend in person will hear. We also provide parent guides so you can do an activity at home to review the story.
Anything else we need to know?
As we work and plan to welcome our kids back in person, there are some things that will have to change not only with our procedures but also with our programming.
Ridge Kids may feel a little different for a while, as we work to social distance, wear masks, and provide the safest possible environment for our kids and volunteers. But what won’t change is our vision: we want to be a safe place for kids, a place where they know they are valued, they are loved and they belong; a place where they can learn that they can trust God no matter what. We are passionate about helping kids discover who God is and how they can follow His plan for their lives.
In Little Ridge Kids, preschoolers will still have a fun story video, song time, and craft time (all while social distancing on their own foam mats). For activities, they will have their own cup of supplies and will not be passing or sharing any toys or supplies. These things will look and feel different to the kids, but you can bet that they will still be met with warm, friendly teachers and helpers who want to model God’s love to them, to help them learn that God made them, God loves them and Jesus wants to be their friend forever!