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Insight from a Children's Pastor & Awana Commander

Closing Program Considerations

Many clubs try to make their closing awards program a “big” production. This year I may be going a little overboard, and I’m doing that for several reasons, but that’s not the reason for this post.

When planning your closing program, you need to consider many factors, especially if you have children with special needs. Here are just a few things to consider:

  • If you are able to have Cubbie and Sparky attend your closing award ceremony, then remember that it can be scary for a small child to have a giant stuffed animal coming toward them. Be sensitive to that and be prepared to calm children down.
  • Be aware of the lighting. Children with an ASD may be sensitive to a bright spotlight shining on them. Real case experience, I was at a piano recital and the piano was centered on the platform. The arrangements of the spotlights allowed a light to be on (or near) the pianist. Persoanlly I thought it might be a good idea to have the light on these children, teens and adults playing. Instead of just turning the light on, I inquired of the person in charge who had a child with autism playing. After thinking for a moment, she suggested the light stay off as it could be a distraction for the child and “set them off”.
  • Showcase Awana – Share what God has done! There may be people attending who do not know about Awana. Give them an opportunity to learn about it and share what God has done in the previous year. People want to be where God is working.
  • Don’t worry about “topping” last year, keep it focused on the children, their accomplishments and how God is moving in their lives.

These are just a few things to consider, there are others. Share some of the things that you consider when you plan your closing program.

The Author

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  1. I prepare specifically for recruiting by having a table in the foyer with the handbooks on it and a 1/2 page “I’m Interested” survey.

  2. We invite the whole family and have a short message aimed at the parents. We announce how many verses are required to complete each book so everyone knows how difficult it is to finish a book. Leaders are acknowledged by presenting them with service pins when the kids in their group get their awards. The “year in review” video is a highlight and shows what goes on at AWANA thru the year. The kids love seeing themselves on the big screen and the parents get a better idea of what is involved. We have ice cream sundeas for everyone at the end of the night to celebrate everyone’s accomplishments.

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