Skip to Navigation

An Active and Growing Sunday Church School

An Interview with Rebecca Likiardopoulos
St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral, Wichita, Kansas

Rebecca is serving her first year as Church School Director at St. George Cathedral. There are usually 75-90 students attending each Sunday, and the program is seeing growth, especially in preschool through second grade classes. As the second half of the 2019-2020 school year has been affected by a global COVID-19 pandemic - with temporary closure of churches and church schools - this interview includes a special look back at St. George VBS 2019.   

Which curricula is used for Sunday classes?

Our classes utilize a mix of curriculums; our rubric is based on the Archdiocese’s recommendations. This year we are trying out “My Orthodox Church”, the new 7-questions middle school curriculum.

How is Church School organized for Sunday classes and how many teachers are assigned to each class?

This year we have 6 classes: pre-K, K, 1&2, 3/4/5, Middle and High school. They are usually broken up by enrollment numbers and applicable grades. Because we have so many little ones, next year we will probably have pre-K, K, 1, and 2 as individual classes. We try to have at least 2 teachers per class to help share the load and provide coverage. The goal is to have those with teaching credentials or experience on staff. That is not always possible, but the goal. I also try to get at least one helper for class to help with snacks, getting supplies etc.

What type(s) of online/social media sites do you use for Sunday Church School announcements/communications, and what has been the response from families?

This is the first year using a Facebook group. It has been just another communication tool amongst the traditional items.

Does St. George Church School celebrate any unique events such as Godparents Sunday, Birthdays, Holy Week traditions, Patronal Feast celebration, annual teen events, year-end celebration, or other?

We host a Fall Festival, St. Nicholas Day/Nativity Pageant alternating December’s, Godparent’s Sunday, Lazarus Friday Church School Confessions, Lazarus Saturday Outing at the Chancery, and Graduation Sunday. 

How do you keep SOYO/teen students involved and engaged in Sunday Church School?

Our Youth Director, Ben, has been doing a great job communicating with teens and keeping them engaged with both SOYO and Sunday Church School.

Please share with us an overview of Vacation Bible School 2019.

We revisited the Orthodox Curriculum, "It's Time to Go to Church," written by Kh. Gigi Shadid. She came and blessed us by leading the music portion and helping us through the curriculum. Rick Pappas reprised his role with the gym games as he had written that portion as well. We usually begin advertising our VBS at our Lazarus Saturday celebration and continue through bulletin announcements and direct mailings. We do our VBS as pan-Orthodox with the other churches in the area. We utilize a 4-day schedule from 1-4pm with the last day having a music program for parents beginning at 2:45pm. We staff with as many teachers and Church School teachers as possible. Because enrollment continues up to day of, we have to be flexible with the classroom arrangements. Last year we had Pre-K, K, 1, 2 and 3/4/5. Our schedule is already very well set throughout the day regardless of curriculum. We begin with an assembly in the chapel with a clergy member speaking on the theme for the day and then break off into our groups. Each day has games, crafts, activities, snack, music and lesson time as an individual class. Usually we try for at leat 2 teachers per class (our classes can get quite large) and a couple of helpers. We also utilize our SOYO teens to help with the classes, crafts, music, gym games and daily newsletter. We also do a collection for a cause, last year we had the children bring in coins and other money for Project Mexico.