All parents with a child enrolled in CRE are required to contribute their time and talent to our program. Your help is a big part of the reason we’re able to do what we do! There are a number of options for volunteering. It’s important that you give this careful consideration so that your volunteer commitment is realistic for you and is something you are able to fulfill. We could not have the “village” we have without help from all of our families. Parents are needed in several ways…
Your children learn about the importance of their religious community from you. We hope that you can make weekly attendance at RE classes a priority for your family and that you yourself will find ways to engage with FUS. We want FUS to be your family’s spiritual home, not just a place for your kids! By being here regularly, your child will feel “at home” here and will make meaningful connections with other children and adults. Chances are you will too!
Your Financial Commitment
A quality religious education program can be expensive. Our yearly budget for child care, classes, and activities for children and youth is about $400 per child—well above the fee that we charge. Families participate without charge in child care and our Summer Fun program. First year participants in our CRE program pay a fee per class, but are not required to make a pledge of support to the congregation. We want you to have the year to determine whether or not FUS feels right as your family’s spiritual home. After the first academic year, participants are required to make a yearly pledge as well as pay class fees. These pledges help support the overall operating expenses of FUS. Select a pledge amount that feels right for your family’s resources. You can learn more about pledging and make your financial commitment here.
All households with children registered in children’s religious education are expected to volunteer in some way toward the success of our programs for children and youth. We have many needs and limited staffing, so your help is essential.
You’ll be required to list three choices for your volunteer commitment when you register your child(ren). It’s important that you give this careful consideration so that your volunteer commitment is realistic for you and is something you are able to fulfill. We’ll assign you where our greatest need is, based on your choices. We truly count on you doing your part!
Please review the list below.
Most of our classes are taught by a team of four volunteer teachers. Each week, one teacher has the responsibility of being the “Community Lead,” helping the class community to be strong and leading the class in its weekly rituals. The other teacher is the “Curriculum Lead” and has the responsibility of facilitating that week’s content and activities. (For many of our classes, weekly parent helpers are on hand as well.) Our teachers are in the classroom roughly twice per month, mid-September through mid-May. Our classes use a provided curriculum that outlines what will be taught from week to week. Volunteer teachers are our greatest need; please consider making this your first choice of volunteer possibilities!
Please note: teachers for Mind, Body & Soul and Coming of Age are by invitation only. If you have an interest in teaching either of these classes, please contact Leslie Ross, our Director of Children’s Religious Education to set up a meeting.
Classroom Support Coordinator
Classroom Support Coordinators (CSCs) are needed for each class. CSCs have different roles, depending on the class. Most CSCs schedule weekly parent helpers. Other roles may include planning social outings, or other things to support class activities. All coordinate “thank you” gifts for teachers at the end of the year.
Faith in Action Coordinator
Our K-8th grade classes all participate in Faith in Action activities. Through Faith in Action, we “live” our UU principles and strive to “make the world a better place.” Classes will have two activities during the year. These include things like preparing a meal for homeless individuals, making items to sell at the Occupy Madison’s Tiny Homes site, serving ice cream at the Veterans Hospital, and more.
CRE Ministry Team
The CRE Ministry Team serves from June through May and has several tasks in its portfolio. They may help organize our yearly Teacher Orientation (August) and Religious Education Appreciation Dinner (February). They may also be asked to help with teacher recruitment, assuring that we are adequately “staffed” to meet the number of CRE enrollees we have each year. And they welcome our new CRE families through phone calls and other efforts.
CRE Table Greeter
Life at the RE Table gets pretty busy before services begin. New families want to visit classrooms, teachers need additional supplies, someone wants more information about our program…there’s always something! The RE Table Greeter will assist RE staff by signing in visitors and showing them the classes they will visit that day, as well as other tasks that may be needed. They are expected to help out at one service each month.
It is our hope that children of all abilities will participate in our children’s programs. Some of our children benefit from having special assistance in the classroom—someone who can focus on their needs and best strategies for their involvement. (The time commitment involved will depend on our number of volunteers but is not likely to exceed attending two classes per month.)
Summer is a busy time for us and we need your help. Summer Volunteers help us to get materials ready for classrooms, organize our supplies, and more! The CRE Program Coordinator will match you with tasks depending on your availability.