Library Incentive Program for Elementary Grade Church School Students

By Cheryl Pituch and Aristea Zekios

The Library Incentive   Program, designed for children in grades 2 through 6, promotes the reading of   Christian literature at home with positive reinforcement from parents and teachers   alike.

  The purpose of this program is

  • to promote the   enjoyment of reading Christian literature, especially material dealing with   Christian values, on their
  • to address our   children’s vital need to have role models and “super heroes” other   than the ones on afternoon cartoon shows,
      the strange parade of rock stars on MTV, and the others on prime-time television  
  • to encourage   and provide independent Christian study ” a discipline we need to teach   our children.

Here’s How   It Works
  Religious children’s books, especially those which deal with Christian values   or “applied faith”, should be selected, purchased and placed in an   easily-accessible location. (Check local religious bookstores which have a wide   variety of literature for this age group.) Each group should be coded with colored   dots indicating reading level and length.

Church school teachers   or staff members should select a wide range of inexpensive gifts appropriate   for children within this age group. Each gift should be wrapped and also coded   with a corresponding colored dot.

Now, here’s what   the teacher should do:

  • Encourage each   student to sign out a book
  • After a student   completes a book, ask him or her to present a short oral or written report   to the class
  • Permit the student   to select a gift with the same color dot as the completed book
  • Whether students   do a great job on their reports is unimportant. As long as the teacher determines   that the book was indeed read and the main theme understood, the student should   be rewarded for his or her efforts

This program should   always remain optional. No student should be forced to participate, but all   should be encouraged to try at least once or twice during the school year, as   well as during the summer months.

Cheryl Pituch   and Aristea Zekios are Church School teachers at the newly established Saint   Luke the Evangelist Orthodox Church, Palos Hills, Illinois.

Taken   from the OCA Resource   Handbook for Lay Ministries