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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

TeenPact Leadership Class - An Invaluable Program for Christian Students

Last week my son, along with some of his homeschool friends, attended TeenPact Leadership School's one day class held at our state capitol.  At the completion of the class, I asked my son what his thoughts were about the program and his response was, "It was awesome!" As his mother and spectator, I must say that I completely agreed with him. The class was inspiring, motivational, educational, and in the midst of it all included prayer and worship to our Lord. 

Below is a description of the class copied from TeenPact Leadership School's website:
At the TeenPact One Day class, we believe that even learning about government can be fun! Students 8-12 years old will see their capitol building, participate in public speaking exercises, and learn what the Bible has to say about the government. Students will write a bill and have the chance to discuss it in their “committee” during the mock legislature. Each activity is made easy to understand with plenty of interaction and energy. Hands-on learning, an enthusiastic staff team and an encouraging atmosphere make this a class you’ll never forget!

Activities Include:
  • Understanding the legislative process
  • Mock legislature
  • The influence of constituents on lawmakers
  • The role of Christians in politics
  • Being “Salt and Light” at the capitol
  • The Biblical responsibility to pray for our leaders (1Timothy2:1-3)
  • The principle of “higher authority” (Romans 13:1-2)
  • Public speaking for young students
When we first arrived at the check-in desk we were greeted by TeenPact's representatives who consisted of teens whom I guessed to be between the ages of 16 and 19.  They were very friendly and exuberant.

TeenPact's Teen Representatives

One of the ways they helped the children feel comfortable in meeting and talking with each other was by providing them with a sheet of paper filled with sentences within a box such as, "I own a horse" or "I have a dog."  Each child then approached someone they didn't know and that child signed their name inside the box which applied to them.  This way you learned something about that person.

Once it was time to start the class, they opened it up with prayer and worship songs.

That was followed by sword drills.  Each child was to bring a Bible with them to the class and they looked up several Bible verses.  The first child to find the verse then read it out loud.

My son reading one of the scriptures.

One of the things the children did during this event was to walk to several areas within our state capitol and pray for our leaders and decision makers.

Using a humorous skit, the children then learned about the process of how a bill becomes a law.  It was evident that the children (and parents) enjoyed this as the room was filled with laughter.

Prior to attending the class, each child was to have written a mock bill to bring to class with them. The children (there were about 22 homeschooled children) all took turns reading their bill. 

My son's bill stated, "To allow the word God and Christian beliefs back into the schools"
One of our homeschool friends
After all of the bills had been read, the children broke up into several "committees" and participated in a mock legislature.  This was an excellent learning experience.  Each child was given the opportunity to explain the reasoning behind their bill.  Then they answered questions from the other members of the committee.  They ended by voting on whether or not to pass the bill.

Mock legislature - My son's bill was passed
After this committee's mock legislature was completed, all the children came back together and continued going over several bills as a group.  Some of the children were quite humorous in their responses making this a fun experience, although somewhat long.  (I suggested in my survey that they either offer a break at some point during this part, or shorten it.)

Once the class was completed each child received a certificate.

The children with some of their team leaders

If you have children within the ages of 8-12, I would greatly recommend you consider them attending this one day class. My son asked if he could do it again next year.  Most definitely!

TeenPact also offers a four day class for children ages 13-19.  You can learn more about it by clicking on this link.

For those of you who have children that are more introverted, I spoke to one of the teen leaders and asked her how she became interested in this program.  She shared the story of how her older, shy sister had attended these classes and the difference it had made to her personality.  Her sister became more confident in speaking to others.  She also saw how much her sister enjoyed the classes and that sparked an interest in her.

So whether your child is shy or outgoing, attending this class will leave a lasting impact.  I know it left one on both my son and me.

In front of the capitol
In front of the capitol's steps
With God All Things Are Possible

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