Kingdom Rock talk
August 20, 2013
TORII STATION, Okinawa, Japan - Many of us view summer as a time to catch-up and take a few deep breaths. After all, school is out, but that does not mean your child's learning must stop.
From Aug. 12-16, Kingdom Rock, a summer Bible school enrichment program was held at the Torii Station Chapel. The program offers endless opportunities for children who are naturally curious and eager to explore. This year, close to 50 children, ages 5-11 participated in numerous Bible study activities and games.
Students were divided into five groups which were identified by a specific color. Each group receives a variety of instruction ranging from tournament games to imagination station to traditional Bible study. Volunteer teachers, referred to as crew leaders ensures their group, referred to as a "crew" stays on track with follow up questions and discussions during each session. The focus of each session is to provide life learning experiences such as communication, friendship and building team skills.
"They're having fun as we divide the day into four sections to include a games portion, Bible teaching time, snack time, and a time to conduct some experiments. Each day the games portion has a theme. For example, today the theme is friendship and leaning on each other. They are learning about team work and how to encourage one another," explained Capt. Mike Jernigan, Chaplain, 78th Signal Battalion, 516th Signal Brigade.
Asking questions and investigating possibilities help children make connections between their lives and their surroundings. These connections help children become better readers and learners.
"I think that experience as taught us that vacation Bible school can be pretty life changing for children," said Maj. Bubba Temkin, Chaplin, 10th Regional Support Group. "What we hope as parents we lay a good foundation for our children to help build their lives. Vacation Bible school offers just that. Year after year we find children love the program. The take away is church life and Christianity can be fun making a difference in their lives. Over the years this program represents the highlight of chapels all over the world as get to work with our children every day."
Karyn Kuniyuki, a first time volunteer and mother of three boys, has become a strong advocate of the program. "Vacation Bible school is new to our family; this is only the second summer we have attended. It has been very exciting to see my children absorb the curriculum which is geared toward young children. As a child I did not have that."
Part of the program's charm is its simplicity and focus.
"The program breaks down the Bible into a few really simple stories tied to a larger theme. I love the music and all the children in my group are excited to come back each day," said Kuniyuki.