Every Wednesday night since the beginning of the school year Nolan has attended Awana at church. He is a Cubbie! I was looking for a way to serve at church, and so since I would need to drive to drop off and pick up Nolan at Awana every week, I thought that volunteering with the 3 and 4 year olds would be a great way to serve the church AND do something special with JUST Nolan.
I really wanted Nolan to get involved in something at church since we decided to send him to a public preschool. He goes to Sunday School every Sunday morning, but I wanted something a little bit more. I had no idea really of what Awana was, but I knew that it involved kids memorizing scripture and doing some fun activities! And it is both of those things, but so much more!
I also had no idea that it is kind of like Boy & Girl Scouts. The kids all wear a vest and earn patches for the verses they memorize.
You can see on Nolan's vest in this picture that he has earned 5 patches already- that's about 18 verses that he knows by heart! In their first year, they will fill the A (Awana) and in their second year, they will fill the C (Club) with patches.
He has this book that we read throughout the week and learn stories from the Bible. We learn all about Jesus, His love for us, His miracles, His teachings, and most importantly about His grace. I love that this book helps us learn about God every day. We practice repeating the verse of the week every day and then also do some extra "Under the Apple Tree" activities to practice old verses and cement the meaning of the current week's verse.
Then on Wednesday night we head to Awana. There are about 40, 3 and 4 year olds. It's nuts! Some kids sit quietly and listen, some blurt out, some run around, some love the craft, others love the games. It's so interesting to see how diverse the strengths and interests and abilities of kids Nolan's age are. We have fun coloring, doing activities, listening to a Bible story, singing songs, watching a puppet show, saying the pledge, giving offering, playing games, and saying THE VERSE! Nolan has to clearly say his verse to his teacher and then he earns stickers in his book. When he says 3 verses then he earns a patch. At the end of the evening they award the patches to students and everyone claps and cheers for them. It is fun seeing Nolan get so proud of himself when he successfully says his verse and earns his patch. The smile on his face is like nothing else. He beams...I beam!
It's a late night as we head home at 8:45 p.m. We are both exhausted by the end.