What is LAUNCH?
LAUNCH is St. Ann's Children's Ministry or Elementary Religious Education program that was designed and created by the staff here at the Catholic Church of St. Ann.
Why did you name the program LAUNCH?
Our staff wanted to create a new name for religious ed that inspired children to be excited about learning their Catholic faith. LAUNCH was a verb that we felt was full of adventure, excitement, and passion. The definition of the word "launch" means to "set in motion", and that's what our goal here in Children's Ministry is to do, to set in motion children's faith journeys. We want to IGNITE children's Catholic faith! We want them to journey to the Son...Jesus, and do so with a fire in their souls.
How is LAUNCH different than PSR, CCE, CCD, or Sunday School?
The answer is, it isn't, and it is. LAUNCH hasn't changed the religious education teachings we all grew up with. Our faith is our faith, and that is the same. However, LAUNCH is different than the WAY you were taught growing up. Utilizing modern day teaching practices, techniques, and research, our goal at LAUNCH is to engage your child in their faith using MULTIPLE teaching strategies. Does your child like to paint, sing, dance, act, think, sort, find, discover, discuss, or solve? Then LAUNCH is for your family!
What curriculum series are you using?
We are currently using the USCCB approved book series Allelu and Alive in Christ from Our Sunday Visitor for grades PreK-1st Grade. In 2nd Grade we are using the Blessed series. In 3rd-5th grade we are using Venture and Good News from Pflaum. However, our staff of certified teachers and theology majors are modifying and adding to the book lessons to create customized plans that meet the needs of our East Cobb students.
What does a typical LAUNCH session look like?
In PreK-2nd Grade, your child will begin with prayer and have a quick discussion over the day's topic. Then they will join their peers in energetic praise and worship in our Flight Training room. Next, they will return to their classes and read or listen to a lesson from their text books that relates to the weekly Gospel message. This is followed up with another small discussion. Then, they will spend the remainder of class having choices between four stations that are Gospel themed and involve either art, reading, thinking, acting, technology, or discovery.
In 3rd-5th Grade, students begin in prayer, then read and discuss the weekly Gospel message in whole group and small group conversations. Next, students engage in the material through a whole group or small group activity, such as a game, service project, skit, or artistic creation. Finally, your child will end their session in the Flight Training room with their peers. The closing session may entail meditative adoration, energetic worship songs, a skit, or video introduction of the day's topic.
See our photos below for a visual reference.
What grades are eligible for LAUNCH?
We serve students 3-years-old to 5th grade. After 5th grade, students attend EDGE or LifeTeen.
When are LAUNCH sessions?
LAUNCH is an hour and a half program that runs once a week, typically from the second week in September to the second or third week in April. The 2019-2020 session times will be the following:
- *Sundays from 8:45am-10:15am
- *Sundays from 10:45am-12:15pm
- *Mondays from 3:30pm-5:00pm
- *Mondays from 5:30pm-7:00pm
- *Tuesdays from 4:00-5:30pm
A 90 minute session seems long, do you think my child can sustain attention for that length of time?
We do, and here's why:
- *The lessons are interactive and hands-on
- *Students do not sit down and work on reading, worksheets, or workbooks the entire time. They may only do so for 5-20 minutes depending on their age and grade.
- *Students are moving around a large portion of the time.
- *Students get a choice as to what station they want to complete and for how long.
- *Younger children devote a large portion of their session to Gospel themed play, and we all know children can play for hours.
However, if you still feel there may be a complication, please contact the Director to work out accommodations that will meet the needs of your family.
How much does LAUNCH cost?
LAUNCH is $120/student for the entire year of religious education. We do offer an early bird registration discount of $100/student if you register in the month of July. Additionally, PreK students ages 3 & 4 are FREE!
How do I know if you are on a break, in session, or closed due to holidays or weather?
You can access the LAUNCH calendar on this page under the Documents tab/section. It will show you any days that we are in session or closed for breaks. We typically follow the Cobb County break schedule, but for any weather closings please check your emails, texts, our Facebook page or the website for information.
Do you have a Facebook page?
We sure do. Click the picture link below to be directed to our page.
Do you have carpool?
Yes. Carpool drop off starts 15 minutes prior to a LAUNCH session and concludes at the start of each session. Carpool pickup begins once a LAUNCH session has concluded and continues until 15 minutes after a session's end.
I would like to volunteer or help in my child's classroom, can I do that?
My child is past the typical sacramental year of 2nd Grade, can they still receive First Reconciliation and First Communion?
My child has not been baptized yet, can they take LAUNCH classes?
My child has special needs, can you accommodate them?
We are working this year with the Director of Disabilities for the Archdiocese, other sister parishes, the Faith and Light ministry, and parents of children with disabilities to help "launch" a more inclusive and accommodating Children's Ministry program. Our goal is to have the majority, if not all, students be mainstreamed into classes with their peers, but to provide a one-on-one Buddy (trained volunteer) that can assist your child in accommodations or modifications to the lesson given.
We cannot promise that we are trained, equipped, or fully capable of meeting all special needs that a child may be facing, but we will do our best with what God has given us. Our deepest desire is that you and your family feel welcomed here, and with your help and guidance, we will provide the love and support that we can to make you feel at home here at St. Ann's.
Do you offer a Montessori option?
What are your safety and security policies to keep my child safe?
- We follow the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops rules and guidelines of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People's Promise to Protect. This was created in 2002 and revised in June of 2018. To find more information about this charter go to usccb.org or archatl.com.
- All volunteers and staff are background checked and VIRTUS Safe Environment trained when assisting with children.
- We follow the You Plus 2 rule at LAUNCH, which states that no adult is left alone with a child that is not in a public or easily visible area. Adults need to be with another child or adult witness to protect all involved parties.
- All volunteers and staff are Mandated Reporters, which means if they suspect ANYTHING inappropriate has or is happening to a child at home, in school, in the church, etc., they MUST report it to the Dept of Family and Child Services to investigate.
What can I do while my child is in LAUNCH?
If your child is attending the Sunday 8:45am session, there will be an adult faith group that will be meeting during that session called ALPHA. To see what ALPHA is, please watch the video below, or check out their website for more information at https://www.stannalpha.com/.
Where do I go to register?
You can find the link to our website on our main LAUNCH page, or click HERE to access our registration system.
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