By Joanne Dingus
I recently went to my son’s college orientation at CNU. And I noticed some things there that I think I can bring back to the children’s RE program.
First, it was very welcoming. From the second we made the turn toward the parking garage there were volunteers smiling and waving and pointing us toward and open space.
They were extremely well organized. There were tents set up alphabetically for students to sign in and drop their bags off. And vans set up to deliver their belongings to the dorm they would stay in that night.
There was a separate set of tables for parents to sign in at and they were prepared with nametags and information packets.
When we went into the auditorium for the first session, student crew leaders were holding up signs to tell students where to sit and there was an overall atmosphere of energy and enthusiasm. Presenters were filled with CNU spirit. Their excitement continued throughout the two days, even when parents were getting weary, volunteers and staff were on their game.
The sessions were consistently informative and always allowed time for questions from parents. Overall, I felt there was a strong sense of preparedness. Not just for the orientation but for all aspects of student life. They had really spent time thinking about the needs of college students and had created and put systems in place to address those needs.
I left there feeling confident and happy that my son was about to be part of a community that would embrace him, inspire him and guide him through an incredible learning experience and into a bright and successful future.
I’ve been doing the work I do, for a long time now. And it would be pretty easy to shift into auto pilot. But I know I can and we can do better than that. Carrying the ideas from CNU’s orientation with me as I head into my sixteenth year as Director of Religious Education at the UUFP, I will strive to be more welcoming, organized, prepared, informed and enthusiastic. My hope is to help all our members and visitors feel embraced, inspired and guided through learning and life in our community at the UUFP.
See You in the RE!