Sunday School is one of the principle services of St. Basil’s to the community. The primary intention of the service is to nurture the children in the Orthodox Christian faith and help them to build strong foundations for their life and become faithful stanchions of the church. St. Basil Sunday School program began in the early 1990s, growing in a small setting in Garden City, New York. One of the unique aspects of the Sunday School early on, was its emphasis on quality religious education. The church began by providing two hours of service to the children for regular Sunday sessions.This consists of a general session for the first hour and then an hour of individual teacher lead session. In addition, field trip to historical sites, movies and museums were arranged to diversify the regiment.
Sunday School classes are held after the Holy Qurbana every Sunday, still continuing to start with the general session and thereafter teacher lead sessions. Currently the school has nearly 90 registered students and over 14 teachers (regular teachers, assistants and substitutes). The senior students also help the team by actively participating through their assistance in leading the Sunday School general sessions. Overall, everyone works together to make the Sunday School experience a truly inspiring one for all.
In Specific, the classes range from Pre-KG to 12th grade. The teachers are dedicated to providing the education as directed by the Sunday School Association of the American Diocese. Students, in most cases are given a mid-term and final exam to help determine their gasp of the subject material. The students in the 5th, 8th and 10th grades are required to attend the centralized exam to determine their final standing, as well. The general session consists of interacting with the entire student body in terms such as song learning, quiz games, discussion on topics and other similar group activities. During the school term, a number of guest speakers are frequently invited to provide inspirational thoughts to the children.
The Sunday School is blessed with many wonderful and fine talented children. They actively participate in the Sunday School’s regional and diocesan level competitions, such as solo song, story telling (KG to grade 4) and elocution (grade 5 and up) competitions. The church is represented well through the contestants year after year. The children continually help develop and present entertaining plays and skits with thought provoking themes. It is their way of helping to spread the Christian message in unique ways. Sometimes it takes a leap of faith to achieve great things but it is always well wroth it.