Friday, September 4, 2009

To Copy or not to Copy

It may seem odd to have an article about copyright issues under the title "living and learning the virtues," but if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. When we teach children about virtues, they will learn best by our good example. All the saint stories, acts of virtue, memorized prayers and Bible verses will be lost if the parent gives a poor example when living out virtue.

Illegally photocopying material not only gives a bad example of moral virtue to children, it also prevents more good materials to be produced. It may seem a small thing to have a copy of an extra saint picture on hand or to copy a few pages here and there, but children see and follow our example. We need to be above repoach and models of virtue in their eyes.

Here are a few suggestions to make your life as a leader easier while keeping your virtue intact. 1) if you'd like another copy of a saint's picture, have the children trace it from the book. It will be their own work and can add to craft time. 2) If you have a new child join and they don't yet have a book, have another child share (thus practicing virtue). The new child can copy down the Bible verse and prayers, thus helping commit them to memory. 3) If you were delayed in ordering your books and are afraid they won't be there by the first meeting, plan something else or postpone the meeting. Remember, the program is flexible, so you don't have to do one virtue a month for nine months. It may sound like the perfect plan, but it's only an outline to help you. The first meeting is going to be hectic anyway. Plan a couple of ice breaker games, a short craft, and "getting to know you" activities. It will go much better than handing out loose sheets of photocopied materials. Also, I frequently get calls from leaders wanting me to read them the first lessons' materials so they can plan their meeting. They typically have been busy and forgotten to order the books ahead of time. To teach a lesson with no materials and little forsight does a disservice to the youth. Again, I urge you to postpone your meeting or organize something else until you can receive your materials. By the way, because I, too, am a busy mom, I am unable to read the lessons to each person who asks. Please forgive me.

As the publisher who has taken on the expense of printing this material, I am very grateful to all of you for your time and commitment to our youth. I strive to make the materials as user friendly as possible. I hope all of you have a wonderful year with your groups! God bless you in your work for His work!