LifeWay’s theme for VBS this year is “Journey Off the Map.” Through Bible stories and all kinds of fun, kids will discover that obeying God can lead them beyond the expected.
One group of kids and adults is especially excited to participate in VBS. These are people who have special needs. A curriculum has been designed just for them and is ready for churches to use to make VBS a fantastic week for kids and adults who need some extra guidance, respectful attention, and love to grasp that Jesus can guide them to know more about God.
VBS 2015 Journey Off the Map Special Friends Leader Guide ($13.99) is two books in one. It contains Teaching Plans for Kids and Teaching Plans for Students/Adults, plus an Administrative Guide to share. Each session (five for each age group) suggests a method for telling the Bible story and offers supplemental activities to highlight the Bible verse, Christ Connection, and Today’s Point. An Enhanced CD is included in the purchase price and is attached to the inside front cover. The CD is packed full of printable items to use for planning and follow-up as well as visuals for class time.
One of the best aspects of Special Friends VBS is that it can be used in a myriad of ways. There are three primary options for churches to consider when planning a VBS experience for kids, students, and adults with special needs.
1. In a mainstream setting, learners who have special needs attend VBS along with their age-group peers. They may rely on the assistance of a one-on-one helper.
2. In a self-contained setting, students with special needs enjoy a lower teacher-student ratio as well as activities that require minimal reading and writing. The pace moves slowly, allowing time for repetition and for individualized modifications. Churches that utilize this format will want to consider purchasing mainline VBS products to facilitate opportunities for worship, missions, snacks, recreation, crafts, and music. These resources are listed in the Special Friends Leader Guide.
3. In a combination approach, learners spend a portion of their day in a self-contained setting (such as Bible study), but participate with their peer group in rotations for crafts, music, missions, and recreation.
VBS 2015 is going to be an exciting journey, and all are welcome!
Joy Fisher is the Content Editor of Bible Studies For Life Special Buddies, a Bible study curriculum for kids in grades 1-6 who have special needs. She also served as the Content Editor for VBS 2015 Special Friends.