Kids Corner

Ages 2 1/2 through Kindergarten

Kids Corner Kindergarten & Preschool Worship

What is Kids Corner?

Kids Corner is an age-appropriate worship experience for our young parishioners ages 2 ½ through 5 years old during the 10am Mass.  Formulated alongside the liturgical seasons and our parish’s message series, each week our young parishioners will break open the Word of God through music, cartoons, and fellowship.  All staff and volunteers have completed background checks and Protecting God’s Children training workshop through the Archdiocese of Newark.

When is Kids Corner?

The ministry runs during the 10am Mass from Sunday, September 26, 2021 through May 22, 2022 in Meaney Hall (Parish Hall).  There will be no sessions held the weeks of 11/21, 11/28, 12/26, 1/2, and 4/17.  Parents can drop off their children beginning at 9:40am each week.    

How can I sign up my child?

Pre-registration through our parish’s mySaintHelen system is required to join but there is no cost to participate.  At this time, spots are limited and are on a “first come, first served basis” each week.  Parents may check-in through mySaintHelen beginning at 9:30am the day of the session to reserve your spot or check in at Meaney Hall (Parish Hall) when they arrive for Mass.

What precautions are being taken during the COVID-19 pandemic?

This is an uncertain time, but Kids Corner is happy to provide an environment where our little parishioners can engage in the Word of God and fellowship with other kids in a safe and enjoyable way.  To limit the risk of transmitting the spread of COVID, staff and volunteers are committed to providing the following protocols in an effort to keep everyone as safe as possible:

Facilities are cleaned and sanitized before and after each session.
Participation is limited to allow for social distancing.  
Masks are required for all children participants and adult volunteers.  
All children will be required to sanitize their hands upon check-in.  
No outside belongings are permitted to be carried with the child inside.    
Hand sanitizer and wipes are available at check-in and in each area of the Kids Corner facilities.  Participants will receive individual materials to use during the session and all materials will be sanitized after each week.     

Checking In
Beginning September 26th, you can check in via our parish’s online database (mySaintHelen) or in person when you drop off your child. Check-In for Kids Corner will begin online at 9:30am on the day of the session and drop off begins at 9:40am at Meaney Hall. Due to Covid, at this time Kids Corner is limited to 25 participants per week and is based on a “first come, first served” basis. We will do our best to accommodate all interested participants as often as possible. 

What if my child needs to use the bathroom?
Kids Corner participants need to be fully potty trained, meaning they can use the facilities by themselves without assistance. If not, please send the child in a pull up. Our volunteers will not provide any diaper or pull up changing.  Please take your child to the bathroom at home immediately before coming to Kids Corner or use the facilities in Meaney Hall prior to checking in your child to reduce the possibility of needing to use the bathroom during the session. Our Kids Corner area does have a single bathroom with a stall for privacy if needed during the program. There will be a designated volunteer who may help your child locate the bathroom, ensure the stall is closed for privacy, and help with proper hand washing before returning to the program. In compliance with the Archdiocese of Newark’s Safe Environment guidelines, the outer door to the bathroom will remain open at all times. 

What if my child needs me during the session?
Every child acts uniquely when separating from a parent or caregiver. Our staff and volunteers are experienced and understanding of this and will take great care to help the child feel welcomed and well-adjusted. Sometimes your child may just need a few minutes away from you before they’re able to adjust and willing to participate, and we will certainly give them that time. Often, the child is quick to dry their tears and jump in with their new friends. Other times however, our children just need that special support that only their loved one can provide. If the staff feels this may be one of those moments, we will reach out via text to the cell phone number provided to alert you of your need to return. No news is good news! If for whatever reason we are not able to reach you by phone, we will attempt to find you at Mass and let you know of the situation. 

How will I be able to pick up my child?
When checking in, both the parent and child will be given an identical label. One label will be placed on the child’s shirt while the parent will receive the other. When coming to pick up your child, both labels must match, will be collected, and you will be joined with your child and asked to exit. Please enter the Kids Corner door located alongside the driveway between the front and back parking lots. You will see the Kids Corner sign at the entrance. We are keeping the flow of traffic one way to reduce crowding during the pandemic. You will then be asked to exit the main doors of Meaney Hall. Please limit pick up to one parent to reduce the number of people in the space.      

How can I volunteer?
Kids Corner is always in need of volunteers! Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Tracey Sowa, Coordinator of Kids Corner Preschool and Kindergarten Ministry, via email at [email protected] or call the parish offices at 908-232-1214. Attendance at the Archdiocese of Newark’s Protecting God’s Children workshop, volunteer application, and background check are all required. 

Please let me know if there is any way I can be of assistance to you. We look forward to meeting your child and breaking open the Word of God at Kids Corner!

Sincerely,

Tracey Sowa
Kids Corner Preschool and Kindergarten Ministry Coordinator
The Parish Community of Saint Helen, Westfield, NJ
908-232-1214 ext. 110
[email protected]

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