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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 19, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 THE LETKBRIDGE HERALD Thursday, Auguit 19, 1971- Religious education is a full-fledged program The Lethbridge separate school district has a comprehensive reli- gious education program running through Grades 1 to 12, using a wide range of equipment and fa- cilities. Co-ordinated by Father William Kelly, the program incorporates a textbook series at the elementary level, but makes extensive use of other books, slides, films, records, posters and everything else which might make religion a living ex- perience. Father Kelly organizes numer- ous teacher workshops within the catechetics program, a s s is ting teachers with catechesis the pro- cess of teaching religion. 'The whole thrust of the program is to propose, not impose, faith as a way of life for our students, showing them its importance in their day-to-day Father Kelly says. "You can no longer say, 'Okay, kids, this is religion, and you've got to believe because they won't accept that anymore. "Instead, we try to give them Ihe experience of what the Catholic Church and religion is, through the liturgy and through development in the schools of a sort oi' faith community, where the kids have the opportunity of studying and discussing religion within the con- text of their own Particularly in the high schools, are also weekend retreats, where small groups of 30 students and their teachers get together on a "search" or "communicor" ac- tivity to closely analyze individual religious questions. In the elementary grades, 1 to G, a series of books called "Come to the Father" is used extensively. The teachers work closely with Father Kelly, with the parish priest and with the home, to establish some of the basics upon which a child will develop his religions con- cepts. "The program tries to give tAe child an understanding of his rela- tionship to God in his daily life to understand that religion and God are not just a Sunday thing. "In Grade 9 the students concen- trate on Change in the liturgy, in understanding of the Bible, in the Father Kelly said. The Grade 10 to 12 course has in past years been a non credit pro- gram, but for the first time this year, Lethbridge separate schools, as well as separate schools in Cal- gary and Edmonton, will offer reli- gious education as a three credit pro gram. The program has no specific textbook, but concentrates instead on "process where the student is encouraged to experi- ence a number of things, emotions, experiences and ideas for himself in order to more accurately k'prn their significance. "It's not so much talking about God. but understanding tilt ixnliiy to 0 class given the opportunity to study oral French. In Grades 7 fl it is strictly op- tional, hut open to only those slu- dcnls who took (he tirade 5 and (i sections. In Grades JO to 12, any- one can take French, but Lelh- bridge separate school students have thus had the opportunity to take seven years of French by the time they graduate from high school. Boh Kimmitt, .superintendent of separate schools, says the district "is now producing our own French teachers" thoso who 12 years ago stalled oral French in Grade 5. In social studies and language arts programs there are often two or three completely different sets of textbooks, giving the teacher a wide variety of books for class- room iiM iiiri '.till allowing r.iLh slmk'iii Jj'iT own text. "We'1 c Hie teachers ,md principals 'rjeir head, and iliey have a of different ex- periments on in their schools." Mr Kimmitt said. Yot r.nnilir-r separate school dis- trict innoi may be found at St. Paul's Suiiool, where ihc school's home and school associa- tion has htlrx-d to pay for carpet- ing in thrt-o .-JcNsrooms. The i.irrn.is, which the dislricv could ii-jt lif, ;'fforded without the parents' i.itp. .-Jlow team teaching in the three swims, and other spe- cial aclKiti.f as pleasant when only a (rlr nood floor is avail- ;