I Can't Do All This Myself - Creating the Visuals
Right again! One person can’t do it alone. Developing a resource room full of well chosen, carefully thought out, and creatively prepared visual aids requires hundreds of man-hours...or probably in this case, woman hours! Even if the resource room lady is blessed with kindred spirits to help manage and staff the room, the amount of work in creating visuals—especially at the beginning—can be overwhelming. So what can be done to get all the needed visuals made while maintaining the sanity and spirit of the resource room staff?
The best idea we have seen is the Helping Hands program! This is a group of volunteers who help make the visual aids. They may be retired men or women who are no longer comfortable in the classroom but who want something to do to help the education program. They may be mothers who have some free time while the children are at school. They may be homeschooled teenagers who want to help with church work. No matter where they come from, this group of people is most readily identified by a common characteristic--a willingness to help.
A person does not need to be an expert in anything creative to be a valuable Helping Hand. The ever-efficient resource room lady and maybe some other staff will be on hand to help each volunteer find her niche and show her the ropes so she can be the best Helping Hand possible. Even if a lady is not comfortable cutting and coloring, many visuals simply need to be copied and assembled. And although the pronoun "her” is used here, men can make great Helping Hands, too!
Now that the volunteers are in place, announce the first "Visual Aid Workday.” Our favorite arrangement is "10-til BYOL.” This means start at 10 a.m.; work ‘til the visuals are finished or the resource room lady ends the session; and bring your own lunch. Always make sure volunteers understand that although 10-til is the schedule, the day is definitely come and go according to their availability. Some groups may be more available in the evenings; some may only have weekends free. Be as flexible as possible with scheduling, respecting the other aspects of the volunteer’s lives.
Some dear souls may offer to do the work at home. Sometimes this is doable. Often, however, the work is better done at the church building so helpers have constant access to the needed supplies. Additionally, it is best for the resource room staff to be available to answer "how-to” questions. And keeping the visuals at the building eliminates the issues of pieces lost in transit and children of volunteers providing "unsupervised assistance.”
Visual aid workdays are a great blessing to the congregation. The resource room staff is blessed with help. Teachers are blessed with more visuals faster. And volunteers are blessed with wonderful fellowship and camaraderie. It’s a win-win situation. Are your hands ready to help?