Cal South relaunches Orange Sunday school curriculum 

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The goal is for each corps in the division to adopt the curriculum

By Vivian Lopez – 

The California South Division recently relaunched the Orange Sunday school curriculum in an effort to get each of its corps to adopt it. The program debuted nationwide in 2017. However, the division found that many corps were still not using it in their programming.

“We see the value in the Orange curriculum…but not all corps were utilizing it as they should be,” said Sarah Stillson, California South Divisional Youth Program Specialist. 

The idea for the relaunch came from the Cascade Division’s Orange Awareness Month. Last October—which also happened to be during the Cascade Officers’ Councils—“Orange Awareness kits” were distributed with printed curriculum for each age group, classroom decorations and a flash drive with all the downloaded Orange material for October through December 2019.

“The material is very good and relatable to the people of our division,” said Captain Silvia Simoes, Cascade Divisional Youth and Candidate’s Secretary. “We still have corps that we are trying to get to use the curriculum to realize this. However, the corps that do use Orange say how amazing it is.”

The Cascade Division also gives out awards for different categories of Orange curriculum implementation. Cal South’s youth department reached out to them for more details after seeing a post about it on their Facebook page and decided to do the same.

The Cal South Division rolled out the program again in February. Except this time, Orange materials were compiled and provided to each corps to make it more accessible and easier to implement within their congregations. Corps officers received boxes with printed material for all age groups—including adults—and a flash drive with all the curriculum video downloads during Officer’s Councils in January.

There is a Spanish Orange curriculum available, but no videos in the language are available. So, additional guidance is being provided to the division’s Spanish-speaking corps.

Since then, Stillson said more officers are showing interest in using it again or for the first time at their corps.

“The goal is just to get them using a little bit of [the curriculum], and then just gradually they can use more and more of it,” Stillson said.

Anaheim (California) Red Shield Corps Officer Captain Allison Struck and Escondido (California) Corps Officer Lt. Denise Litreal have long-implemented the program at their corps and are excited for the relaunch.

“It can be time-consuming to get the [Orange] material together to make it ready…for Sunday morning,” Struck said. “Making the materials a little more accessible removes one more barrier.”

“It’s really nice that they put everything in organized file folders labeled for each age group,” Litreal added. “It made it really easy.”

They both stressed how simple it was to implement at their corps.

“As corps officers, it is incredibly easy to use,” Litreal said. “I like that my teachers don’t have to spend a ton of time planning and the meat of the material is already there.”

“All of the hard work is already done. It’s just a matter of setting aside a little time each week or each month to get all of the material ready to go,” Struck added. “But it makes it easy for volunteers, fun for kids and meaningful for parents.”

David Witthoff, Salvation Army Western Territory Christian Education Director for Discipleship, is optimistic about the Orange relaunches occurring in divisions across the territory.

“When we launched it, there was a perception that it was just a curriculum with lessons and activities. But it’s really a strategy for ministry that seeks to bring the influence of parents together with the influence of the church to lead children to follow Jesus,” Witthoff said. “The premise is that this combination of home and church has the greatest potential to influence children for Jesus. So that makes the relaunch especially helpful in that it can correct that misunderstanding from early on.”

He hopes it will have a positive impact on Sunday school curriculum in the West for years to come.

“We want to bring children into a lifelong relationship with Jesus,” Witthoff said. “And if we can help corps officers and leaders understand the effectiveness of this strategy, I think we’ll see more buy-in and even growth from implementing the strategy in our corps.”

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