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Interactive site aids Primary workers

Activity Days leaders urged to develop own tools, ideas

The Church's Primary web site has been expanded to include interactive helps and tools for Activity Days leaders.

It is hoped that the site, found at www.lds.org, will help Activity Days leaders and Primary presidencies in using the new Faith in God guidebooks during Primary Activity Days. It also further explains how the Faith in God for Boys guidebook goes hand-in-hand with the Scouting program.

"I hope from the site Activity Days leaders will not only find ideas but also be encouraged to develop their own ideas that meet the needs of the children of the Church — both spiritually and socially," said Primary General President Coleen K. Menlove.

"The Web site gives principles, examples and opportunities to practice helping children put into action gospel principles they learn in their home and in Primary," according to a statement provided the Church News. "The leader may download and print his or her ideas of how best to engage the children in activity days."

The new interactive site, which requires Flash Player software, will "help Activity Days leaders, presidencies and teachers develop activities that will help children live the gospel with joy with their peers and friends," said Sister Gayle M. Clegg, second counselor in the Primary general presidency and whose responsibilities include the Primary Web site.

In addition, she said, as Activity days are the "welcoming arm of Primary," the fun lessons and tools on the interactive site are a great way to include in a non-threatening way friends and neighbors who are not members of the Church.

The Primary general presidency also hopes the site will be helpful to Primary teachers to enrich their Sunday lessons through adapting some of the tools and to families in helping children work on their Faith in God award. Sister Sydney S. Reynolds, first counselor in the Primary general presidency, encouraged teachers and leaders to try the site out on their own children at home to see how they react to the interactive activities.

The new interactive Primary Web site is accessed by going to www.lds.org and clicking on "Serving in the Church." The user then clicks on "Primary" and then "Using Faith in God in Activity Days." At this point, there are several lessons — which can be downloaded for such uses as leadership training meetings — under three headings: "About Faith in God," "Planning Activities Using Faith in God," and "Teaching the Gospel Through Activities." Each heading has interactive helps to help leaders and presidencies.

Under the selection, "Using Available Resources," the user can match activities from the Activity Book with an activity suggested in the Faith in God guidebooks. For example, the Activity Book suggestion of inviting a law enforcement official to speak to the children may match the suggestion under "Serving Others" in the Faith in God guidebook to "Read the twelfth article of faith. Discuss what it means to be a good citizen and how your actions can affect others."

In addition, a fun activity for Activity Days — or for a child playing on the computer at home — is under "Using Music in Activities." The user listens to Primary songs from The Children's Songbook and picks pieces of "armor" to the left of a figure that match the song. The armor actually appears to be brown paper cutouts. For example, when the user hears a song pertaining to the scriptures, he or she picks the sword that has the words "Read Scriptures" written on the blade. The user then places the sword in the hand of the figure, which is a child. If the user picks the wrong piece of armor, he or she is prompted to try another piece.

Another game under "Encouraging Gospel Standards" explains using pieces of paper divided into four sections. Each user — or a child during Activity Days or in a classroom — writes on a piece of paper a way to be modest. All the children then crumple their papers and toss them in the air. Each child then picks up a crumpled piece of paper, smooths it and writes another idea on another quarter of the paper. This game continues until all the papers are filled and the ideas are read.

Sister Menlove and her counselors hope this interactive site not only gives leaders, presidencies and teachers ideas, but also encourages them to develop and experiment with their own ideas.

Either way, Sister Clegg emphasized, the new interactive site should help Primary workers "visually be able to see how to use the Faith in God guidebooks in planning activities with purpose so the children will better be able to live the gospel in fun and meaningful ways."

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