Bright Lights Training Session

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This is the "script" for the Bright Lights training session, which will be a part of the Prep session this Friday.  The main points of the training are to teach the children:

  1. Thank them for being willing to help
  2. What it means to help someone
  3. Why we help people
  4. Why seniors need our help
  5. What seniors are like
  6. What we are going to do
  7. The Bright Lights Theme Song

This is just a guide -- not something that should be read to the children -- if you are doing the training at home.  Use it for reference, to make sure you make all the major points.  The younger children may not understand some of this.  Use your own judgement as to which sub-points you make with them.

I will be using three terms with the children that they need to be taught:

We will be breaking into groups by ability/age for most of the training and the crafts.  The singing will be practiced separately, then together.

Opening Prayer: Before we start, we are going to pray, to ask God to help us.
Dear God, thank-you for being our heavenly Father and for loving us so much.  Help us today as we learn about helping others and as we prepare to help the people in the nursing home by going to visit them.  Be with us and guide us and show us how to brighten the lives of these people who need our help.  In Jesus' Name we pray, Amen.

1. Thank them for being willing to help

First of all, I want to thank you all for being here.  It is a very good thing to help other people.  God tells us to help people who need it and the people in the nursing home really need our help.  Helping people is a very important thing to do.  You are special because you are willing to help other people.  I'm very happy that you are here and I'm proud of every one of you.  Your parents are proud of you too.  And so is God.  He is so very glad that you are here today and that you are going to help the people in the nursing home.

2. What it means to help someone

What do you do when someone cries "Help, Help?"?

That's right, we help them.  But people don't always say "help, help" when they need help.  Sometimes it isn't an emergency, like drowning or being hurt.  Sometimes you help people because you see that they need it.

What are some ways you help others every day?
Use whatever answers the children give to guide them through different types of helping:

3. Why we help people

What are the reasons that we help people?
Use whatever answers are given to guide them through different reasons: What happens when we help people?

4. Why seniors need our help

People in nursing homes need our help.  They are very old, but we don't call them old people.  We call them seniors because that is nicer.  Most of them can't walk around any longer and can't hear very well.  They are stuck in the nursing home.  They don't have fun things to do or important things to do and not many people come to see them.  They just sit around all day.  They especially don't get to see children, even though they love children.  So we are going to go to see them, sing songs for them and give them gifts that we make for them to brighten their day.  That's why the program is called Bright Lights.  You are going to be God's bright lights for them so their lives won't be so dark and gloomy.

And what will this do?

5. What seniors are like

How many of you know people who are very old?

There is one woman at the nursing home who is 103 years old.  Some of these people are old enough to be your grandparents grandparents!  That's really old.

How are people who are very old different from people like your parents or even your grandparents?

There is another kind of person that are weak, cries alot, can't walk, can't talk and can't feed themselves.

What kind of person is that?

That's right: babies.  Some of these people we are going to help are just like babies.  And just like with a baby, you need to be gentle with them.

What do babies like you to do for them?

It is important to remember that some of these people, just like babies, don't know what they are doing.  So, just like with a baby, we have to be patient with them.  If one of them scares you, please try to remember that they really didn't mean to scare you.  If one of you gets scared, let someone know right away and your parent or friend will be there with you, so you don't feel afraid.

This is very important: what do you do if you feel afraid?

That's right, you let someone know who can help you not be afraid.  It is okay to be afraid; sometimes it takes time to get used to seniors, just like it takes time to get used to babies.  There will always be someone nearby who can help you not be afraid anymore.  Sometimes a parent may not be close by, so I want to ask the older kids to keep an eye on the younger kids, to help them if they feel afraid.

There is also someone there who you can't see, who can help you.  Someone who is always there.

Who is that?

That's right God and Jesus.  And if you feel afraid, you can always say, God, help me not to be afraid and God will help you.  But sometimes we need someone to hold us when we feel afraid, so it is okay to ask for help.

6. What we are going to do

Today, we are going to learn some songs and make things to give to the people at Palo Alto Nursing Center.  When you go home, your parents will help you to practice the songs you learn.  Then, in two weeks, we'll all meet at the nursing home and sings songs for them, give them the things we made for them and talk to the seniors and try to make them laugh.  Don't worry if you make a mistake; they won't care and we won't care.  The reason we are going it to help these people feel better just by being there.  Remember, they are just like babies; sometimes they laugh or shout and we don't know why.  If they laugh when you make a mistake, don't be sad; they aren't laughing at you.  You're just making them happy, that's all.

7. The Bright Lights Theme Song

When you watch TV, at the start of a program, there is a theme song, right?  Well, Bright Lights has a theme song too.  Just like a TV theme song, our theme song says something about what we're doing, so I want to make sure you understand it before you learn the music.  Here are the words:

We're God's Bright Lights,
bringing light to you
by the things that we say and do
because God up in Heav'n above
has so blessed us with His Love.

We're God's Bright Lights,
We are all God's children, not just young people like you, but even the people in the nursing home.  But sometimes we can do something special: be like a light.
What does a light do?

bringing light to you by the things that we say and do
By going to visit these people, we are brightening their lives.  We will be lights for them.  By singing to them and giving them things we made just for them, we will make them happy.

because God up in Heav'n above has so blessed us with His Love.
We want to help people because it is a good thing to do, but we also want to help people because it makes God happy and because God has given us so many good things and because He loves us so very much.