Planning an End-of-Year Recognition Service

By now, the year-end countdown is on and you and your children are looking forward to a different pace and a much-needed break. Before the schedule shifts for the summer, celebrate all you have learned together with an unbeatable recognition service.

Possible Themes

Make the evening fun by planning a theme such as “Discovering Mysteries” (use Sherlock-Holmes-type décor), “Find It Factory” (use blueprints and factory symbols), “Missions Express” (use trains and maps), or choose a country that children enjoyed studying during the year. Create a large backdrop that can function as both stage decoration and photo station. Decorate tables and plan food around the theme.

Party Food

Check for allergies before choosing the menu. Choose finger foods that represent the theme or favorites from throughout the year. If food items are from several cultures, be sure to note the home country on a small card at the buffet. When you present the program, remind kids of different missionaries, countries, and needs that you’ve discussed.

Certified Success

Prepare traditional certificates of participation on parchment-style paper, or find a creative way to give an award. If your theme is “Discovering Mysteries,” put a child’s photo on one side of a magnifying glass and a small award notification on the other side. If your theme is a particular country, purchase a small handcrafted item from that country to give as take-home favors, or cut out something symbolic of the country (such as a sombrero or bowl of rice) to use as the basis for the award, which you can paste on the back. Remember to present a small gift or thank-you card to each leader to show appreciation for his or her time and preparation.

Pray and Pray Again

If you are serving food, invite a child to pray over the meal. During the program, invite two or three children (ask them ahead of the event) to pray for missionaries, countries, and needs you’ve discussed throughout the year. After presenting certificates and/or favors, invite parents and leaders to gather around the children and pray for their summer, their understanding of Christ to grow, and their next school year.


By Kristen White

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