What is the ZANC Sunday School? The Sunday School is a gathering of children of elementary to high school age, who meet once a month to learn about the Zoroastrian religion, customs, rituals and traditions in an informal and fun setting. It is designed to educate our youth about the rich history of our culture, the origins of our faith and the importance and simple interpretation of our prayers. The school is divided up into 2 groups: the elementary group (ages 5-10) and the older group (10+) so that the curriculum can be tailored to their needs and attention span. However, they are free to remain in the elementary group until they feel comfortable to move up to the next level. There may be simple homework assigned at times in order to encourage the students to be prepared for that month’s lessons. The kids also get to go on occasional field trips to the food bank, local charities, SF museums and partake in a fun “end-of-year” movie and ice-cream day.
The teacher for the elementary group is Benafsha Irani using simple instructional methods appropriate for this age group. The older kids are taught by teachers, Homai Kasad and the adult group discussion is led by Dinsha Mistree, each of whom bring their expertise and knowledge of the Zarthosthi religion to teach more in depth concepts to this group of students.
Class Requirements: All students in both classes are required to bring their topis and scarves each month since the classes begin with a brief prayer at the Agiary. In addition, each student is encouraged to bring a small binder and pencil to take notes and keep the instructional paperwork given out in class. Younger children should be able to sit in the class with minimal disruption. Parents are also welcome to sit in any of the classes if they wish to observe the curriculum.
Meeting Dates/Times: The Sunday School meets the 3rd Sunday of each month throughout the school year (September – June). The classes start at 11:15 am and last roughly 45 min for the elementary group and 90 min for the older kids. At the end of each class there is a delicious potluck lunch for all to enjoy!
Fees: $25 per child per year, $10 for each additional child. Fees may be submitted via cash or check (made payable to ZANC) and given to the teachers.
Communication: Parents, teachers and the older students communicate about the curriculum, attendance, homework and the potluck lunch sign-up via Sunday School Yahoo Groups.
Curriculum: The Elementary Curriculum is simple and taught through art & projects. Some things that the kids learn about are:
- Simple interpretation of the prayers
- The meaning of Jashans, Ceremonies and Festivals
- Understanding the Navjote Ceremony
- The importance and meaning of the Sudreh and Kusti
- Setting up the Navroze table
- A study of the Ameshaspentas and what they represent
- A brief introduction to the Zoroastrian Calendar
The Curriculum for the older students is more in depth and interactive where the students are asked questions, expected to express their opinions and play team games such as Jeopardy. This class focuses on the history of the religion. Students may be assigned homework or given extensive reading material from time to time. Some topics that these students learn about are:
- Bundahishn: the story of creation
- The importance of fire and other Zoroastrian symbols
- Various sections in the Avesta
- The Zoroastrian calendar and the Five Gehs
- The history of the Zoroastrian kings
Contact: If you have any questions or would like to join Sunday School please email Benafsha at firstname.lastname@example.org or Della at email@example.com