How to Promote the Pages' Academy Locally
- Make yourself familiar with the materials of the Pages’ Academy and how it works.
- Recruit kids to participate in the Pages’ Academy, but do not “pick” or “recommend” Mentors for them – let that be something the prospective Student Page and his or her parents work out, if they so chose to have a Mentor.
- Encourage children, and parents, to look over the Pages’ Academy website.
- Encourage Pages to formally register in the program as soon as possible.
- You can volunteer to be a Mentor to a prospective Student and encourage other adults to get involved as a Mentor without recommending a particular prospective Student or Page to a particular adult. Remember, Mentors are not required. Remind parents and Pages of that fact.
- Encourage adults to organize or teach special classes and activities geared towards youths ages 5-17 at local events, meetings, and demos. Remind adults that they can also support the program by acting as a Mentor.
- Promote classes and activities at local events through the Merry Rose, local mailing lists, local newsletters, and the Acorn (in event announcements). To request that your Pages’ Academy activities be added to the Academy website, contact the Dean.
- Work with your branch’s Minister of Arts and Sciences to encourage adults to add youth categories to competitions and displays at events and demos, and encourage youths to enter these displays and competitions.
- Work with your branch’s Minister of Arts and Sciences to encourage adults to welcome youths and encourage youths to participate in already existing regular A&S activities like scriptoria, A&S nights, music nights, etc.
- Remind autocrats and those in charge of tasks at events that kids can help out at events. Recruit Pages to help out at events, and work with the Pages and event staff to make sure you have good matches between youth and activity; some kids are better-suited in maturity, physical strength, and inclination to helping at troll, or with the lists as a runner, or the kitchen or to cry the camp, but these factors should be kept in mind:
- Minors should not be placing items in or out of an oven. Minors should not handle hot dishes, soup, or dishes that easily spill and could burn them.
- Please use caution in providing sharp knives and implements to minors.
- Minors cannot be on a list field during a tourney, and can only help with tournament-related activities with the prior consent of the Marshal and the Minister of the Lists.
- Minors cannot handle money.
- Encourage people to use the Bead System, and keep spare beads for those who don’t have them. You can also give out beads to children if they do not get one from the person in charge of the area they helped in.
- Make sure that teachers know to send in the roster of children that participated in their class. They can give this to you to email the Dean.
- Contact the Dean with questions about classes or administration of the program and to let them know when local students are ready to move up in rank, receive Achievement Badges, or be inducted. Again, the Students and their parents are supposed to contact the Dean, but the local officer can certainly remind and encourage them to do this.
Organizing/Teaching Classes/Activities at the Local Level
- Ask local craftspeople, artisans, and other teachers to teach a class or lead an arts and sciences activity for kids at an event, demo, or regular A&S meeting (like music night, chorus, scriptorium, cooking guild). Be sure that you have some kids actually interested in attending first; otherwise, your teachers may become frustrated upon preparing for an activity with no participants.
If you are unsure of the requirements for teaching classes for the Pages Academy, please contact the Dean with questions.Remind teachers that they should contact the Dean of the Pages Academy with a class synopsis form which describes the class and where it will be held. Also ask if they will give written permission for their handouts to be posted to the site. Have them email the Dean to get this done.
- When organizing classes or activities for the Pages’ Academy at local events, it’s always a good idea to gear such classes and activities to be in-line with the event’s theme. It need not be straight lecture classes either. For example, the Academy itself has offered a one-hour class on serving high table and being a retainer followed by a one-hour practicum. The Academy has also offered a class on heraldry followed by a roll of arms competition-practicum. Remember that children learn best with hands-on experiences.
- Offer classes based on what your local teacher pool is willing to teach.
- In recruiting teachers, make sure they understand that they will be teaching kids ages 5-17, and try to arrange for another adult to be present who can return possible behavioral issues to their parents so the teacher does not have to stop teaching class to attend the issue themselves.
- Suggest that all classes provide handouts (1-2 pages) for the students to take with them. The handouts should contain a bibliography or list of other recommended reading materials on the class subject. Also ask that the teachers send their handouts to the Dean so that they can be posted on the Academy’s website.
- If you want some ideas for classes (and perhaps suggestions for teachers), contact your local Minister of Arts and Sciences, a local Peer of any kind, and/or the Dean.
- Most of the Pages are interested in many of the same sorts of topics as newcomers to the SCA. Activity classes are particularly good.
- Most of your teachers who teach adult classes could teach the same class for kids if they are willing to either take a more interactive approach (as opposed to a straight lecture), or a “let’s make it together” workshop class (a particularly good approach for A&S classes). Children learn best when taught with a hands-on approach!
- Consider starting by organizing no more than two hours of classes at an event or collegium. Please keep in mind the attention span of a child is more limited than an adult’s, between 30 minutes to one hour or more.
Promoting Classes, Activities, and Service Opportunities for Pages at Local Events
- Email the Dean with a class or activity lists and descriptions, so that the information can be posted on the Pages’ Academy Calendar. Also include the handout with consent to publish on the Pages’ site, if they so wish.
- Advertise the classes on the Merry Rose and local mailing lists.
- Put information about upcoming activities in local newsletters. Make sure that event autocrats include information about youth activities in event announcements.
Organize Opportunities for Service for Pages
- Offer opportunities to work with adults to help with the list as a runner (although minors may not work on the fighting field, and may not water-bear), serving, cry the camp, etc., assuming that the adult event staff is willing to have the youths as volunteers.
- Be sure to communicate to the Pages that you are willing to offer them opportunities to help. But before you do, you need to talk to the event organizers who might be able to use the help of children and clear with them that they will have tasks for youths (ages 5-17). They need to understand that youths need to work at least one hour on a particular activity and that they should not consider having the youth for more than a total of two hours. In some cases, a youthful volunteer may choose to stay longer, but the event staff needs to be mindful of the volunteer’s abilities.
- Remind the adult supervisor that he or she should award the child with a bead representing what they have done (Red for Chivalry, Yellow for arts and sciences, and Green for service). Also remind them to remind the youth to email the Dean and inform them of what they did at an event so credit can be given.
- It is a good idea to assign an adult to be the “Youth Help Coordinator” (Youth Steward) for an event, so that they can oversee the various activities of our youthful volunteers and make sure that these activities are age appropriate.
- Youths should not be carrying soup or other boiling liquids to tables, but they can serve bread, or pitchers of cold drinks, for example. Be aware that youths who are serving tables may need to make more trips than an adult, because serving trays can be too big or heavy. Ideally, youthful servers should be placed in pairs or teamed up with an experienced adult when they do table service. Tailor the use of knives to the maturity level of the Page, but they can always peel vegetables or arrange platters, or could help in pre-cooking meetings.
- Youths who help at troll should not handle money, though they can check names off of lists or hand out on-board tokens and, if trained, can oversee seating plans.
- Youths ages 14 and up can be helpers at Children’s Corners at SCA events, but must be supervised by the adult Children’s Corner Coordinator.
- Use your common sense in dealing with youthful volunteers and be considerate that their enthusiasm to help may sometimes exceed their stamina. Please make sure they do take breaks to drink and eat, or generally sit down at regular intervals.
- Younger children (under 9 years old) can help too, but you need to obtain the permission of their parents first, and these children should only be doing activities with their parents’ active participation and supervision.