SPECIAL NEEDS – Prince of Peace Inclusion Plan

Prince of Peace is committed to a FULL inclusion Christian Formation policy regardless of circumstances. Many forms of Christian Formation co-exist here because we strive to offer the highest level of inclusion for all our families. Our facility is 100% handicapped accessible. We actively work with transient military families at any time of the year. We welcome children and youth with physical challenges, psychological challenges, emotional challenges, developmental challenges, and social challenges. We readily and joyfully welcome children who’ve been away from the Church. We offer many programs and modifications on many different levels. At Prince of Peace: No child is left behind; No teen or adult is marginalized; No family is left out; Everyone is included!

Prince of Peace offers the highest level of inclusion for all our families both in our Liturgical practice and in our larger group formation events. We even accommodate special needs youth on mission events requiring varying degrees of commitment and skill level. No matter which model of inclusion you choose for your child or adult dependent, Prince of Peace is here to serve and meet all of the families’ Christian Formation and Sacramental Preparation needs. For more information or to enroll, call Melody Smith at the parish office 757-547-0356 or email Christian Formation.

CF Full Inclusion:

Our Christian Formation programs offer an intimate setting for Preschool, Elementary, Middle and High School aged children grouped together by age. Each class has a Catechist who has been trained in accommodating mild to moderate learning and/or special behavioral issues. Additional assistants are sometimes utilized in classrooms where it is necessary.

CF with a Mentor:

This accommodation modifies the traditional classroom setting to allow parents or mentors to attend side-by-side with the child to help make his or her experience more fulfilling. This option is helpful in accommodating children with moderate to profound learning and/or special behavioral issues. Children who have difficulty with acting out are welcomed with open arms, and VIRTUS trained parents work either at the table with the rest of the children or at a separate table in the room.

Family Faith:

Family Faith offers Christian Formation in a family setting. This Christian Formation program is helpful in accommodating children and youth with all abilities. Here the parents are the catechists, the family is together, so age is not a consideration.

SonShine Program:

This independent Christian Formation option is helpful in accommodating children and youth, ages 5 to 14 years, whose cognitive development lags significantly behind their physical development. It is offered free of charge and serves multiple parishes. A mentor attends with the child, and the class is tailored to fit the dynamic of the students each year. An adaptive curriculum is generally used for both Christian Formation and Sacramental Preparation. Our SonShine children can and do receive ALL sacraments. The class is called SonShine because the Son of God Shines through them!

SonLight Program:

This independent Christian Formation option for older teens and adults with special needs. It is offered free of charge and serves multiple parishes. It is helpful in accommodating participants whose cognitive development lags behind their physical development. A mentor attends with the participant, and like its SonShine counterpart, each class is tailored to fit the dynamic of the participants. SonLight participants can and do receive ALL sacraments. The class is called SonLight because they learn to take the Light of Christ out into the world in loving service! This hands-on adaptive program is designed to help participants both grow in their faith and learn to give back their special skills to their communities. Examples of special skills our SonLight participants have developed include: Vacation Bible School helpers, Pure-Gel ministers for the Eucharistic Ministers, Candle Bearers, Cross bearers, Ushers, Greeters, Soup Kitchen workers, and Food Pantry volunteers.