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Turn to Jesus (Article)

K4J Kids Know They’ve Got a Mission
Enthusiasm runs high during Vocation Awareness Week at St Joseph’s Elementary School.

K4J kids dance up a storm
K4J kids dance up a storm to the song "I've Got a Mission."

January 15, 2010. Bryan, TX. Something was happening bright and early at St Joseph’s Elementary School. Led by a group of fifth graders, the school’s first through fourth-grade children were bobbing up and down like jumping beans and singing their hearts out to the song “I´ve Got a Mission.”

Morning assembly at St Joseph’s is pretty exciting these days, thanks to the adoption of the K4J program, which fosters virtue through bright and colorful packages of activities, including contagiously fun sing-along pop songs (with hand motions, of course).

But today was also a special day: it was Vocations Awareness Week, and the kids were going to be visited by a “Living Museum” of various vocational specimens.

God’s will = happiness

The purpose of the day’s special assembly was to help the children understand that the fun song “I’ve Got a Mission” has a real message: God calls us to follow him in specific ways, and following his plan for our lives is the key to happiness.

To kick off the day, Tom Deming, the principal of St Joseph’s Elementary School, spoke to the children about how learning God’s word helped him to know God’s will for his life. In his
The Fernandes present their testimony of married life and the diaconate.
The Fernandes talk about the vocation to married life and the diaconate.
short talk, he explained how his relationship with God had helped him to decide to leave aside his business major in college and focus on the field of education. The decision, he said, has made him happy.

Mr. and Mrs. Ron Fernandes spoke to the children about the vocation of married life and the deaconate. After 21 years of marriage, they have four children with a fifth on the way. And now, after five years of study and preparation, Mr. Fernandes will be ordained a permanent deacon on February 6th. This news met with a warm round of applause from the children.

During his talk, Mr. Fernandes told the students, "The right question is not what do I want to do with my life, but what does God want me to do with my life.  The key to happiness is to follow God´s will for your life."

Although none of the religious sisters from the community of the Apostles of the Interior Life were able to make it that day (they were on silent retreat), Monsignor John McCaffery spoke about the vocation to religious life and the priesthood during his homily at Mass. 

The day closed with an enthusiastic rendition of another catchy K4J sing-along tune: the “Sea Scroll Scholar Song.” Led by their K4J captains, the children bobbed up and down, working hard to get the hand motions right.

The K4J impact

Part of the dynamism of K4J is the way it offers younger children accessible role models in slightly older “captains” who put on skits, lead activities, and help ignite the K4J spirit.

“It’s fun to teach the little kids the songs, even though it’s embarrassing,” said Nicholas, a fifth grade captain. He added, “It’s fun to see them enjoying the songs.”

Sallie Jane, another fifth grade captain, said, “I like doing K4J because
K4J team captains
A group of K4J captains (5th graders) and some volunteers lead the Sea Scroll Scholar Song dance.
we get to be leaders. I like helping the little kids learn the songs and the virtues.”

“They are almost as smart as us,” she conceded generously.

According to Kristy Barfknecht, a fifth grade teacher, K4J has made a noticeable impact on her class.

“K4J has strengthened the leadership skills for my students in my classroom.  My students have become more outspoken about their faith and more capable of sharing the virtues that we have learned through K4J," she said.

Robye Harvey, a K4J volunteer and organizer, agreed. "K4J brings the fun and excitement that children receive at VBS to God´s truth all year long.  The virtue program, with its authentic Catholic teaching, strengthens students´ awareness of their faith and the happy life God provides when they follow His Son."

To find out more about how K4J can enrich school, parish, and home-based programs, visit the web site at To learn more about the upcoming K4J Vacation Bible School program, click here.



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