Elder and wife offer Values Program for children

TROY, Ill.­Larry and Bonnie Greider have compiled a seven-booklet series they call the Values Program for children in kindergarten through sixth grade that helps parents and churches provide a "values-based education" that the Greiders believe is lacking in most school systems.

Mr. Greider is pastor of the United Church of God congregation in Kansas City, Mo., and regional pastor over the St. Louis region.

"The Values Program was originally conceived as a result of the final project submitted by Larry in fulfillment of his master's degree in psychology," Mrs. Greider told The Journal. "After completing a study of the shift in society's accepted values system between the 1960s and 1990s, he recognized the lack of values-based education in the school system and decided to do something about it."

So he asked for help from parents and other interested members in various Worldwide Church of God congregations in and near Illinois.

Mr. Greider, then pastoring three churches in Southern Illinois for the WCG, compiled the seven-booklet series with the help of several volunteers.

"After considerable editing and a great deal of work with layout and graphics, he made the booklets available in 1994 on a limited basis to try them out in several churches throughout the United States," Mrs. Greider said.

The Greiders, who have four children of their own, paid for printing the initial run of 100 copies of each of the seven booklets in the series. The program is now in its third printing.

By 1995 Mr. and Mrs. Greider decided the series needed to be updated, so they edited the booklets and had them reprinted. By this time they had become members of the United Church of God.

"After this second printing," said Mrs. Greider, "interest in the Values Program soared. Brethren from many church areas wanted to use the program for Sabbath schools.

"However, the booklets were in need of quite a bit of upgrading and editing. The quality wasn't what it should be. When Larry became the regional pastor of the St. Louis region, he no longer had the time to work on this project, so I quit my full-time job and took over the editing of the booklets."

Mrs. Greider took this step because of the almost-daily requests for the program while it was being edited. The Greiders this time had 500 sets printed.

The program is meant to help parents teach children traits that will help them build character in a home environment.

"God admonishes parents that it is their responsibility to train up their children in the way they should go," said Mrs. Greider, "but it is often a seemingly difficult responsibility. Few parents know how to begin.

"Although churches and even some schools try to help, it is difficult to tie all of these areas of the child's life together.

"But this program does just that. Character traits, or values, are defined, illustrated biblically and then introduced in stories at each child's level. Children are given opportunities to accomplish activities which help them inculcate these traits into their daily lives and reinforce what they are learning.

"There are topics for discussion that help parent and child relate to each value and learn to appreciate how the life of the child will be a better one when the child develops the character he is learning. There are also lists of other resources the child and parent can use to help reinforce what he is learning."

This program is not sponsored by the United Church of God or any other church, she said. "It is simply my effort to help parents and churches if they desire, and the costs of the program cover the costs of printing, mailing, etc. There are no salaries and no desire to profit. Any proceeds will be plowed into further work on the project."

Each booklet covers six or nine "virtues." Booklet No. 3, for example, covers benevolence, cooperation, endurance, enthusiasm, honor, moderation, open-mindedness, sensitivity and teachableness.

Individual booklets are $4.50 each. Complete sets are $24.99, which includes a quantity discount. Group and bulk discounts are also available.

The program is being used in many of the Churches of God, said Mrs. Greider, who will send information about it to anyone who requests it by writing to her at home: 408-A Arrowhead Dr., Troy, Ill. 62294.

Or E-mail her at Or visit the Greiders' Web site.

The Greiders have four children: Sharon, Karie, Michael and Aaron.

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