Educational Theory: Heritage Seekers is a 24-page, plus an 8 page family guide, magazine produced by the Center for Baptist Heritage & Studies for children 8-12 years old. The magazine is designed to teach children timeless Baptist principles through stories introduced by C. J. Key, the children’s guide for every issue. Every issue focuses on one Baptist principle or distinctive. Each issue contains a story about an historic Baptist figure to help explain the issue’s theme from a past perspective and a current story about a Baptist figure of today to explain the issue’s theme from a current perspective. The principle also is explained in the child’s terms in a separate article. The children are also introduced to related Baptist stories through the “eyes” of C. J. Key’s “family”. To further enhance the child’s ability to grasp the concept of the issue, games and activities are used.
The Center for Baptist Heritage & Studies published 12 issues of Heritage Seekers which can be purchased indivdually for $5 each plus shipping and handling or can be ordered as a boxed set for $49. The educational approach guiding Heritage Seekers is unique to teaching heritage. Children learn best in the family setting so it is therefore important to provide adequate support within the family structure to teach the heritage component. Heritage Seekers provides this support through a family guide, website support, and interactive components for the parent/guardian and children. Heritage Seekers wants to create a learning environment that fully immerse the children in a unique educational experience that is well organized and clearly put forth.
Information about C.J. Key: C. J. Key is a cartoon character key designed after the key from the lock and key of Culpeper Jail housed in the Virginia Baptist Historical Society. The story of the Culpeper Jail, in particular James Ireland and the struggle for Religious Liberty, serves as an entry point into Baptist Heritage. The "key" represents the ability to unlock and open doors for new discovery by the children. The age group targeted by Heritage Seekers, 8-12 year olds, desire consistency in their routines. C. J. Key is the consistent factor for the children in every issue.
The Key character was drawn by a professional graphic artist and is a trademark of the Center for Baptist Heritage & Studies.