SCA Blog – Learn to Serve
Elementary Principal Jaime Keller shares how Learn to Serve helps students prepare for a life of service.
Focus on Service
At Shalom Christian Academy, our desire is to ensure that all students in grades K-12 are involved in intentional acts of service as a part of our curriculum. Missions and service is the foundation of Shalom and our goal is to enable students to appreciate Christ’s call to serve others—the mission statement of Shalom Christian Academy is To Prepare Each Student for a Life of Consequence in the World for the Kingdom of God. There is a spirit of community that works together.
Hebrews 13:1 Keep being concerned about each other as the Lord’s followers should.
The Learn to Serve program helps us intentionally organize the service portion of our curriculum, and instill a heart for service in each of our students. In the elementary school, each class chose a service project which varies from taking canned goods and stocking shelves at Maranatha Food Pantry in 1st grade, to completing an independent service project in 5th grade.
In middle school and high school, Learn to Serve is completed as part of Bible class. Activities range from assisting the maintenance staff to working with a class of elementary students as peer tutors. The elementary students particularly enjoy when their older friends come to spend time with them throughout the week. It creates a special bond that can last for years. In addition, high school students are required to complete a certain number of service hours each marking period. These hours must be completed outside of school, with increased hours required if students join the National Honor Society.
Learn to Serve
When a class of middle or high school students joins an elementary class as Learn to Serve partners, everyone benefits. Elementary teachers pair their students with one of the “big” kids for the year. The older students read to the younger students (or vice versa), help complete hands-on activities, study for Bible memory and Catechisms, work on math facts or practice spelling words together.
The middle and high school students who work independently can serve as an assistant to teachers, maintenance staff, or assist in the office. Some students help in classrooms, working individually or with small groups of students. Others assist with small maintenance tasks around the school that require an extra set of hands.
The purpose of the Learn to Serve program is to apply and practice Biblical principles, build positive relationships within the school community, and add to the continuum of developing the student as a whole person in Christ-like character. Building positive relationships within the school community is one of the biggest benefits to all ages at Shalom.
The older students serve as role models for the younger students and quickly learn how to ensure these interactions are positive. The younger students look up to the older students and look forward to these opportunities for interaction. I love to see how the older students give their younger friends high-fives in the hallway when passing, or when they sit with each other at basketball and soccer games after school. It is obvious that the older students feel good about helping—not only are relationships fostered between our elementary and secondary students, but those that serve individually in classroom develop positive relationships with the teachers. The teachers often act as guides and mentors when those secondary students have questions about college or career planning.
There are so many ways that our students serve others, in and out of our community. As educators, we pray that these opportunities while in school will lead to greater opportunities to serve once our students have left the halls of Shalom.
I Peter 4:10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
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