UCA Students "Go MAD!"
Upper Columbia Academy (UCA) just began its second decade of operating their unique community service curriculum, HOPE Task Force, and fresh things are still happening.
Cheri Corder, director of the curriculum, says the goal is "to increase student involvement at the planning level and to give at least some students a more in-depth understanding of the service issues currently in our culture.”
This goal inspired the formation of an experimental one-semester junior/senior Bible class option called, “Go MAD!” (Go Make A Difference!). Taught by Corder, the class used Ellen White’s Christian Service as the main textbook and referred to other materials from organizations such as Lions Clubs International.
In addition to weekly reading assignments, Go MAD students researched and reported on individuals or organizations that have “made a difference." The bulk of the students’ homework, however, was to develop and be involved with various service opportunities. They helped put on a harvest party for nearly 200 residents of the Union Gospel Mission and Ogden Hall, planned a beautiful Christmas “gala” for residents of a nursing home, helped coordinate the first of two blood drives held on campus this year, planned Sabbath afternoon outreach activities, and continued the weekly Feed the Hungry program on the streets of Spokane, Wash.
Spangle Community Table is another ongoing outreach started by the class. Twice a month, UCA hosts a free supper and story hour in the neighboring farming town. On the first evening, the students set up for 25 people and were thrilled when 42 showed up.
“This class was a wonderful experiment,” smiles Corder. “The students learned a lot about planning and leadership. The school learned more about how to effectively involve our students.”