Northwest Christian School (NCS), in Puyallup, Wash., is quickly establishing global notoriety, first in Korea and now in China.
NCS officially established a landmark sister school agreement last year with the Wonju Sahmyook Middle School in South Korea. This year, NCS principal Craig Mattson and office manager Chrystal Clemens traveled with the Washington International Student Experience (WISE) to Hangzhou, China, establishing two additional sister school relationships.
“We’re going to be helping a family tomorrow,” Mechelle Peinado told her Portland Adventist Academy (PAA) advanced placement (AP) psychology students. “But I want to prepare you. This will be hard.”
Peinado, PAA school guidance counselor and teacher, believes in teaching beyond the textbook. That’s why, for PAA’s all-school Service Day, she was compelled to ask her psychology students to help a family living in poverty and struggling with a hoarding disorder.
As the board and faculty of Rogers Adventist School in College Place, Wash., learned about the multiple benefits of children learning a second language, they were eager to offer that opportunity to their students. Because Spanish is such an important language in their area, they focused on how they could provide Spanish language instruction and realized they didn’t have money to hire someone to do that. So, they turned to Adventist Volunteer Services to help bring a native Spanish-speaking teacher to the school.
Adventist Christian education is a necessary foundation for any society to succeed. The values, beliefs and knowledge imparted in the classroom allow Adventist young people to be equipped for their careers and prepared for citizenship in heaven. The failure to educate our young people is equal to failing our society.
Adventist education is unique in that a lot of the leaders in our church culture have been educated in our system, including our present teachers. When our world church grows and changes, we do not lose the foundation on which we base our beliefs.
“Before I came to Walla Walla University, I didn’t know how strong of a community the university is. I decided to come here because it’s pretty close to home, and I absolutely loved the environment and how friendly everyone was.”
— Tania Baranov, freshman chemistry major from Loma Linda, Calif.
For the past several months, with much prayer and leading by the Holy Spirit, committed school board members of Harris Junior Academy (HJA) in Pendleton, Ore., have been busy redefining their church school. With the support of the local churches in the district, some truly great things are happening.
An on-campus greenhouse, composting bin and garden plot full of planted vegetables, fruits and herbs are teaching kids about agriculture. Plants are sold each spring for planting, and produce is harvested and used in cooking and/or sold.
These letters are carved in the fireplace mantle at the home of the Hawaiian poet Don Blanding. They are the first letters in the words of a phrase he wanted to be reminded of daily: "Lord I Do Give Thee Thanks For The Abundance That Is Mine." He found it useful in focusing on gratitude, even when discouraging circumstances or overwhelming challenges confronted him.
Throughout the North Pacific Union, church schools and academies reopen their doors next month to serve our children and teens. But what about next year?
Adventist schools struggle financially — even many that model academic excellence. For various reasons, many congregations have fewer children to populate educational institutions. Some church schools and academies that once thrived are now on artificial life support.
How might we save them? Let’s talk first about what not to do.