Education Rallies Help Families Build Sense of Community

Education rallies have been held this year in Lewiston, Idaho, as well as in Yakima, Wash., Pendleton, Ore., and Sandpoint, Idaho. Building a sense of community, each rally celebrates the talents and testimonies of local students and their families, both in organized church schools and home schools.

"We must get it right,” said Gary Hopkins, Andrews University Center for Prevention Research director, who spoke to Lewiston-area church and school families on the importance of keeping children in the church and away from negative influences. Since roughly 50 percent of youth leave the Adventist Church after they finish high school, their growing-up years are critical in keeping them in the church.

In Yakima and Pendleton, Jim Weller, Rogers Adventist Elementary School principal, and Ginger Ketting-Weller, WWC vice president for academic administration, presented the unique philosophy of Adventist education, which adds a spiritual dimension to all subjects. “Even our small schools have fundamental strength,” Weller said. “We just have a different starting point.”

The opening assumption of Adventist education—that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom—strengthens our schools’ academic capabilities as well as their spiritual ones, leading to higher average test scores and higher rates of college entrance.

In addition to the rallies, the Upper Columbia Conference development office invites speakers to hold seminars for youth and adults. The seminars address key issues facing churches, schools and families. Keep watching for news about upcoming rallies in your area.