Emerald Christian Academy Students Reach Out to Community and Classmates

January 01, 2007 | Suzanne Dassenko

More than 35 Emerald Christian Academy (ECA) students, staff and family participated in the annual three-mile “Walk to D’Feet ALS,” on Sept.17, 2006. They raised more than $500 for the walk in a show of support for student Chad Hansen, whose mom Pam has ALS.

What was unexpected, however, is that the group was the featured story on the evening news. The three-minute spot included interviews with Pam, her son Chad, and walk organizer and fifth-grade teacher, Suzanne Dassenko.

“It was fun to go as a class to help someone I actually knew,” said Grant Perdew, ECA ninth-grader.

In October, the academy held their Fall Week of Prayer, all planned and presented by the upperclassmen. Ninth- and 10th-grade drama students wrote and delivered a monologue about a Bible character such as David or Esther, focusing on themes of courage, forgiveness and trusting in God.

Next seventh- and eighth-grade students divided into four teams that developed and enhanced the theme for each day. The “Praise Team” chose songs and Bible verses for each program. The “Service Team” planned service activities for the class. The “Interactive Team” developed an activity for audience members. And the “Message Team” summarized the message of each monologue.

“It was great to see older students being excited about God in front of the younger students,” said Sheila Armstead, kindergarten teacher. “And what an affirmation to our older students,” said Scott Sprenkle, seventh- through tenth-grade teacher, “to see the positive effect they can have on the younger students."