PAES Sixth-Graders Take Stand for Character

June 09, 2015 | Stan Hatkoff

Realizing that what is lacking in today’s society are people of character, Linda Waagen, sixth-grade teacher at Portland Adventist Elementary School in Gresham, Ore., decided to do something unique even to a Christian school emphasizing character.

Eight students chose to memorize a character poem that highlighted the qualities of character important in society but lacking to a great degree, such as honesty, courage, standing firm for your beliefs, bravery, kindness and faith.

The boys memorized a poem by Rudyard Kipling called “If.” The girls memorized the poem “Somebody’s Mother” by Mary Dowe Brine. After reciting the poems, the students spoke about how the works impressed them regarding the quality of character spoken of in the poem.

The rest of the 19 students chose to write an essay on a Bible character that emphasized a quality of character that impressed them. Their objective was to describe the character quality, why they liked it and how it changed their thinking about the importance of character.

Early in the school year this class learned the importance of the connection between the mind and the spirit — not the Holy Spirit but their spirit as described in John 3:6. They learned that their spirit is the very seat of their conscience and that is through their spirit that the Holy Spirit receives their prayers and they pray to the Lord. The most important point they learned from that session was that making truly right and wise decisions becomes this connection to the Lord and that, without it, they can and will most likely make wrong decisions that can affect them the rest of their lives.

This project came to be because of so much lack of character shown by the leaders of the world by poor decision-making and the lack of Christian leaders taking a stand for Bible truth and fighting for Christian liberty. It is hoped that these sixth-grade students can take what they have learned and share it with their parents and perhaps even become the leaders our country and the world needs in the future.