PAES Sixth-Graders Learn About Brain, Bible

January 03, 2016 | Stan Hatkoff

For the past eight years, Linda Waagen’s sixth-grade class at Portland Adventist Elementary School (PAES) has had a six-week course on how God created them, why God created them and why they were born on this planet. They learned they are unique and special and have a purpose for being born here. 

This concentrated course, taught by Stan Hatkoff, focused on the amazing creation the brain is, the basic structures of the brain, and how the mind (and will) need to be controlled by the surrender of the person's spirit to Jesus Christ as Savior. They learned the truth and importance of Rom. 8:7: “... The mind set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so.”

Emphasis was also on making good choices and decisions through the use of the connection of the conscience — the moral center of the person — to the Holy Spirit through prayer and guidance from parents, teachers and other Christian influences. The age of accountability was also discussed in regard to the time when the person is held responsible for their choices and decisions.

Students were exposed to the importance of expressing gratitude and how having a grateful attitude and expressing that grateful attitude towards classmates and family can increase their success in school and in life. One session of the class focused on how to defeat bullying and how each student can play a part in not letting bullying be part of PAES. 

Students were invited to take a character pledge. This pledge, when signed by students, commits them to being honest and respectful and to not cheat. It also means that they take a stand against those who are being dishonest, being disrespectful and are cheating, including if they see bullying going on.

When they see these things happening they just do not ignore it. Instead, they take a stand against them by speaking up and reporting it.