Monday, 27 April 2015

Spring Auction 2015

What a wonderful evening! Last Saturday was our annual spring auction. This year we celebrated our 25th anniversary! The auction began in 1990, the same time that the GST (Goods and Services Tax) was introduced to the province of Ontario. The clever auction committee played on this and the first few auctions  were called The GST Auction (Good, Services and Talents). Some people still affectionately call the auction The GST Auction

We are so blessed with so many generous donors! 
Without these gifts, our auction would not be possible.  

We had one of the original auction committee members open our evening to mark our 25th anniversary. 

 It was great to see so many people out who care about Beacon! There were many new faces this year too! We love to meet new people! Thank you all for coming!

While the final numbers are still being calculated, we anticipate that the auction will have raised over $33,000.00 for Beacon Christian Schools. 
Thank you, thank  you, thank you!

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Earth Day = Earth Keeping

This month our throughline is Earth Keeping. It coincides perfectly with the new life we see God bringing outside with the spring weather. April also contains Earth Day, a day when there is a special focus on earth keeping awareness.

Last week in chapel, our students were reminded what God calls us to do. He has put us in dominion over creation... to care for and to keep.

We are enjoying learning this new song this month: You're Beautiful by Phil Wickham

We learned some about global warming 

...and had a "throwback" earth keeping reminder from some of our students. 

Then, we went outside to DO something! 

Some groups started creating a garden.
Some groups planted some seeds to put in our garden. 
We hope to see pumpkins and flowers in our gardens!

And some groups worked on cleaning up our yard.

Today is earth day!! What better thing to do than to get out and care for our earth!
So, for our chapel today, our Grades 1-8 classes boarded buses and
 headed to the Terry Fox trail in St. Catharines. 

Armed with rubber gloves and big plastic bags, we set to work. 
There was a LOT of garbage in a small space. 

There were all kinds of nooks and crannies to crawl in to find those garbage treasures!

That's better!

Here's one group of students and their findings. Over 8 bags! The second group collected as much garbage as well. 

Psalm 24:1
The earth is the Lord`s, and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Nails for Change

Written by Laura Konyndyk, OACS Communicator

“We don’t think that’s fair!”

Such was the reaction of first grade students at Beacon Christian School (BCS) when they learned about the many families in St. Catharines who can’t afford to live in a house.

Determined to help out, students partnered with Habitat for Humanity—a Christian housing ministry that seeks to build decent, affordable homes for those very families.

For Grade 1 teacher at BCS, Wilma Harris, it wasn’t just a matter of raising money for a good cause. She wanted her students to know where their dollars and cents would go, and how that money would help families who don’t have a house to call their own. That’s how the class arrived at some of the questions driving their campaign: How many nails would it take to build a home? What would that cost?

In a conversation with a Habitat for Humanity volunteer, Harris learned that a whopping 20,000 nails (each one priced at five cents) typically goes in to building just one average sized house.

The number was somewhat discouraging, but Harris believed that even a small contribution would be worth the effort. “We thought we would simply make a dent and raise some money,” she said.

Fortunately, that ‘dent’ turned out to be larger than her initial goal. Harris and her students succeeded in raising $1,146—enough money to purchase 22, 933 nails.

“They worked hard for their money,” she said. Students set out doing chores for their families and neighbourhoods. She began finding dimes and quarters on her desk, often accompanied with notes that said “I swept the floor” or “I shoveled the driveway”.

But perhaps the most important part of the students’ “Change for Nails” campaign was the four minute video they made (with help from their teacher and her educational assistant) inviting the community to partner with them in their efforts.

Each student—the nervous, the confident and the camera shy—has a line in the movie. Some don plastic hard hats and avoid looking directly at the camera, others explain their mission to viewers with breathless excitement.

The video was well received at Smithville Christian High School (SCHS) where Harris’s students 
sold ring pops and Chicago mix for the cause. Many SCHS teenagers were happy to donate— including those who didn’t buy treats. “Students were amazed by that” said Harris.

A week before showing the video at their own school chapel, the first grade students delivered “Seeking Justice With Nails” posters to every classroom.

Eventually, the school and its surrounding community raised enough money to warrant a visit from Habitat for Humanity volunteers. The occasion served as the perfect opportunity for the class to present the organization with a jumbo sized check for $1,146.

Habitat for Humanity will use funds to buy the nails needed to construct a home. Students can look forward to seeing pictures of the structure as it develops.

“We plan to get on a bus to check out this house before the end of the year,” said Harris.

She couldn’t ask for a better outcome, given the motivation that initially sparked her campaign.

“I wanted to choose an issue for which the first grade children could see the impact they could 
make. I mean every dollar could purchase 20 nails … that’s a lot for a first grader!”

Harris’s project comes out of the school’s recent emphasis on justice seeking, during which students at BCS wrestled with instances of brokenness in the world, like hunger, prejudice, and lack of health care in certain countries—classes explored realities that they found unjust or unfair and talked about ways to confront those problems.

“We pray for God’s nearness in all the situations of injustice in our schools, homes, playgrounds and in the world around us,” wrote a BCS blogger in an entry about the week.

Harris hopes that this year’s “Change for Nails” campaign will have a lasting impact on each child’s character formation. As they continue to work for good in their community, she said she’d like to see them do three things along the way: “act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God”.