Island Hopping?

img_7176I imagine on a cold winter day, like the day I am writing this, more than a few people will be dreaming of life on a tropical island somewhere.  A place where it is warm and where in true island fashion, one is a “country to themselves”.  Maybe they even dream of island hopping so they can experience different ways of life from island to island.

Islands with their own cultures and visions and their “we can do it our way” mindsets might be great for vacations, but island hopping isn’t something we strive for at Edmonton Christian Schools.  Rather than our three schools being islands, each with their own mission and mindset, we strive to be a continent.  Sure, you will find some uniqueness in each of our schools, but from the first day in Kindergarten at Northeast or West, to the day they cross the stage to collect their Edmonton Christian High School diploma, students will hear, know and experience a consistent vision of how they can be active in God’s story.  No broad leaps in philosophy from year to year or from building to building.  At Edmonton Christian we are a continent and it is one mission for all:     

Responding to grace, [we] challenge students
through Christ centred education
to actively play their role in God’s story.

img_7184That’s certainly one of the reasons why the Grade 10 Mentoring Module being done by a group of students overseen by Mrs. Jewett, is so successful.  When the 10th graders who signed up for this module make their weekly one-hour visit to the grade one classrooms at Edmonton Christian West school, they aren’t island hopping. They are staying on the continent, and are steeped in it’s ethos.  And both groups of students are finding these continental journies beneficial.

“I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the two girls I work with.  It’s fun”   . . .   “I enjoy coming here.  I love it.”   Gr. 10 mentors

“I like that there is someone to help us.”  . . .  “I like it because we do stuff!”  Gr. 1 mentees

“It is great how it goes from organized chaos to groups just really working well together.  One of the greatest things is listening to the chatter.” Gr. 1 teacher, Ms. Van Driesum

“The best thing is just the relationships that are build.  Bonds are formed.  And, being a mentor gives them [gr 10] the responsibility to deal with issues and potential conflict.  It’s a life lesson.”  Gr. 10 teacher, Ms. Jewett

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On the day pictured, just before Christmas, the task was making cards.  As I saw the smiles on the faces, the secret handshakes, the patience it took to complete the work and as I listened to that wonderful chatter, I was glad to be on a continent.  Island hopping may just be overrated.

by Brian Doornenbal
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