Why is Memorial Day Important

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Written by Robert McCready - Covenant Faculty 

Given the opportunity to express the importance of Memorial Day, Coach Robert McCready shares his remarkable answer. 

Thank you for this opportunity. It's a very good question, Why is Memorial Day important.

I will often get calls from friends who want to honor my service and wishing me a happy Memorial Day. Actually, it has absolutely nothing to do with me whether I served 30 days or 30 years. Nor does it matter if I was on the Forward Edge of the Battle Area or sitting at a desk back in America.

Memorial Day is for those heroes whose lives were ended on the field of battle defending the rights of free men everywhere. Ultimately they were fighting for each other. Jesus said it best: "Greater love hath no man than to give his life for another."

Last Sunday the State of Georgia honored 62 Viet Nam veterans from Walton County. We were presented with a Certificate of Honor. It was a nice gesture but all I could think of was L/Cpl Reed, Sgt Unger, and many others who were killed in action with me, while I came home to my life and family.  

At one point in my career, I had the occasion to make casualty calls to the parents of young Marines that were KIA and it is probably the saddest thing in the world to look at a mom and tell her her son is dead.  

Memorial day is for those great people too.

Thank you again.

Shakespeare too had it right:  "We few, we merry few.  We band of Brothers. For he today that sheds his blood with me is my brother.  Be he ner so vile, today will gentle his condition."

 

Sprinting to the end of the year

The end of the school year always feels like a sprint to the finish line at the end of a marathon. We’ve pushed past the runner’s block, we’re so close to the end, and we’re giving everything we’ve got to finish strong. And when we finish we can relax and revel in our accomplishments.

 

For the past few years as high school graduation approaches, I’ve shared this metaphor with our seniors. Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us that we are running a race, but we are not alone. We’re surrounded by a cloud of witnesses and we can persevere with our eyes on Jesus. While the original intent of the Scripture is that the cloud of witnesses is the previous list of “heroes of the faith” in chapter 11, I always remind these students that they are also surrounded by a cloud of witnesses including their families, friends, our faculty and staff, and other Covenant alumni. Once they receive that diploma they become part of the cloud of witnesses for the next class. It’s a beautiful picture of how important community is to our ability to finish our goals and achieve God’s purpose for our lives.

 

I’ve been reading “Finish” by Jon Acuff recently, and this message is prominent there as well. In “Finish,” Acuff focuses on the lies that perfectionism tells us that keep us from completing our goals. One of those lies is that we can do this by ourselves and we don’t need help from anyone. Those of us who have pushed past this lie know what it really takes to accomplish something - help from others. Community is important for accountability and support no matter what the goal is.

 

Appreciation for our community is why I love our commencement ceremonies. We fill these ceremonies with traditions that acknowledge and thank those who have come alongside the students as they complete each goal in their life. We know they didn’t do it all alone, and we want to recognize that. We know that we have to partner with families in order to accomplish our mission of educating, evangelizing, and equipping our students to become life changers for Christ. We’re a community, a family, and we don’t do it alone either.

 

Of course, right now we still have a lot of activities to do together as we sprint toward the end of the year. Our middle schoolers are headed to Savannah and our freshmen are going to the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter. We’ve got SATs and elementary/high school buddy chapels, National Day of Prayer and field day, the spring concert, and senior week all to come before we reach that finish line.  And it’s all coming fast! Each activity is a part of the Covenant student experience - we’re building a community to help us all persevere during the sprint to the end and to help us celebrate the accomplishments after the race.

 

After we celebrate, we’ll keep preparing for next school year’s marathon too, making sure that we’re still engaging our community and thanking our supporters as we accomplish new goals. If you’re looking for a school to partner with you to accomplish your educational goals for your family, call us or stop by so we can share this Covenant community experience with you and see why we say, “we’re more than a school, we’re family.”

Thinking like an engineer

This past week was Engineers Week which celebrates how engineers make a difference by creating innovations and encourages children to think like engineers. Engineering simply means that we look at problems and try to solve them using creative thinking. Creative problem solving is a much needed skill in today’s world, and every area of our curriculum uses this skill. Students use scientific order, research innovations in history, write and draw their findings, designs, and directions, and find the mathematical principles and patterns to execute their ideas. It’s important to cultivate creative thinking in our children even when they’re not at school, and there are plenty of easy and inexpensive ways to do this at home.

 

Be willing to try new things. It’s helpful to expose your children to new kinds of experiences, art and design styles, food, books, and music. Asking our children to try a “bite” of something new exposes them to different mediums for inspiration and they may find they like something they didn’t think they would like. It also gives us the opportunity to show them how to express why they like or don’t like something.

 

Go outside. Many ideas come to us through playing outside, and we can take a look at nature to see how God made things work. Using inspiration from nature has given us many innovations in engineering. Plus, adding fresh air and physical activity gives us a much needed break from all of our screen time, and we can have discussions about how God has engineered our world.

 

Create and build with items you already have or can find for free. Studies show that giving yourself limitations enhances creative thinking. Spaghetti noodles and marshmallows work just as well as Lego bricks for building structures. Stack Cheerios and see what creations you can make with your food. Don’t be afraid to make some messes. Afterwards, we can teach our children personal responsibility in using our resources wisely and in cleaning up.

 

Take things apart and put them back together. Allow your children to explore the world around them and how things work by taking them apart and examining the pieces. Finding out how things already work enhances creative problem solving and allows your child to ask questions about how to make similar objects or to improve on current objects.

 

Ask questions. Using the principles of the scientific order, ask what if questions and hypothesize about outcomes. Experiment with building and use trial and error, but encourage your child not to criticize himself or herself personally. Ask how something that already exists can be made better or more efficient. Ask how or if they can change their own creations in size, shape, color, or anything else. Research innovations throughout history. Then write it all down. Keep an engineering journal to write and doodle designs, questions, hypothesis, and outcomes.

 

It’s not hard to see that engineering and creative thinking are integrated in so many areas of academic and social education. At Covenant, this kind of thinking and cross-curricular integration is so much a part of how we do things regularly. Even our literacy night activities include innovating, engineering, reading, writing, science, history, math, the arts, and Bible. Our goal is to partner with families to teach important life skills like creative problem solving through a Biblical worldview so their children are educated and equipped for life beyond school, no matter what career field they choose. Try some of these ideas at home, and then stop in for a tour to check out how we’re integrating creative thinking and engineering skills into our classes.

 

Be The Light

Merry Christmas and a very blessed New Year from Covenant Christian Academy!

Covenant is a Christian Academy founded in 1994, that believes in the inerrancy of Scripture and a Biblical worldview.  We made a covenant with God to train up young people and children in His Truth and present them a Biblical wordview. We unashamedly teach our students to be selfless rather than self-centered.  Covenant is a place for students to learn: to learn God’s truth; to learn about forgiveness; to learn life isn’t about them, but about others; to learn about repentance and redemption; to learn a person’s  character is more important than the color of his skin. At Covenant we challenge our students to reason logically and to diligently seek truth. We believe our identity is defined by God for the purpose of ministering to others; our gender is created by God as male and female, and our personalities given to us by God to reach others like us. We believe that learning starts at home, since the family is the foundation of a moral and just society.

Covenant’s mission statement: “Educating, evangelizing, and equipping young people to become life changers for Christ” sums up  how we teach our students to survive in the real world. We want them to stand up for what is right, to realize their full potential, and become the heroes of self-sacrifice with God’s help.  We want to prepare them for living, and when confronted with a crisis or conflict they will know what to do and will rise above it.

Covenant’s faculty and staff believe Jesus is the Son of God, the Bible is the Word of God, truth is given by God, and obedience and integrity are demanded by God. We stand on Psalm 86:11  “Teach me Your way, O Lord, that I may walk in Your Truth.” The goal at Covenant is the pursuit of excellence and not what is common.

Covenant’s theme for 2017-2018 is Matthew 5:16:  “let our light so shine before men that they may see our good works and give praise to our Father in Heaven.”  We believe now is the time for us to let our light shine!

If you would like to partner with us in training up your child/ren, we welcome you to come by and visit.  Covenant just may be the school for you!

Covenant's Library - A Haven

By Brandi Bourbonnais

What’s happening in the library this school year? The word that came to mind as I was praying over the school year with a fellow teacher and friend was “haven”. Maybe that seems like an an odd word for a library, but God gave it to me, so I’ll take it! 

Actually, I love that word! One definition of “haven’ is where people (students) feel safe, secure & happy. How can you not love that? Studies show that when students feel loved and safe, they have room to grow and exceed academically. 

I have the pleasure of seeing all of our students. High school students visit the library for resources for special projects and research papers. 8th grade students are engaged in Life Skills in the library, and this quarter’s course is Dave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance. The students are exploring career and career paths and how to earn money and manage finances. Topics include avoiding debt, budgeting with intention and investing early. All of this is for the purpose of honoring God with their resources and living generously. 

Upper elementary students are busy helping me choose new materials for the library in addition to reading, reading and reading! Students keep an Interactive Reading Notebook in order to highlight what they have learned from the library lesson or novel read. 4th and 5th grade students visit the library as much as their schedule allows. They love to explore and create, help tidy books, work on puzzles and make special deliveries  to classrooms. They are wonderful helpers! Lower elementary students are enjoying fall read alouds as well learning the parts of the a story and the author’s purpose. They love curling up and reading with a stuffed animal (reading buddy) after they check out a book. 

Preschool library classes love the hearing stories from the “Book Fairy” and enjoy listening to stories and singing songs while practicing storytime and book care manners. Even our smallest CCA Cougars (our nursery “students”) love library time with “Bubbles & Books”!

The CougarGeneration Service Club is sponsored by the library as well as our new parent connection of Coffee & Conversation. I love all of the activity that goes on in the library. From planning the book fairs to researching for new ways for students to use and understand information to collaborating with teachers, the library is filled with fun & learning! All are welcome & I do hope it’s a haven for everyone!