Countdown to Giving: Day 3

Students Spread Cheer and Make an Impact with Operation Christmas Child

NJHS and NHS students at The Woodlands Christian Academy, in keeping with the school’s mission and vision, led the way in organizing a massive school-wide fundraiser in support of Operation Christmas Child. An initiative of Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Christmas Child is an annual campaign responsible for mailing shoeboxes to thousands of underprivileged young people around the world.

NJHS students hosted a donation collection drive, calling on the entire student body to participate. Donations included everyday essentials — toothbrushes, socks, bar soap — as well as school supplies and age-appropriate toys — crayons, coloring books, and Play-doh — in an effort to give these children practical items as well as something to smile about during the holiday season. All students in Pre-K through 12th grade participated in assembling the shoe boxes. Donations made toward an on-campus car wash and spirit nights at local restaurants helped support the $9 shipping cost incurred for each box.

Middle school teacher and NJHS club sponsor, Jennifer Russell identified opportunities for students to learn valuable lessons in servant leadership, global citizenship and empathy, and to truly grasp the hardships recipients of the boxes could be facing on a daily basis. For example, lessons in sustainability were introduced with the instruction to remove all plastic casings from the products as many communities around the world would not have a place to dispose of the wrappers. Middle school and high school students were told to imagine what life might look like for the recipient of their shoebox, how they were similarly a child with hopes and dreams, then write a letter to that child.

 

In total, students at Woodlands Christian packaged 607 shoeboxes. These will be distributed worldwide at outreach events where children will have the opportunity to hear the Gospel message and join a discipleship program. Every year, thousands of churches are started as a result of Operation Christmas Child. Who knew one small act of giving could have such large and lasting implications?

 

Established in 1993, The Woodlands Christian Academy is a PreK – 12th grade college preparatory school that integrates learning with biblical faith and challenges students to reach their highest potential – spiritually, academically, physically and socially. The school is committed to raising servant leaders who will impact their world for Christ.

Woodlands Christian offers a rigorous academic program with an individualized teaching approach. Small class sizes and a large campus make social distancing possible. Woodlands Christian is now enrolling grades PreK – 12th for the 2021-2022 school year. For more information visit twca.net.

The John Cooper School Develops Global Thinkers with Experience in Spain

The John Cooper School offers its students experiential learning opportunities during the summer.  This year 14 students and 2 faculty members traveled through the south of Spain, exploring the cities of Madrid, Toledo, Granada, Seville, Gibraltar, and Cordoba.  The purpose of the trip was to focus on global perspectives; it was designed to move students through awareness, understanding, appreciation, interaction, and experience in a foreign country and immersion in Spanish culture. The objective was to develop global thinking by learning social-mindedness, politics, environment, ecology, technology, economy, and culture. This learning happened by visiting historical sites, attending courses with instructors from the University of Seville, engaging in service, and living with a local family.

Sevilla

Upon arrival in Madrid the group travel to Toledo, the city of “Three Cultures” (Muslim, Jewish and Catholic), and stayed within the historical city walls. They visited the Cathedral, one of the most prominent Gothic buildings in Europe also home to El Greco’s masterpiece The Burial of the Count of Orgaz.

They traveled through Castilla la Mancha, with vast fields of sunflowers and scene of many of the adventures of Cervante’s Don Quixote. In Jaen, they saw expansive olive orchards where one of Spain’s main sources of income, olive oil, is produced. They even sampled chocolate produced with this golden treasure.

Gibraltar

In Granada, they were able to appreciate the beautiful Moorish architecture of the Alhambra and experience the diverse mix of cultures that coexist along its beautiful narrow streets. The group also engaged in a service project with senior citizens.  Each member of the group was paired with a senior who guided the student through the city, sharing stories about where they grew up, pointing out their favorite place for treats, as well as detailing historical events that have occurred during their lifetime.

During the five day stay in Seville, the students lived with an Andalusian family, sharing meals and family dynamics.  They attended cultural and culinary classes where they learned the history of Flamenco, how to cook paella and sample traditional tapas and “merienda”.

Cooking Paella

 

The group then traveled south to Gibraltar, part of the United Kingdom, and experienced crossing the border as most of its inhabitants do on a daily basis to commute to and from work. From the highest point in Gibraltar they were able to see the African shore of Morocco and visited with the famous Barbary macaques, an endangered species of monkeys at the Upper Rock nature reserve, where they also explored its cave full of impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations.

In Madrid, the group visited the Royal Palace, the Prado and Reina Sofia museums. They admired Picasso’s masterpiece “Guernica” and learned of its symbolism and history, other surrealists’ works from Dali and Miró captured their interest as well.

Plaza Mayor Madrid

Throughout the journey the students communicated in Spanish, engaging in conversation and making inquiries to their tour guides.  The group made 3D videos which will allow classmates to share their experience and enhance their learning through the use of this innovative technology.  In this way, the Cooper community as a whole will benefit from this experiential learning adventure.

Sevilla waiting for the bus

Royal Palace Madrid

Service in Granada

Classes