Educating for Eternity
Developing a sense of service in children is important for increasing participation in the community and developing an understanding of life beyond their own. Children who develop a strong sense of community service effectiveness believe in their abilities to take appropriate action in serving the needs of their community.
Service learning that incorporates preparation and reflection into service activities, underpins the success of community service. At Christchurch Adventist School, our students are taught the value of service, and the difference it makes in the lives of others. Age appropriate opportunities for service enable students to develop skills to become effective change agents in their communities. Service-learning activities in turn increase children’s sense of belonging to their communities. When children develop a sense of belonging to their communities they are more likely to feel a sense of responsibility to themselves and to the group and to consider what is best for the community.
The value of service develops in children an understanding of life beyond their own.
At CAS educating our students about service and serving others is one of our values. Mark 10:45 ‘For even the son of man did not come to be served but to serve, to give His life as a ransom for many.’ The School Chaplain, Grants Road Ministry Youth Worker, and the Christian Living Department (Bible Department) coordinate the Service Ministries. Our primary focus is to engender a culture of service to others and the activities varied to suit year levels and age appropriateness.
In-house service fundraisers are coordinated by the Student Council that have recently included Student Mufti Days for Red Cross “Red & Black”, Can Food Drive; ADRA “Cash Cow Programme for Vietnam”; and Stationery gifts to schools in Fiji”. Primary students have participated in the Heart Foundation Skip-a-thon, Daffodil Day gold coin trail and annual visitation to our neighbouring Retirement and Nursing Homes.
CAS is the major provider of Volunteers for the Weet-Bix Kids Tryathlon that is held every year in March. Due to the earthquake, 2010 was moved away from QEII grounds. Over 90 student, staff, Board and parent volunteers are utilised over Saturday night and Sunday.
In the past few years the school has sent teams of students and staff on Service trips to schools/communities in the following areas: Invercargill, Wainunu (Fiji), Palmerston North, Hurstville (Sydney), Lewa (Fiji), Central Coast (NSW), Waiau, Mana Island (Fiji), and several earthquake recovery teams around Canterbury. These trips are life changing for our students and we praise God for what He has done in and through our teams!
The earthquake was a very stressful time for so many; we wanted to do as much as we could for those in need so we enabled an army of young people to help in the days and weeks following the three big earthquakes in September, February and June. It was amazing to see so many people jump on board. The help included rallying together clothes & pyjamas for rest homes, water delivery, connection with at risk blind people, phoning elderly members of our Campus Church, silt removal, face painting and animal balloons, supporting Red Cross in helping to set up a number of 5-ton water bladders across the city, connection and support for Community & CAS families, food parcels for at risk people.
We also ran a resilience program and DVD recording titled ‘Bouncing Back from Troubled Times’ featuring Clinical Psychologist, Erik Carrasco. Overall, everyone we assisted were very thankful and it was a great form of witness, the young people who got involved also walked away with great satisfaction knowing they had served their community without receiving anything in return.