We’re back at school! It’s been three weeks now and school is starting to feel normal again. Waking up early, packing lunch and making sure our homework is done before we head out the door each morning. We are in the groove, but there are still some things that will surprise us now and then. Take, for example, chapel this past Friday at our Beverly campus. It began as usual with our favorite praise choruses and opening prayer. However, there was a buzz in the room that reminded us this was no ordinary chapel. It was the first chapel of the year where a lucky few were highlighted! The excitement you feel in the room is not just from the chosen students who will receive the “highlighting” honor, or even from their proud parents sitting a few rows back hoping to record it all. No, the greatest anticipation comes from the remaining students who fill the pews anxiously waiting to see their classmate recognized for who they are in God’s eyes.
If you are not familiar with our highlighting program at our Beverly campus, then you’re in the right place! The Highlighting program is an opportunity for the K- 7th grade classroom teachers to observe how each of their students reflect God in their everyday activities. As the Lord lays it upon the teachers’ hearts, they will publicly articulate, during chapel, a Christ-like attitude or behavior they have seen their student demonstrate.
“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and not all members have the same function, so in Christ we who are many are one body, and each member belongs to one another.” Romans 12:4
Our chaplain, Mrs. Kathy Ely, developed our school’s Highlighting program in the early 1990’s. Mrs. Ely was a Kindergarten teacher at Covenant Christian School when the idea came to her. She had a student who was difficult to manage. The administration wanted the student to leave the school, but Mrs. Ely felt called to give this child a chance. For one month the student was placed on probationary basis. During this time, Mrs. Ely was able to work with him and foster a renewed spiritual focus and eagerness for learning which helped turn this student’s time at CCS into a success story. It was during this experience that Mrs. Ely was inspired to create the Highlighting program. She believed that high academic achievement should not be the only achievement for which students are recognized. Rather, all of God’s children should be highlighted for their individual strengths. Mrs. Ely said, “I realized that God has put gifts and qualities into all children and that it was our job as Christian educators to recognize what they were and nurture and cultivate them.”
Mrs. Ely’s story reminds me of how quickly, we as adults, tend to correct our children. We point out problems they make or troubles they cause. It is easy to discipline and then move on without reflecting on the situation. We lead busy lives! But remember what benefits are yielded when we invest our time, our patience, and ourselves in that situation; when we thoughtfully and prayerfully encourage our children to realize Christ-like qualities every day.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” 1 Corinthians 12:12
For NSCS teachers, training up children in the way they should go is a fundamental responsibility; to help students give a reason for the hope that lies within them. The faculty live and teach from a biblical world view. This means that scriptural principles are not merely integrated throughout the academic day but recognized as integral to each and every academic content area.
Our highlighting chapels in Beverly are special occasions for the students and their teachers. All of our chapels are open to families and friends of NSCS. I encourage you to attend on Fridays from 8:05 – 8:45am. Highlighting chapels take place on the last Friday of each month.