Archive for September, 2017

Deployments and Homecomings

With more than twenty-one years of working in education, and twenty-one homecoming weeks under my belt, I consider myself something of a homecoming week expert. Homecoming weeks always consist of crazy, creative outfits, students stressed out about parade floats and dance dates (not always in that order), and teachers trying to maintain order and keep the academic progress moving forward amidst the chaos. Homecoming weeks are fun and exhausting, as they offer a welcome break from the routine while simultaneously reminding us of the benefits of the routine.

Today, I experienced my second favorite homecoming memory, as our lower campus neighbor, Hope Community Church, hosted a special service to honor and pray over members of the 449th Theater Aviation Brigade and the 2-130th Aviation Operations Battalion who are deploying to Kuwait and Iraq in support of Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Inherent Resolve. As the soldiers and their families arrived, they were greeted by over 400 flag-waving, cheering GRACE students and staff members decked out in as much red, white, and blue as possible. In a week filled with debates over the meaning of patriotism and symbolic speech, it was incredibly powerful to see the staff and students demonstrate their support of our servicemen and servicewomen. The soldiers shared hugs and high-fives, took selfies, and thanked our students for their support. Soldiers and staff members alike shed tears as we thanked them for serving our nation. The soldiers concluded their time with the students by marching in formation between the rows of GRACE students before entering the church for the formal service.

There is a certain irony in that these servicemen and servicewomen came onto our campus in preparation for their deployment as we celebrate our school’s homecoming week. As they prepare to leave their homes and families, we are eagerly anticipating the return of GRACE alumni for our parade, football game and other weekend activities. Please join me in praying for not only these, but all of our servicemen and servicewomen throughout the world (including class of 2010 GRACE alumni Kenny Yacynych, currently serving in Afghanistan, pictured) who place themselves in harm’s way so that we may enjoy the freedoms for which so many have fought and died before them. Please pray that God would watch over and protect them so that in the not too distant future, they can enjoy a blessed homecoming of their own with their loved ones.

In case you were wondering, my all-time favorite homecoming week memory is easy to pick and will never be topped. In 2009, the date of the homecoming dance fell on the same day as my wife’s due date with our youngest child. Amy, always a trooper, chaperoned the dance with me, staying at the venue until the last student left. About eight hours later, she gave birth to Audrey. I had not thought about it until now, but maybe that is why Audrey always wants to go all out when it comes to dressing up for homecoming.

Blessings, Eric Bradley

#WhatsUpAtGRACE September 26, 2017

The September 26, 2017 #WhatsUpAtGRACE newsletter includes a special homecoming  staff spotlight and of pictures of the first grade Egyptian Feast, the 2nd grade Book Tasting, artSpark, and yesterday’s Pajama Day.

In addition to the above, the newsletter also includes the following:

  • Everything you need to know about Spirit Week and Homecoming activities
  • Information about a book study being led by Mr. Bradley and Mrs. Taylor
  • Link to purchase Peter Pan tickets
  • An update from the GRACE College Counseling department
  • Link to the NHS Tutoring Request Form
  • The donation date for the lower campus lost & found
  • Date and time for this year’s See You at The Pole event
  • A reminder to link your grocery store and other cards to benefit GRACE

Don’t forget that tonight is the re-scheduled-because-of-hurricane-Irma spirit night at Cold Stone Creamery. Bring this flyer (print or mobile) so that GRACE will get credit for your purchase!

If you missed a previous edition of the weekly newsletter, they are all posted in GRACE News on the GRACE website. Keep up to date with all future events by consulting the GRACE Calendar.

Staff Spotlight: Sarah Jarvis

As we anticipate this year’s homecoming festivities, it seems appropriate that a GRACE alumna is in the spotlight. Sarah Jarvis has been part of the GRACE community for more years than most on staff. She attended GRACE as a preschool student and proceeded to complete elementary, middle and high school as a GRACE eagle!  Sarah attended Liberty University and graduated with a double major in psychology and family and child development.

It is hard for Sarah to pick one favorite GRACE memory as she has so many to choose from! She has fond memories of the many field trips that GRACE students take including the 4th grade trip to the Outer Banks, a 5th grade trip to the mountains, the 8th grade trip to Washington DC, as well as mission trips to the Bahamas her freshman year and to Appalachia her senior year. Most of all, Sarah remembers when teachers spoke into her life and encouraged her in her work, which motivated her to do her best.

It is the example of personal concern and care that Sarah remembers best from her time as a GRACE student that she strives to impart to the kindergartners in her care. In first grade, Sarah struggled with anxiety related to storms, so much so that her fear impacted her ability to learn. Mrs. Thompson and Mrs. Allsbrook (the principal at that time) let Sarah come into their office when the weather was stormy, which made her feel safe. Years later she learned from her mom that parents who knew of her fear would pray for her when storms were in the area. GRACE’s loving, compassionate, prayerful, and patient community allowed Sarah to conquer her fear such that as a high school freshman on a mission trip she was able to witness the lightning of a distant storm without fear.

It is not surprising that one of Sarah’s favorite Bible verses, Philippians 4:6-7, deals with anxiety and the peace that God can provide in the midst of fear, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Sarah believes that God used everyone in the GRACE community to impart the great wisdom and truth that prepared her for doing life. She has been blessed by the investment made in her life, through each moment and each grade, especially those that took the time to meet with her and work with her through her fears. Without this background, Sarah would not be the same person she is today. 

As a kindergarten assistant, Sarah tries to impart to her young students what she received as a GRACE student all those years ago. She considers it a privilege to teach them about Jesus, to build relationships with them, to help them learn about prayer, God’s world, and the appropriate amount of glue to use in a craft project! She delights alongside them as they learn to read and write and she truly loves watching their personalities develop over the course of the year.

Sarah has been married to the boy she set her eye on back in high school for two years and together, they attend the church they both grew up in, Raleigh First Assembly (RFA). At RFA, Sarah is the Boys and Girls Missions Coordinator for ages 3-12. In this role, Sarah helps the children understand what it means to pray for missionaries, give to missions, and to be a missionary. She also interviews missionaries that visit the church.

Cold Stone Spirit Night September 26th

GRACE families join us on Tuesday, September 26th at Cold Stone Creamery at Crossroads Plaza in Cary!  Pop over between 3:00-7:30 pm to grab a sweet treat! 

  • Staff members will be serving from 5:30-7:30
  • Wear your GRACE spirit wear, and enjoy some Eagle fellowship!!! 
  • Cold Stone is generously donating up to 25% of GRACE related sales back!

Please print it or show this GRACE Cold Stone Spirit Night Flyer when you arrive to ensure GRACE gets credit for your purchase!!!

September College Update

It has been a very busy fall for the GRACE College Counseling department.Thirteen college representatives have already visited the GRACE campus to recruit our student with 22 more colleges scheduled to visit between now and mid-November.  Search for “College Rep Visit” on the GRACE Website to see which colleges are recruiting on campus. 

In addition to the on-site visits, students and parents are invited to visit the College Visitation Dates page to see what colleges are holding regional information sessions in our area and when local college fairs are being held. Most information sessions require advanced registration – links to the registration pages are included on the College Visitation Dates page.

Last Monday, an admissions representative from Campbell University met with members of the class of 2018 and extended 16 offers of admission along with over $1 million in scholarship offers to our students.

Contact Lynne Hawkes at in the College Counseling Office if you have questions about the college search process.


Internet Safety Seminar

Hope Community Church invites all GRACE families to an Internet Safety Seminar on Thursday, September 28th from 6:30-8:30pm in the Hope Community Church Chapel at 821 Buck Jones Road.

There will be a speaker from the NC Department of Justice discussing the different social media sites, tactics predators are using, ways to protect your children, etc. Also in attendance will be a Raleigh police officer who will be sharing on how this ties to human trafficking and what is being seen in the triangle area. For more information email

Spirit Week Dress Up Days

Make sure you are prepared to show your spirit all next week with themed dress up days on both campuses!


  • Monday: Pajama Day
  • Tuesday: Team (Sports) Day
  • Wednesday: Wacky Day
  • Thursday: USA Day
  • Friday: GRACE Spirit Day


  • Monday: Pajama Day
  • Tuesday: Tacky Tourist Day
  • Wednesday: Sports Team Day
  • Thursday: America Day
  • Friday: GRACE Spirit Day

Peter Pan Tickets On Sale Now

The GRACE Theatre Department is pleased to present Peter Pan, the everlasting classic account of two boys and a girl who follow Peter Pan and the invisible fairy Tinker Bell into Neverland, where children never grow old and where Captain Hook and his pirates are outwitted. NOTE: This is the original NON-MUSICAL version. 

Tickets are now on sale at

Performances will be Thursday, October 12th at 7:00pm and Saturday, October 14th at 2:00pm and 7:00pm.


#WhatsUpAtGRACE September 19, 2017

The September 19, 2017 #WhatsUpAtGRACE newsletter includes a staff spotlight on GRACE’s school nurse, part three in the Giving at GRACE series, and important information about Spirit Week and all the associated Homecoming festivities.

Also included are pictures from events on and off campus last week, a list of student-led clubs meeting on the upper campus this week, and a reminder about After Care policies for the end of this week when students have a half day (Thursday) and a full day off (Friday) so that teachers can conduct parent-teacher conferences.

As a tool for parents to navigate the rapidly changing digital landscape, we are excited to offer to all GRACE parents a 3-week study of the book The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place led by Eric Bradley and Julia Taylor in the month of October. Additionally, our neighbors at Hope Community Church are hosting an Internet Safety seminar later this month. Details on both these opportunities are included in this week’s newsletter.

If you missed a previous edition of the weekly newsletter, they are all posted in GRACE News on the GRACE website. Keep up to date with all future events by consulting the GRACE Calendar.

Giving at GRACE, Part 3

This year at GRACE we would like to make better use of the corporations that have a philanthropic focus and maximize how purchases made by our GRACE community can have a bigger impact on our annual fund.Both affinity (give back) programs and corporate gift matching programs allow GRACE to benefit from purchases and donations you are already making. This year, we would like to emphasize the value of your participation in these programs and increase the funds raised from under $3,000 last year to $20,000 this year.

Affinity Organizations

Affinity programs rebate a percentage of your purchase to the charity of your choice. In addition to, almost all the local grocery stores participate in some sort of give back program. If you have not already done so this year, take a moment to use the instructions listed below to link your account to GRACE. Note: Most grocery store programs require families to relink your account each school year. You can also download No Effort Fundraising if you would prefer a hard copy of the information below.

Amazon –

  • AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that lets customers enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features as on The difference is that when customers shop on AmazonSmile (, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organizations selected by customers.
  • Select GREATER RALEIGH AREA CHRISTIAN EDUCATION, INC. to designate GRACE as your charitable organization.

Harris Teeter – Together in Education

  • Harris Teeter’s Together In Education program gives schools a chance to earn funds when you link your VIC card and shop Harris Teeter brands. There are NO LIMITS to how much a school can earn.
  • Link your VIC card to GRACE by selecting 2768 GRACE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL RALEIGH on the Harris Teeter Together in Education Webpage.
  • Note: You MUST re-link every year!

Kroger – Community Rewards Program

  • Year after year, local schools, churches and other nonprofit organizations will earn millions of dollars through Kroger Community Rewards. Kroger Community Rewards makes fund-raising easy..all you have to do is shop at Kroger and swipe your Plus Card!
  • Link your Kroger card to GRACE by selecting 82226 Grace Christian School on the Kroger Community Rewards Webpage.
  • Note: You MUST re-link every year!

Lowes Foods

  • With Cart to Class, Lowes Foods designated schools will be rewarded based on the amount of Lowes Foods Private Label items you purchase.
  • Select GRACE from the eligible school list on the Lowe’s Back 2 Schools website.

Publix Partners

  • Through Publix Partners, all purchases made at Publix will help earn money for our school. For every $37,500 spent cumulatively by GRACE families, Publix will award GRACE $250.
  • Pick up a Publix Partner bar code card at either campus reception desk and scan it at check out.

Box Tops for Education

  • Each box top is worth 10¢ for our school! Look for the pink Box Tops on hundreds of products, clip, and submit to either campus office.
  • No registration or linking is required, although you can earn bonus box tops by joining on the Box Tops website. Search for 27606 (swipe left to see the full list of schools) and select GRACE.

Corporate Gift Matching

Many corporations match donations made by employees to a wide range of nonprofits, to support employee charitable giving, and to extend corporate philanthropy.

Matching donations, or matching gifts, are free money that nonprofits often miss out on because of limited information on donors’ employers, complex corporate giving programs, and because the corporate matching process is usually unknown for employees.

In light of this, GRACE now subscribes to a service named Double the Donation to make it easier for GRACE families to find out if their companies provide corporate gift matching.  Go to to locate your company and links to instructions and forms to multiply the donation you already plan to make to GRACE. Below is a partial list of the top employers in the Raleigh-Durham area that have gift matching programs:

  • AT&T
  • Biogen
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC
  • Branch Banking & Trust (BB&T)
  • Cisco
  • Citrix Systems
  • Credit Suisse
  • Duke Energy
  • Eli Lilly & Company
  • Fidelity Investments
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • IBM
  • Lenovo
  • Merck & Company
  • MetLife
  • QuintilesIMS
  • Red Hat, Inc.
  • SAS Institute
  • Time Warner and Subsidiaries (Synapse, Time, Turner, Warner Bros)
  • United Airlines
  • Verizon
  • Wells Fargo & Company
  • Xerox Corporation