Archive for October, 2017

Annual Fund Campaign Day 9

 

Support the 2017-2018 GRACE Annual Fund Campaign

It’s week two of the 2017-2018 Annual Fund Campaign that started last week and will conclude on October 20th. Gifts to the Annual Fund allows GRACE to invest in critical resources in many areas of school life including academics, athletics, fine arts, safety, security, and technology. Each day during the campaign we will highlight a different aspect of GRACE and how the Annual Fund supports each one.

Please prayerfully consider how you can be a part of this year’s Annual Fund Campaign. Strong parent participation is a key factor in us gaining access to outside foundation funding. Every gift, regardless of the amount, counts toward our goal of 100% participation. Please make your commitment (or let us know about the giving you are already doing) by filling out the 2017-2018 Annual Fund Commitment Card.

Day 9: We are Thankful for our Academic Program

GRACE is first and foremost an academic institution that seeks to equip, challenge, and inspire our students to love learning, to think critically and to apply their knowledge and wisdom to affect their world for Christ.  

Students in GRACE’s elementary program are given the tools and the knowledge to solve age-appropriate problems by learning how to share, take turns, and develop the understanding that every person is worthy of respect and kindness. All students gain foundational skills in reasoning while learning how to communicate with coherent arguments, and demonstrate personal responsibility.

The middle school program is designed to prepare students for a college-preparatory high school academic program. Teachers also work with students to expand their awareness of the world beyond themselves, appreciate the opinions of others, and manage their time effectively.

High school students are provided with ample occasions for self-advocacy, collaboration and practical opportunities to think critically. Advanced Placement® and honors classes are balanced with opportunities to participate fully in fine arts, athletics, and community outreach.

What is the Annual Fund and What Does it Do?

If you’re not sure what the Annual Fund is, or how those funds are used, please read the following series on Giving to GRACE:

Make your commitment today! Fill out the 2017-2018 Annual Fund Commitment Card now!

Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?

Kindergarten readiness is more than being “age ready” based on the date on a child’s birth certificate. Children attain developmental milestones essential for readiness at different rates- meaning, some children will be ready earlier or later than the “cut-off” date. Surprisingly, the most important skills to assess for kindergarten readiness have less to do with academic skills and more to do with physical, emotional and social skills that comprise a solid foundation for a successful kindergarten experience.

GRACE Christian School has been educating kindergarten students for 35 years, and has identified four categories to consider for kindergarten preparedness:

  1. Social and Emotional Maturity
  2. Independence and Self-Care
  3. Literacy Development
  4. Motor Skills

Children who exhibit appropriate social and emotional maturity are able to separate from their parents without emotional distress and can express their own feelings and respond to the feelings of others. In her article Teaching empathy: Evidence-based tips for fostering empathy in children, Gwen Dewar, Ph.D. states that parents can help teach their children to be empathetic by creating an environment where their children understand that everyone has their own mind and does not have the same feelings about the same things that they do. The awareness that we are not all the same will help your future kindergartner better cope with other children who might speak, do, or feel differently about a classroom activity or event. As a school that teaches from a biblical worldview, GRACE teachers will reinforce this awareness by reminding students that God created each of us uniquely, with different gifts, talents, and abilities. Furthermore, each of us is an image-bearer of Christ deserving of respect and consideration. 

The role of independence and self-care is an essential readiness skill for rising kindergartners! Teach your child how to dress and care for himself without your prompting and with minimal assistance. Make self-care a game by challenging your child to dress for a cold day or a hot day or a rainy day to help them develop the association between their clothing and their comfort. Make learning skills such as using the bathroom independently and putting on/taking off a jacket or coat a priority at home. Have pretend lunches where your child practices opening containers by themselves to prepare them for lunchtime independence at school.

Literacy development in the pre-kindergarten years does not mean your child has to be reading. Letter and number recognition is important, but just as important is the ability to relate letters and numbers to what they represent. Can your child listen to a story and retell it? 

Can they sort objects by shape, color, or some other visual criteria? Do they understand the concepts of more and less? These are all foundational skills that will make kindergarten more successful.

In our digital culture, motor skills are often underdeveloped in young children. Swiping a touchscreen does not offer the same fine motor development as threading beads, squeezing and manipulating play dough/clay, buttoning and unbuttoning and working different types of clasps and fasteners. Gross motor skills like running, jumping, skipping, and balancing on one leg are all foundational skills necessary for success in kindergarten. Incorporate activities that develop motor skills into your everyday routine such as playing hopscotch and threading pipe cleaners through a colander.

Give your preschooler the skills they need to make a smooth transition to kindergarten by incorporating opportunities for movement throughout their day, allow them to get dirty and experience different textures (mud, sand, grass), read aloud stories to them and have them retell the story back to you, and give them frequent opportunities for unstructured and imaginative (dress-up and pretend) play.

Download our 4 Pillars for Kindergarten Readiness handbook for more tips on preparing your child for kindergarten.

Annual Fund Campaign Day 8

 

Support the 2017-2018 GRACE Annual Fund Campaign

It’s week two of the 2017-2018 Annual Fund Campaign that started last week and will conclude on October 20th. Gifts to the Annual Fund allows GRACE to invest in critical resources in many areas of school life including academics, athletics, fine arts, safety, security, and technology. Each day during the campaign we will highlight a different aspect of GRACE and how the Annual Fund supports each one.

Please prayerfully consider how you can be a part of this year’s Annual Fund Campaign. Strong parent participation is a key factor in us gaining access to outside foundation funding. Every gift, regardless of the amount, counts toward our goal of 100% participation. Please make your commitment (or let us know about the giving you are already doing) by filling out the 2017-2018 Annual Fund Commitment Card.

Day 8: We are Thankful for our Facilities

In the 35 years that GRACE has existed, God has provided the resources for the facilities that we have needed to grow and expand over the years. In recent years, our focus has been on maintaining and improving the facilities we have rather than growing additional square footage. In the past year, the Annual Fund has provided the resources needed to upgrade several areas across our buildings including updates to the 5th and 6th grade areas, a complete renovation of the bathrooms in the lower campus, and new HVAC units for the lower campus. The year before, the Annual Fund helped with the extensive renovations on the upper campus that resulted in a updated chapel, four new classrooms, and a new set of bathrooms.

 

What is the Annual Fund and What Does it Do?

If you’re not sure what the Annual Fund is, or how those funds are used, please read the following series on Giving to GRACE:

Make your commitment today! Fill out the 2017-2018 Annual Fund Commitment Card now!

#WhatsUpAtGRACE October 17, 2017

The October 17, 2017 #WhatsUpAtGRACE newsletter has information about upcoming events, things to see at the State Fair, an update from the PTF and pictures from last week’s campus events. There is also information about our Annual Fund Campaign which is ending on Friday.

If you haven’t filled out a 2017-2018 Annual Fund Commitment Card, please take a few minutes to do so this week. This online form allows you to indicate if you have already given (for example, at the 2017 Celebrate GRACE), if you plan to give at year end, if you are already giving on a regular basis, or if you want to make a new donation now. For all of these options, we want you to fill out the Commitment Card as we are calculating our participation percentage from the submitted forms. Strong parent participation is a key factor in us gaining access to outside foundation funding. Every gift, regardless of the amount, counts toward our goal of 100% participation.

Thank you to all the grandparents who took the time to make it to our campus last Friday for Grandparents’ Day. We loved having you on campus. If you missed the program, it is viewable online at tinyurl.com/GRACEstreaming until November 12th.

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.

Annual Fund Campaign Day 7

 

Support the 2017-2018 GRACE Annual Fund Campaign

It’s week two of the 2017-2018 Annual Fund Campaign that started last week and will conclude on October 20th. Gifts to the Annual Fund allows GRACE to invest in critical resources in many areas of school life including academics, athletics, fine arts, safety, security, and technology. Each day during the campaign we will highlight a different aspect of GRACE and how the Annual Fund supports each one.

Please prayerfully consider how you can be a part of this year’s Annual Fund Campaign. Strong parent participation is a key factor in us gaining access to outside foundation funding. Every gift, regardless of the amount, counts toward our goal of 100% participation. Please make your commitment (or let us know about the giving you are already doing) by filling out the 2017-2018 Annual Fund Commitment Card.

Day 7: We are Thankful for Athletics

GRACE has a full slate of athletic opportunities that begin with students in 6th grade. The mission of our athletic program is to provide an atmosphere where student-athletes can develop their physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual gifts through the avenue of athletic training and competition. Participation in athletics allows instruction in character, integrity, discipline, hard work and leadership. GRACE emphasizes the importance of good sportsmanship as part of our challenge to every student to “live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:10)

The Annual Fund has supported GRACE’s growing athletics program in a number of ways, including a complete redesign of the Physical Education space in the Activity Building, upgrades to the weight room, and improvements to the changing rooms.  

What is the Annual Fund and What Does it Do?

If you’re not sure what the Annual Fund is, or how those funds are used, please read the following series on Giving to GRACE:

Make your commitment today! Fill out the 2017-2018 Annual Fund Commitment Card now!

Staff Spotlight: Zane Smitley

Dr. Zane Smitley has been on staff in the GRACE upper campus since 2003 and while he earned his undergraduate degree in secondary education (history), his journey to teaching took a few unexpected turns including a doctorate degree in chiropractic medicine. After 13 years of private practice in North Raleigh, God led Zane back to his first love, teaching. When GRACE was smaller, Zane taught both science and history, but the increase in high school enrollment has resulted in a full teaching schedule of Biology, Anatomy/Physiology, and AP Biology.

A highlight of his years at GRACE was the year that the yearbook was dedicated to him. Zane counts it as an honor to be recognized with the others who came before him. Zane states that as a teacher, it is simultaneously scary, challenging, and rewarding when alumni return to school and let him know that they have decided to pursue an occupation related to something that he has taught. More than the knowledge he imparts (and he imparts a lot, just ask his students), Zane values the opportunity to pour into the lives of young people who can make a difference in our world.

Zane enjoys working at GRACE and working with people who care about him. He states that his colleagues lift him up when he is down and encouragement through tough times. During his years at GRACE, Zane lost his father and his sister and remembers well the support and care that the GRACE community gave to him and his family.

One of Zane’s favorite GRACE events is the annual field trip that he takes with his Advanced Placement Biology students. He loves the opportunity to take students out of the classroom and away from the theoretical so that they can experience science in its natural form. Students collect data, analyze and predict real time results, and see how the world interacts while making friendship bonds with their classmates while working together.

With his varied background and occupations (he has driven a school bus, a church bus, and worked for four years as a finish trim carpenter), Zane quotes Romans 12:1-2 as a verse that moves him to action. In his own words, life is not about breathing, your occupation, or the money you make, it’s about living a life with purpose and action. Every day Zane tries to think of what he is doing to live for Christ. He continually challenges himself to assess if the world is changing him or if he is changing the world with Christ leading the way.

When asked what advice he would give, Zane referenced a statement his brother made at their sister’s funeral. He said that “she died well” and meant by this phrase that she lived her life to the fullest because she had no worry of the next life. Her future was guaranteed. Zane believes that Christians should be the happiest people on the planet because we already know our future. It is Zane’s desire his five children, his seven grandchildren, and all else who know him will be able to say, upon his death, that he died well.

 

 

Upper Campus Clubs – Week of October 16th

The following upper campus student clubs are meeting this week (October 16-20, 2017)

Tuesday

  • The Indoor Track & Field Club is meeting from 3:30-3:45 in the Activity Building Gym
  • The Creative Writing Club is meeting from 3:15-4:30 in room 203 (Mrs. Petty’s Room)

Wednesday

  • The Chess Club is meeting from 3:30-4:30pm in room 111 (Mrs. Wingerd’s Room)
  • The Math Club is meeting from 3:15-4:15pm in room 136 (Mrs. Stone’s Room)
  • The Scrubs Club is meeting from 3:15-4:00pm in room 128 (Dr. Smitley’s Room)