February 23, 2023
Today's stories are from Murrieta Springs Adventist Christian Academy (MSACA) and Mesa Grande Academy (MGA) in California, plus a story from Holbrook Indian School (HIS) in Arizona. MSACA students are having fun after school and MGA students from high school to elementary are learning by immersing themselves in nature. Finally, we are celebrating 15 students who gave their lives to Christ at HIS!
Murrieta Springs Adventist Christian Academy
MSACA Afterschool Clubs
Enrichment opportunities have come to MSACA this year! Thanks to Sany Ortiz, club coordinator, rather than just an after-school care program, MSACA students can now spend an hour participating in a fun selection of clubs. These include sports, ukulele, Spanish, and science/robotics. Parents are pleased. “I love that it’s not just childcare,” said one parent. “Students are really learning something fun and new.”
MSACA’s sports club is preparing to play friendly games with other schools in the SECC conference and community, while the ukulele club members lead out in chapels and have provided music for church services.
It is MSACA’s goal to enrich the mind, body, and spirit of each student. Mrs. White emphasized the importance of the holistic approach to learning. “It is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers. It prepares the student for the joy of service in this world and for the higher joy of wider service in the world to come” (Ellen G. White, Education, p.13).
Maddox, a fourth-grade student, shared, “It’s really fun to be in the ukulele club. I like that my friends are there and that I can learn new chords and how to play songs about Jesus. Even though I get nervous in front of a big crowd at chapel, this helps me get past my fear.” There is a sense of community between club members that permeates into the daily school experience, building strong friendships.
Holbrook Indian School
Students Give Their Lives to Christ
On February 11, HIS witnessed 15 students give their hearts to God in baptism. The decisions came during a weeklong evangelistic series with guest speaker and director of Youth and Children's Ministries at the Arizona Conference, Pastor Manny Cruz.
During the series, students listened to principles of health and healthy relationships, Pastor Manny’s testimonies, and a guide on how to talk to God. On Wednesday night, students were invited to consider baptism, and 15 students made the decision by the Sabbath worship service.
Throughout the school year, HIS holds spiritually focused events. Prior to the evangelistic series, Pastor Eddie Turner came to HIS for a week of prayer in January. The Lord used him to have a great impact on the students and planted the seeds for February’s baptisms.
Mesa Grande Academy
Sophomore Biology Trip
MGA sophomore biology students traveled to the Morro Bay area for their annual biology trip to study the flora and fauna of the Morro Bay Estuary on the Central California coast.
Throughout the trip, students participated in field studies that include the Morro Bay Estuary environment with its incredible bird life, invertebrate life, aquaculture industry, and sea otters. They also studied the elephant seal breeding habitat, Cambria tide pools, and Estero Bluffs tide pools. In their tide pool studies, they were able to look at creatures such as the monkeyface prickleback, the striped shore crab, and the blueband hermit crab.
The unique geologic reefs of Montaña de Oro to the south offer views of creatures that typically live in 20-plus feet of water but are exposed as waves move in and out between the layers of almost vertical rock.
Moreover, students recorded their observations in field notebooks and identified over 50 bird species while on the trip. The exposure to God's amazing creation in a way a textbook cannot do was a highlight for these students.
First-Grade Habitat Project
It’s not just high school students who are learning about nature and biology. MGA first-graders also got to learn about different habitats.
Each student chose an animal, researched it, and gave a 5-minute presentation to their class. They shared their animal's habitat, what they eat, animals that share the habitat, fun facts, etc.
Along with their presentation, students created a 3D model habitat diorama showcasing their animal’s natural environment. During this entire project, they learned to research/find information, speak in front of others, enjoy a fun hands-on craft project, and, most of all, appreciate the details of God's creation.