April 18, 2023
Today we are bringing you stories from Mountain View Academy (MVA) and Sacramento Adventist Academy Early Childhood Education Center (SAA ECEC) in California. MVA recently celebrated 100 years of Adventist education, and their students just participated in a local mission trip. SAA ECEC is running smoothly thanks to a new digital tool!
Mountain View Academy
Mountain View (Union) Academy celebrated 100 years of ministry and Adventist education during alumni weekend, April 7-8. Friday night vespers speaker, Breanna (Feiller) Chan ‘93, shared her thoughts about how MVA nurtured. Students, faculty, staff, and friends listened as Breanna spoke of the academy’s ability to bring people together from all walks of life and enable friendships to touch people’s lives just as Jesus used different disciples with different talents to share about God with the world.
It began over a century ago when Pacific Press Publishing Association relocated from Oakland to Mountain View. The Adventist families in the area established a church school for the elementary-aged students, and it eventually expanded to 12th grade: Mountain View Academy. In 1923, MVA celebrated their first graduating class of seven students. To this day, the academy has graduated nearly 3,500 students.
As the centennial celebration continued on Sabbath, Ken Bullington, Central California Conference superintendent for education, presented a commemorative plaque to Marc Andres, MVA principal. Bullington commented that MVA reminds him of Peter’s sermon recorded in Acts 2:21, which says, “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (NIV). MVA continues its mission to bring people to Christ. MVA will continue the work that the founders started, which is to educate the whole student for eternity until He calls us for our homecoming in heaven.
Local Mission Trip
This March, MVA was able to serve the local community through San Francisco City Impact for the second year in a row. City Impact, located in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco, is a center for outreach and homeless ministries for a community in desperate need of help, compassion, and the love of God.
MVA’s chaplain, Andy Lee, planned the trip and encouraged students to participate. Lee said, “As the chaplain at MVA, I want our students to learn that Jesus doesn’t call us to have pity on the poor and lonely; rather, He challenges us to have compassion. There’s a difference between feeling bad and Christ-like compassion: one leads to tears and the other leads to action.” City Impact provided an opportunity to take that action in a safe and, aptly, impactful way.
The volunteers from MVA participated in many forms of outreach during their three days at City Impact. Groups of MVA students and chaperones rotated through various activities, including packing and handing out grocery bags, volunteering at the elementary school, serving meals to Tenderloin residents, cooking in the kitchen for the group of volunteers, having dedicated time for prayer, organizing donations, and more.
Iyana Martinez, MVA junior, said, “It was a nice experience to have, and I think everyone should have it. I learned that you can make an impact, no matter how small it is.” Being able to truly help those in need in the local community was an experience that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on the volunteers from MVA, hopefully instilling a lifelong devotion to service.
Sacramento Adventist Academy Early Childhood Education Center
New Tech for Preschool
Everyone knows that early education is one of the greatest determinants of childhood outcomes, is a must for working families, and has lasting social and economic impact. Generally, when thinking about preschool, we think about the classes, the teachers, what students will learn, etc. However, we often forget to celebrate and acknowledge the digital tools that help faculty, staff, and parents with the logistics for a smooth-running operation.
SAA ECEC recently started using a new app called brightwheel. It meets licensing requirement for checking kids in and out. Parents access it on their phones, and SAA provides tablets in the classrooms.
It’s been extremely well received by both parents and staff. Everyone loves it! The app reduces paperwork, captures milestones, and engages families. Staff can quickly send notes, reminders, pictures, “ouchie” reports, etc. to parents, who get immediate alerts. Parents can also send quick notes to the teachers or director quickly and efficiently. There are so many wonderful features, even billing!
SAA ECEC feels this has elevated their communication and relationships with families. Shari Thompson, director, says, “We highly recommend this to other centers that are not using an online/digital system yet!”