During first semester, one of the second grade social studies units covered the topic of community. From a curriculum standpoint, this calls for lessons where students learn about common characteristics of all communities: natural characteristics, buildings, transportation, businesses, places to have fun, and human characteristics. Mrs. Kooyer said that our students “also decided that the most important part of a community is the people.” The kids interviewed someone about what makes Byron Center special and wrote about their favorite places here. Teachers also incorporated a map study and students created their own town maps.
This is an important foundational lesson for the subject, but the lesson did not stop with simply learning about a definition. Teaching for Transformation (TfT) helps our staff ensure all subjects and lessons have real world applications and experiences.
For this particular lesson, teachers designed a learning experience that allowed our students to become community builders. To start, students wrote prayers and cards for the community businesses in Byron Center. Then, on a chilly Tuesday afternoon, teachers and parents took the students to those places. At each location, students stopped and prayed as a group for that particular establishment and brought the cards to an employee inside. Watching our students thank God for community businesses and ask for His blessing over employees was incredibly moving!
Excellent education calls for students to simply learn about community. However, at Byron Center Christian, excellent education must also be rooted in God’s Word and prepare students for lifelong service. Watching students pray for our community and deliver a message of support shows that our students not only learned, but but also experienced authentic community on that day.