Christmas season at Carmel New Church School is the time of the year when our greatest strengths and differences are on display. The story of Jesus’ birth is taught and discussed in chapel and during worship in respective classrooms. Students are able to converse about what happens in the Christmas story. Everything from the birth of Jesus, to the significance of the star and the journeying of the Wise Men is captured in teacher-guided peer conversation. Another way that students become immersed in learning about Christmas is through art projects that highlight the religious aspects of Christmas. These projects can call attention to an array of mediums including paint, chalk pastel, tissue paper, crayon, song and reverent role playing. Through these multiple modes of participation, the students are wholly enveloped in the magic of Christmas.
Additionally, our whole school Christmas production is an event that students, families and community members look forward to each year. For this production there is singing and instruments, poem memorization and recital, religious representations and costumes and countless smiling faces. The young kindergarteners sing Away in a Manger while dressed in costumes and holding props that visually depict the nativity scene. There are pieces presented by individual grades and whole school presentations as well. It is heartwarming to witness the level of presence with each child up on stage.
The concept of performing acts of service for one’s neighbour is a core teaching in the school, one that is spotlighted during Christmas time. This year, the students are making personalized Christmas gifts for every young child in the Kenyan New Church Orphanage. The focus of the project, aside from giving, is that of connection and empathy. Each classroom is working on their own set of gifts while learning a little bit about what life is like for children their age in other countries.
As the Carmel New Church School is closely tied to the affiliated church and community, many students (grade 6-12) attend the church Youth Group. Supervisors organize a trip to an Operation Christmas Child location each year. There, the youth cooperatively participate in putting together and inspecting packaged Christmas gifts that will travel, by truck, plane, boat, horse and camel to be delivered to children in need. This concept again, helps reinforce the idea of serving others and caring for those in need. This year, with the restrictions in place due to Covid-19, this trip is unlikely to happen. However, if you and your family would like to support Operation Christmas Child, you can visit the link below and build a shoebox online!
Being a private school, CNCS has the opportunity to teach students about the wonderful Christmas holiday, making for meaningful moral discussion in classrooms founded on the basis of Christian belief. We employ multiple modes of learning such as peer discussion, storytelling, role playing, and art as we explore the concepts of the Christmas story. The concept of giving and empathy was our focus this year while students created gifts for orphaned children in Kenya. CNCS wishes you and your family a very Merry Christmas!