Our eighth grade students recently read the Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkein and are currently working through some final assignments about the novel. This novel fits well with our ‘heroes’ theme at WCS and follows a classic pattern - it is an archetype. Here is the pattern: A messenger comes, a problem is presented, someone is chosen or needs to decide whether to take up the quest, the journey begins and the familiar world is left behind, challenges and setbacks are encountered and overcome, helper characters enter the story, evil is defeated or the quest is accomplished, and finally the character returns to the familiar but is not quite the same as they were when they set out on the journey. I was inspired to read the Hobbit again as there are some wonderfully worded bits of wisdom about life and character and the journey. For example, Tolkein writes:
“There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”
“There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
“It was at this point that Bilbo stopped. Going on from there was the bravest thing he ever did. The tremendous things that happened afterward were as nothing compared to it. He fought the real battle in the tunnel alone, before he ever saw the vast danger that lay in wait.”
“Go back? No good at all. Go sideways? Impossible. Go forward? Only thing to do. On we go.”
Gotta love those quotes! Seeing a story character living out love for a neighbour, living in hope and humility, rising to the challenges and difficulties before them, and providing a model of what it means to be a hero - this too is inspiring. Keep reading and keep seeking to be an everyday hero, wherever God has placed you!
From our Public Health Nurse:
EVERYTHING YOU ALREADY KNOW ABOUT SUN SAFETY – BUT MAY HAVE FORGOTTEN!
Ultraviolet Radiation (UVR)
There are two types of UV Rays important in sun safety. Over exposure to these rays can harm the skin:
A Rays – Aging (wrinkles) and B Rays – SunBurns.
Protection is needed especially when the UV Index is 3 or higher – even on cloudy days
The UV Index is reported every day it is 3 or higher – on the radio weather reports, in the newspaper and on weather channels.
Sun Safety Sun Protection Tips:
-should have complete UV protection for both A and B UV rays. Cost does not guarantee protection.
Sun glasses should be worn by everyone – children and adults
2. SUNSCREEN – and LIP BALM
·Check the Expiration Date!!!
·Sun Protection Factor 30
-Broad Spectrum – both UV A & B Rays
·Apply 20 minutes before going out, reapply every 2 hours, or more often if swimming, or sweating
3. HAT with a broad brim
-cover ears and back of neck
·Whenever possible – especially when the sun is at its highest and UV rays are the strongest
·Clothing – long sleeves, knee length shorts or longer
5. DRINK WATER!!!
-Make sure children and adults drink plenty of water to keep well hydrated and prevent heat stroke
For more information please contact Oxford County Public Health www.oxfordcounty.ca/health and the Canadian Dermatology Association www.dermatology.ca.
Life is full of changes. Vehicles are replaced, parking lots wash out, washers and dryers are repaired, weather alters from one day to the next, winter turns to spring, computer technology advances, parents become grandparents, play rehearsals become live productions, and education changes.
Last week this place was busy hosting an art walk, parents-student lunches, drama productions, and the all exciting Grandfriends’ Day. How many changes were noticeable? Hallway wall spaces were transformed with art pieces, volunteer hero posters were displayed in the front hall, finishing touches were completed for the set, “Truths to Treasure” was sung, and “Oliver Twist” was performed twice.
In a few weeks time, Woodstock will have its annual Track and Field Day, a day when students display their talents for running, jumping and throwing. Gym classes are currently busy with preparations for the day, and even some lunch recesses utilized for high jump practice. There will be a few changes happening on the upcoming Field Day as well. The details are still being worked out, but here are some changes that we anticipate: the schedule is revised so that everyone has a lunch period at the same time; the distance running (800m and 1500m) will no longer be a part of the day but will occur later; and our current system of handing out standard ribbons for each event for our primary and junior students will change to one standard ribbon given per child based on the results of the day once the data has been analyzed. More information is forthcoming about those changes.
No matter what changes occur around us, we at WCS acknowledge that God is the same God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He remains faithful despite the changes in our lives. We echo the words of James 1:17: Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. We can sing out the words of the old hymn: Great is Thy Faithfulness:
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!
Greg Hiemstra, V.P. & Gr. 6
Why were our predecessors, almost 60 years ago, so determined to create Christian schools in this place? They did it for the children. They did it for the grandchildren. It was done out of obedience to “tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, the signs and wonders that He has done” (Psalm 78:4). They did it so that generations yet unborn will know what God has done and is doing! Our school buildings and our communities stand as living testimonies and witnesses to God as God of this place. In Christian schools we proclaim that every square inch of creation belongs to our God. The fall into sin has spoiled it and thrown the world into chaos. While Christ’s death has paid the price of sin and redeemed us, the process of restoring and reclaiming this broken world continues. We are his kingdom-advancing agents called to confront a world where people continue to put other gods in God’s place. This week is designated as Christian Education Week. It is an annual reminder to us to tell the story of what God has done. Our theme - Faith in Action: Heroes for God - has given us at WCS opportunity to share with our students how God has worked in the lives of ordinary people of the Bible and to study how they and learn how we can respond. We continue to tell God’s story. During Christian Education week, we have opportunity to tell stories of vision, commitment, and sacrifice. It is an opportunity to go beyond the explanation of what Christian education is and into the stories of why Christian education is vital for kingdom-minded disciples of Jesus. What has God done and what is God continuing to do in this place? Tell about it.
(Reference: Christian Schools International/Christian Education week resources)
Christian Education Week is all about celebrating heroes. It is a time that we can reflect on those dedicated to sustaining Woodstock Christian School. We look forward to a week-long celebration that is intended to honor those that have paved the way and the families that are involved today. Join us next week, April 23-26.
On Monday, April 23 at 9am, we will celebrate our volunteer heroes. Do you volunteer at the school - helping out directly with students in the classroom, as a room parent, coaching, library, electives, or some other way? Please join us at our Volunteer Tea. The staff and students would like to show you how much they appreciate your help and want to thank you for being our volunteer hero!
Tuesday, April 24 is Bus Driver Appreciation Day. Take a moment to thank our bus drivers and show appreciation for transporting our children to and from school safely each day.
Wednesday, April 25 we host our Art Walk Open House and Picnic Lunch. Come for a walk down our hallways to see all the beautiful art work the students have created. After that, join our students for a picnic lunch during our second lunch period (1:30pm). Make sure you pack a lunch! Wednesday is also the first evening performance of our Oliver Twist production at 7pm. Come to the office to pick up your free tickets to this event.
Thursday, April 26 is Grand Friends Day! Please invite your grandparents or special friends to come and enjoy our “Truths to Treasure” program led by Grades 1-4 students. Classroom visits will follow, along with lunch. Invitations are available at the office. You can also forward the email invite to your grand friends. On Thursday evening, we will finish off the week with our second Oliver Twist performance at 7pm.
These and many other exciting events are happening all week long and we would love to see you in our hallways.
Director of Advancement and Communications
MONDAY APRIL 16th: FOG DAY PROCEDURES TODAY Due to messy roads left over from the ice storm this weekend, WCS morning buses will not run. The school is open. Please bring children to school when it is safe to do so. PM buses will run as usual.
Several times this year, during our chapels and assemblies, students at WCS have been able to hear directly from people in our community about stepping out in faith. Though my guess is that any of our presenters would be reluctant to call themselves heroes of faith, they have provided concrete and real ways of demonstrating faith in action. Last Thursday, Isaiah and Danielle VanWyk shared their family’s story with students and staff. They experienced countless blessings and can speak boldly of ways in which they have grown and ways in which they saw God at work, both in their training and in their mission experiences in Africa last year. Earlier this year, Krista DuChene (Marathon Mom) spoke of her experiences as a Christian and a high level athlete. She too had many stories to share, especially about disappointments and life not turning out the way she’d planned. Krista emphasized her trust in God and her comfort that God’s ways are wiser and better than our ways. The deBueger family reminded us that God has a purpose and plan for each one of us. They explained that there are places all over the world where people do not yet know God and that we are all tasked with bringing the light of Jesus to dark places. I thank God for the people that He places in our paths who continue to share their stories, and who are living examples of faith in action. Psalm 78 verse 4 continues to inspire us at WCS. “We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the LORD, about his power and his mighty wonders.”
Keep telling your children!
Carol Verbeek, Principal
As final preparations are coming together for one of the longest running fundraisers that Woodstock Christian School hosts (has been running for over 50 years!!), we are in awe of the small army that is coming together to celebrate this community and raise funds for a cause that we are passionate about – being a light in the community and providing quality Christian education for our children. Whether it is the teachers offering their Saturday to cook pancakes, farmers donating extra to provide a building, parents coming together volunteering with the Kidzone or Kitchen, alumni donating items for the silent auction, and vendors coming to display their goods, we are in awe. We are proud to be a part of this body. It reminds us of 1 Corinthians 12:12 – “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its parts form one body, so it is with Christ.”
It is our hope that you will come and experience this event, whether by coming as a family and experiencing all there is to be had, or by giving of your talents in whatever way you can; we are excited to have you. Our experience whenever we have given of our time and efforts to a great cause, we have ended up receiving immeasurably more than given.
Blessed to be a part of this community,
Pauline Markus and Heather DeBoer Springfest Committee Co-Chairs
Each WCS student from Grades Four through Eight is given an agenda at the beginning of the school year. Sometimes it is so tattered and worn within months that we fail to see the Bible verses and messages of hope on the actual pages. At the beginning of January I found it very fitting that the first reminder for the new year is this question: “Do you ever think of yourself as a masterpiece?” The adjoining message goes on to say that “You are not a product of chance. In fact, just the opposite is true. You were created by a loving God who knows you and loves you and has a plan for your life!” (p.60) Sometimes words have more effect on us than at other times. We and our children also hear the many alternate views which our society throws at us all of the time. That is why when a book or movie comes out that mirrors our view of how special each person is, it is a cause for celebration. It is a cause for celebration when 94% of google users who cared to be put in a review for the movie say that it is great and/or excellent! The movie, based on the book Wonder, tells us of an inspiring story of a boy named August Pullman, who has facial deformities and is now attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time. The messages about kindness, friendship, and acceptance are so refreshing and life changing. I encourage you to read the book and/or see the movie! God gives us gifts of love in many places. And we can learn from them!
-Mrs. Dieleman, WCS Librarian
My name is Christi and I am a grade 8 student at Woodstock Christian School. I have had many great experiences at WCS and have grown in my faith significantly during my time here. I have been attending Woodstock Christian School since junior kindergarten and I will forever cherish my time I have spent here. I have seen God working in the school community and have seen the students here grow in their faith. There have been bumps along the road, but overall Woodstock Christian School has been an amazing experience.
The people I have met during my time at WCS have played a huge role in who I am today. The staff here are very supportive of whatever sports team I’m on, which subjects I need extra help in, and care what is going on in my life at home and at school. They have really shown me how to be a good example to the younger students and have been great role models of the Christian faith. My classmates have also played a huge role in who I am and how I behave. Most of them have been with me since kindergarten and will be graduating with me later on this year. We have definitely gotten closer as a class and we have all learned to accept each other for who we are. As a class we go through the good and the bad together and are there for each other when we need help. Last year we did girls and boys Phys Ed separated along with last year’s grade 8 class. I got to make friends from other grades I never thought I would have. It was a great experience and I still keep in touch with them even though they are now in high school. The friends I have made at WCS have stuck with me no matter what I am going through. I have been friends with some of them for up to 5 years and they have never left my side. I think that is one thing that is a benefit of having smaller classes, we get to know each other well and spend all our time at WCS together. The people I have met here at Woodstock Christian School have really shaped who I am and have influenced me positively over the years.
Another thing that I really appreciate at WCS is the after school activities. I really enjoy playing sports and participating in school wide events. Some teams I have joined are the volleyball, basketball, soccer, and badminton team. All the coaches I have had have made me a much better player. I have grown in skill and have been a much better teammate than I used to be. The coaches really emphasize the idea of teamwork and playing a positive and clean game. Another thing they really emphasize is playing the game not only for enjoyment but for the glory of God. I really love participating and representing Woodstock Christian School at the events.
Every year I have been attending WCS, there has always been something different than the year before. Last year in grade 7, we did classroom meals where we got to make a meal and sit down together and enjoy it. This year we have been doing more group projects. Whether they are plays, presentations, or just group work, I find that they are much more enjoyable when we work as a team to get the project done. Each year there is something new and exciting and that is something I will miss about WCS.
After 10 years with my class, this is the year we graduate. So far this year we have gone on a retreat, had fundraisers, visited Caressant Care, and have started preparing for our graduation. At the retreat we sang worship songs, played games, and had snacks. Overall it was a great experience and was really fun. Going to Caressant Care is something I look forward to every month. I love spending time with the seniors there and playing games with them. We have also been preparing for our graduation. We are brainstorming ideas in art class and ideas for our yearbook. Planning for graduation and preparing for high school has definitely brought our class together and made us a closer community.
My time here at WCS has been an unforgettable experience and I have really enjoyed attending here. The people and friends I have met here are fun, unique, and accepting. I really have grown in my faith and I know attending here has played a big part in that. I remember when I was in the younger grades looking at what the grade 8’s were learning and thought I would never get there, but with the help I have received and the support I have gotten, I did get there. The community I have realized is easy to make new friends in no matter how old or young they are. I’ve been at WCS for a long time and it will be hard to leave this place.
-Christi, Grade 8