Archive for March, 2011
by Shelly Pinnock
Lauderhill, Fla., Church hosted a Community Fair to inform Broward County residents of available assistance with employment, finances, and/or medical questions. Minority Builders Association, Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, Workforce One, and Broward County Community Action Agency were among many social service organizations present.
There were more than 80 attendees, including those who normally come for weekly food distribution. Every person could browse exhibits and collect information from organizations’ representatives.
by Joy Hunter
With chilly winter nights in the forecast, representatives from Clearwater Church Community Services Center presented 105 quilted lap robes to veterans at Bay Pines VA (Veterans Administration) Healthcare in St. Petersburg, Fla. For 35 years, volunteers have worked tirelessly to sew lap robes for the veterans.
Joan Holm, Community Services director, and her husband, Eric, work five days a week at the Clearwater Church’s Community Services thrift store, in addition to distributing free clothes and food for the needy. Two volunteers who regularly work at the center are not Seventh-day Adventists.
by Frank Runnels
The opening enrollment in Florida Conference schools has increased by 17% over last year. There are currently 2,756 students enrolled in Christian education throughout the Conference.
These enrollment figures do not include 900 kids who are in early childhood classrooms, which is the largest number in the North American Division. More than 150 teachers assist with this program that acts as a feeder system for Conference elementary schools.
The Adventist school system was ordained by Christ. It is intentional that Christ can have the highest priority. The students are beginning to learn to share and to be missional. Teachers enjoy working in the Adventist system because of the freedom involved.
There are currently 30 schools in the Conference, and that number is steadily increasing. Several constituencies are planning to reactivate former schools or organize new ones for next year.
Article reprinted from Step Up For Students newsletter
Jacob Whaley is what his teachers would call a model student at James E. Sampson (JES) Memorial School in Fort Pierce, Florida, where he always volunteers in class and can be found singing solos in front of his peers and the school staff.
Before enrolling in fourth grade at JES Memorial School, Jacob attended three schools, public and private. His grades were mediocre, and he had trouble understanding concepts in math and writing. Jacob’s parents feared for his safety in the public school he attended and were unhappy with the curriculum and lack of discipline in the classroom. They knew Jacob needed a different academic environment where he would feel comfortable.
Hearing about the State of Florida’s Step Up for Students Scholarship Program, Jacob’s parents enrolled him in a private school. Though relieved to have found this financial assistance to place Jacob in a new setting, “concepts still weren’t clicking with him,” said his mother, Marilyn Whaley. When they chose to enroll Jacob at JES Memorial School, he was scoring below average on standardized tests, and was also very reserved.
During his first year at JES Memorial School, Jacob’s parents saw tremendous changes in him. “Jacob is attending a school where he feels safe,” says Whaley. “We know he is more challenged and more focused than ever before, and we have seen very positive changes in him.”
His teachers echo those sentiments as well. Principal Deborah Dahl calls Jacob the school’s “little preacher,” and says he stands above the crowd in his sixth-grade class. “I have seen Jacob blossom in all areas,” says Dahl. “He does not respond to peer pressure, and he always volunteers to be a leader.” Jacob is blessed with musical talent; he plays the steel drums, saxophone, and often sings solos at school.
Jacob has come a long way from the shy boy he was when he entered JES, but it isn’t just an improved confidence. Jacob’s testing scores have increased dramatically, and his experience at JES is what Dahl calls a real success story. “He has made excellent progress, and it is very obvious, ” she says. “Jacob has improved tremendously, and he is an asset to our school.”