Christian schools can be places of beautiful community-building. Often, as I walk around during lunchtime I will check in with groups of students who are in various stages of eating or texting or chatting or finishing homework or whatever. Community is being built one conversation at a time, one person at a time.One way that we have tried to help this process a bit, particularly during lunch time, is by bringing in a few donated foosball tables for students to use (see picture below). These have been a hit, although due to the high rate of usage they quickly broke down. This challenge turned into an opportunity for our senior shop class to ‘build’ some community by literally re-building the legs on these tables. It may seem like a small thing, but it communicates a big message: namely that we take care of and respect commonly used property. Everyone takes ownership and everyone benefits. This message in itself is another community building activity that reverberates out into the rest of the school.
Another way that we have worked at building a shared sense of community is by sharing gifts and talents at assemblies. There have been a multitude of different interests and personal abilities shared, which has been a beautiful thing to see. Below you will see a picture of Sharon Lam, our international student coordinator and Bowei, one of our students playing a piece of music together. Both Sharon and Bowei are extremely talented musicians and we were blessed by their performance.
Building community by understanding others takes work and intentionality and at times the process is challenging. However, it is well worth the effort when you see results like these below.