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Oh, What a Beautiful Evening!

Our elementary boys and girls dressed in their Christmas best and sang beautifully for their "packed-out" concert held at First Christian Church. From the elementary chorus, consisting of third through fifth grades to the second graders on their recorders, the kindergarten and first graders singing together and the sweet little preschoolers, the night was a merry reminder of the Christ of Christmas. Mrs. Elaine Bowman has been coordinating the concerts since the 1980s, and Mrs. Melody Humble came in the last 10 years to aide in additional music instruction of band instruments and the second graders' recorders. 

The elementary students enjoyed singing their carols as well as their fun Christmas songs such as "Winter Fantasy." A select group of elementary students, as the elementary ensemble, sang "Hot Cup of Cocoa" and "Christmas Alleluia" while the kindergarten and first grade group as well as the pre-school children kept the audience smiling with their loud carols and praises, including "All Around the Christmas Tree" and "Tell the Good News."

The second graders divided their time with singing and playing music such as "Over the River and Through the Woods" and "Joy to the World."

In addition to the elementary students' pleasurable time of Christmas cheer was a middle and high school concert for the Faith family to also enjoy the following week. 

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God-Driven Goals

What a task a kindergarten teacher has? Maybe it should be said, "What a calling upon a life for a loving and patient woman!" Mrs. Doris Carter loves her students as her very own and sees them as gifts from God to be guided and taught His ways. She said, "I want to work on getting the ground floor established for them to be used by God in any way He sees fit." 

Mrs. Carter saw the growth and maturity of her little ones throughout the year. From taking responsibility, to learning to follow the routine, to learning to do things for themselves, confidence and skill grew throughout the school year so that Mrs. Carter was excited to see the changes in each child. She said, "We work on the basics of everything, and we tried to show that in our graduation program. We counted, recited Psalms 23 and 100 and based everything on spiritual things. The children enjoyed having a Bible song to go along with their academic achievements."

Because the class very much enjoyed the Dr. Seuss - Read Across America Week at school, Mrs. Carter chose to theme her graduation program on Dr. Seuss, titling it, "Where Will We Go, What Will We Do?" Several of her students learned to read Dr. Seuss books, and they enjoyed the rhyming. So, she chose to spotlight the parents with a sweet rhyming poem recited by one of the children.

No doubt there are so many goals and expectations in kindergarten, and each teacher has personal goals as well. Mrs. Carter considered this and said, "I want them to have confidence in their ability to accomplish any academic subject, and know they are able to succeed. I hope they will take all the Bible verses and hide them in their hearts to use in life. I want them to use and live God's Word. I'd love to see God call missionaries from this class."

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'Pretty as a Picture'

The Fourth Grader loaded the bus, and they were off to the state capitol, Raleigh, North Carolina. They were an excited crew to see the things their teacher Miss Dresbach had been talking about for weeks as they worked on North Carolina projects. Miss Dresbach said, "I hoped the class would see what they have learned in class in living color." 

She was very surprised to see how much knowledge the children had as the tour guide asked questions. The tour guide led them to see the Captiol building, the History and Science Museums, the governor's office and the legislative building where the children were fascinated with the Grand Staircase covered in red carpet. Each wanted to be the one person to walk on the carpet since no one is allowed. Student Hailey Hunter said, "My favorite thing was the houses that we could go in at the History Museum. One was a slave house, and one was a normal house from a long time ago."

The class very much enjoyed their opportunity to see "what was in the pictures." Student Micah Shimp said, "It was cool to see the governor's office in person."They gathered more infomation of which they used to complete their reports. 

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'We Need Directions' 

DAREing to stand alone can be a scary thing at any age. Fifth graders learn to stand up for what is right, whether that be against wrongdoing or for their God as they learn to humbly live His way. What a task not easily or quickly accomplished! Thanks to the Randolph County Sheriff's Department, our students learn drug and alcohol resistance with an instructional course. 

The students learn such facts and information about harmful substances so they can make wise choices on their own. Fifth grader Noah Lester said, "Our officer taught us that there are more than 400,000 deaths from the use of tobacco every year."

Because of the need for good friends to encourage each other in doing right, Officer Jeremiah Batchelor taught the students about peer pressure. Student Azura Yates said, "Peer pressure is when you have bad friends who try to get you to do something that you are not comfortable doing, and it can make you nervous and feel sick."

The students had opportunity to talk about and write about the positive impact of DARE. and the students together sang as well as performed skits to show how they could resist peer pressure.  Officer Batchelor awarded the students a graduation certificate after Sheriff Robert Graves and Chaplain Riley Puckett took a few moments to encourage the students to make commitments to stand for Christ together. 

Testimonies showed the lessons and influence of DARE and the Randolph County Sheriff's Department, to which we are very grateful. The program is one means to guide our students in our Lord's ways of servant-leadership. 

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What a Day!

Relay races, competitive tug-of-war, team effort and loud cheers - all bring back the memories made at Field Day! Everyone is active on this grand and awaited day of the year. All morning the students in grades Kindergarten through Fifth Grade contributed to their teams' success. Administrators Todd Daniel and Phyllis Frye coordinated the day and kept things rolling. From their morning of inside competition, a pizza lunch in the classroom, to the annual afternoon Zonk game when the students choose colored circles on a board to reveal an additional amount of points for their teams or to be awarded the unwanted ZONK with no points given, the day was so much fun!

As the afternoon continued, next came Mr. Daniel's famous skits where the students often become the victims of his comedy - water dousing and this year, egg smashing! What good sports all the students were! 

Each field day is not complete until the Fifth Grade has their musical pie-in-the-face game. We like to call this their “initiation ceremony” into middle school.

After the events of another fun and exhausting field day, Mr. Daniel said, “This is a fun day for all of us. The children enjoy being with one another, and we teachers enjoy playing with the children too.”

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A Support Team

To know that the Randolph County Sheriff's Office cares so much for our children that they would offer a 12-week course on CARE (Child Abuse Reduction Effort), reassures us that we have community support in training our children. Our students are important to us, so important that we spend our time teaching them the principles of God's Word, trusting they will understand they were created in God's image to fulfill His purpose of His glory. 

As the Second Grade class assembled for their CARE Graduation, parents, friends, teachers and course instructors gathered to show their love and support. The students sang, recited Bible verses and shared their CARE essays by telling the things they had learned to care for themselves as special, one-of-a-kind people created by a God who loves them.

As a veteran second grade teacher, Mrs. Jeanne Barney has observed the program for a long time. She said, "I believe the course helps the children to be more thoughtful and appreciate others. The deputies really care about the children, and the children respond well to them. The course also helps the children become aware that everyone is not good, and they can say no." 

Some of the highlights of the graduation include "The Grandparents' Song" and Tony King's singing "Angels Among Us" as the CARE students took their trusted adults by the hand and brought them to the front of the church. The ceremony captured a special time for all as they saw the loving support of the Randolph County Sheriff's Department for whom we are very grateful. 

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Stay Excited and Read On

What an exciting week of reading! The elementary school students enjoyed listening to their librarian, Angie Thomas, read Dr. Seuss books in celebration of his birthday and Read Across America Week, a national celebration in schools. To add to the fun, the sixth grade students acted out the stories as they were read to each elementary class. A birthday celebration for Dr. Seuss made an out-of-the-ordinary day, and cake was served to the entire elementary student body. One of the students' favorite parts of the week was dressing up. From "What You Want to Be When You Grow Up" Day to Favorite Book Character Day, the students dressed up each day and kept on reading.

Even though the Dr. Seuss celebration comes one time a year, the teachers work hard to grow a love for reading in their students from the start. In addition, the students work towards monthly reading incentives, and many grow a great love for reading as they meet their goals. 

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