“The theme for our class this year has been ‘Identity and Destiny.’ Each person has a unique way through which he or she can contribute to God’s work.”
Core Values Academy Middle School students and mentors from Seattle excitedly completed an overnight hike to Talapus Lake in Washington on May 20 and 21. Trekking through snow-covered trails, the class had to work together to set up camp, create a campfire, and prepare meals.
In the weeks leading up to the hike, Middle School students worked as a class to create a list of essentials, divvying up responsibilities and ensuring they had the proper equipment. Middle School mentor, Kenshu Aoki, shared the meaning behind planning for the hike saying, “Our purpose is to reflect and ponder about our God-given destiny as we lay under the stars. The theme for our class this year has been ‘Identity and Destiny.’ Each person has a unique way through which he or she can contribute to God’s work.”
Family Peace Association affirms that nature is one of the best environments for our spiritual growth. It is in nature that we challenge our limitations, understanding who we are and where we are at on our spiritual path to becoming sons and daughters of God.
CVA Principal Maruko Breland thanks volunteers for service to CVA students
“Being an older brother or sister is one of the greatest ways to come to understand and resemble God’s Heart.”
Seattle, Washington: 15 teachers from Seattle’s Core Values Academy participated in a special training workshop provided by Family Peace Association on May 6. CVA Principal Maruko Breland welcomed the volunteers and kicked off the training with reflection and group discussion. The young adults and parents gathered in their respective grade levels and together discussed their insights from their experience as volunteer teachers. Some had been assisting as teachers for several years while others have only just started with a few months experience.
Grade 2 teachers present their classroom expectations
“Being an older brother or sister is one of the greatest ways to come to understand and resemble God’s Heart,” said Maruko. “God doesn’t just see a person where they’re at now. He’s sees where they came from and where they will get to. God is leading them there, but He needs our help.”
Guest presenters also provided tips on classroom behavior management and professionalism. Teachers had the opportunity to work in teams to come up with class expectations based on grade level and shared their discussion with the rest of the CVA teacher team.
President of FPA USA, Howard Self, attended the workshop and thanked the dedicated teachers for their service to the community and the education of youth.
Structuring service projects into the Core Values Academy curriculum is an important part of nurturing a culture of living for the sake of others and supporting parent and family involvement into Blessed Children education.
CVA Seattle kids and teacher assistants write letters for Operation Gratitude
The first of these projects for the school year in CVA Seattle was “Operation Gratitude.” Children donated their Halloween candy to create a total of 17 care packages on November 6. Elementary children and their older brothers and sisters worked together to write beautiful letters to military troops serving at home and abroad. Besides the colorful personal letters of gratitude from the volunteers, several of which required hours to dry the glitter glue, children also picked out their favorite candies to include in each package.
In order to prepare for Sunday’s service activity, parents were encouraged to talk to their children about the significance of collecting and donating their candy on Halloween day. The tips below were presented to support parents in making sure their children’s act of service was memorable and happy, not sad because they were parting with candy:
- Discuss what our soldiers are doing overseas and help children understand that the candy they enjoy can also bring a smile to soldiers who miss the taste of good old American candy.
- Encourage kids before going out to have a great wonderful Halloween trick-or-treating and work hard to collect extra for our troops overseas that we will share the treats with.
- If reluctant or trying to only give unwanted candy, talk it through and ask kids, “Which candy do you think the soldiers would like most?” and help them pick a few to bring on Sunday and let them keep some nice ones too!
Children pick out best candies to share with active soldiers
To start off the class, teachers divided into grade levels to ask students why they thought the service project was a meaningful thing to do. Although coming to the candy table with different depths of understanding, all the kids could agree that giving up their candy was a small sacrifice compared to the sacrifice of the people who were willing to give up time with their family to protect their nation. Children expressed their gratitude to the soldiers in heartwarming letters, prompted by teachers to think of the strangers as their own family.
Although mostly strangers, some of the recipients of the packages were friendly faces. Lieutenant Jacob Bates and his wife Ohnshil Bates sent a thank you back to the volunteers saying, “We received the candy and beautiful cards. We are so grateful and we shared all the candy with my platoon in the army. Thank you!”
CVA will continue to include a variety of service projects throughout the year to inspire children with the culture of true love: to live for the sake of others.
Core Values Academy (CVA) and Core Values Life (CVL) made an entrance for the 2016-2017 academic year this Fall.
CVA Seattle children show off their hand prints
CVA in Seattle began the first day with a collaborative project between CVA Elementary students and their older brothers and sisters to answer the question, “What can I contribute to CVA this year?” Young and older wrote their answers on cutouts of their traced hands and combined it onto the CVA Tree that will decorate the community center all year long.
Middle and High School CVA, now beginning with joint activities between both classes, combines fun and mentorship before diving into discussion groups on life of faith, identity, destiny, and much more. This year, CVA is bringing more focus on the aspect of SERVICE and emphasizing the importance of parent and community involvement.
CVA New York/New Jersey gathers at the community park for family activities
Families from New York and New Jersey started off the CVA year with activities for parents and children. After setting internal and external goals, the families had time to share reflections and play together at a local park. Families plan on gathering every other week for education, activities, and reflection. Heavy parent involvement is a key to making these gatherings productive and relevant to Blessed children education as the community looks to the future.
Core Value Life (CVL) for college students and young professionals started strong with an exciting lecture and discussion led by Mr. Patrick Nolan. The first presentation pinpointed the topic: Culture VS. Structure. Those outside WA state are able to participate through online hangouts hosted by FPA USA Director of Blessed Children Education, Kenshu Aoki. CVL is a platform for young adults to engage in mentorship, service, in-depth Divine Principle studies and discussion, and education and adventure workshops.