Earlier this fall, the grade 5s and 6s at Kingston Christian School (KCS) were invited, amongst many other Kingston schools, to participate in a fire safety chalk contest by the Kingston Fire Department. The task was to create a giant chalk drawing that displayed creativity, teamwork and a great fire safety message. The winning school would receive $1000 towards gym equipment at Canadian Tire.
After we reviewed some fire safety tips, each student submitted a chalk design. We voted on what we believed captured the best fire safety message, finally choosing Sparky to convey the message “Don’t play with fire!” Their creativity flared as they added more details on the court, including the fire on the lettering. Their teamwork was phenomenal — everyone jumped in! I stepped back as natural student leaders stepped up. It was amazing to see everyone working together towards the common goal.
The final chalk drawing can be seen in the picture below on the basket-ball court at KCS. Importantly, it shows not only a great fire safety message, but also these students’ sincere love of sport! Please enjoy the video of their process here.
Incredibly, we later received the news from the Fire Inspector that our class had won!! Below, you can see our class proudly posed with the Fire Inspector.
For these sports-loving students, the gift of a year or more’s worth of gym equipment is thrilling. At our principal, Mrs. Shoniker’s, suggestion, the students gave consideration to the idea of choosing to donate some of the gym equipment to kids in need. The seed was planted.
Now, many weeks later, students have given more thought to where this money would go. As part of our government unit, students formed “parties” and were tasked with a creating a platform and “a bill” that they would propose and debate in a mock house of commons. Not just one, but six student parties’ platforms centred around the benefits of sports, the need for safe equipment and the joy of fair play. Here are a few quotes from speeches:
“We feel that if we improve our equipment, it will encourage kids to exercise without forcing them because a lot of time forcing leads to disliking it.” – Zoe, grade 5
“You want sports equipment? We can make it happen. How? We’ll have a fundraiser. We propose we use some of our Gr. 5/6 chalk drawing winnings towards sports so it won’t cost you too much. The rest we want to give to others in need.” – Jon & Ian, grade 6
“Genesis 2:15 -The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” – Emily, grade 6
After much debate, deliberation and mathematical calculation (and a little guidance from their beloved gym teacher, Mr. Luchuk), the students agreed that they would like to invest in portable soccer nets, ninja warrior obstacle courses, workout equipment and fixing a swing set. And yes, give the rest to children who don’t have the quality or quantity of toys and sports equipment that they have the privilege of enjoying at KCS.
Weeks have now gone by since those initial conversations and now plans are in the works in collaboration with Children’s Aid Society to donate to the children they serve. Seeds are growing and in the spirit of advent, we await with expectation the fruit they will bear — in our students hearts and in the hearts of those they touch.
This story also serves as a reminder for me, in a season when so often greed supplants generosity, that we look upward to the One who gives so fully of Himself. May we recognize the needs of the poor around us, that all we have is gift, and like these students, like Christ, give cheerfully with what has been given to us.
What a joy to witness students respond enthusiastically to the call of Christ to care for the poor and give generously. Please join us in continuing to pray that Christ be glorified in everything we do and that students be formed into committed disciples of Jesus. Please pray that those who receive these gifts would be blessed and touched by the love of Jesus.
– Ms. Linke & Mrs. Mastin