Archive for Muskegon Christian School

March (Reading) Madness captures MCS!

Every year we offer up special opportunities for our students to develop a love of books during the month of March.

To kick off March (Reading) Madness this year, our staff inspired students with a video featuring themselves and challenged the students to commit to reading up to 700 minutes during this month (based on grade).   On March 6th, a few members of the Muskegon Lumberjacks shared a book with the students (and a few personal stories and hockey facts as well).

Kids were caught reading everywhere around the school!  Kindergarten students explored favorite Dr. Seuss stories together. Local author Susan Ream shared her book with the students in the gym.

Fairy Tales were a Highlight!

We particularly love sharing classic tales with students.  Ms. Potts fourth grade students created books that retold a well known fairy tale story from a different perspective (eg. The Three Little Pigs from the wolf’s point of view) and then read them to first grade students.

Our teacher’s reenactment of the classic story Chicken Little proved that our teachers have a flare for the dramatic and that this story never loses its appeal.

Reading Goals were Reached

We were able to raise over $2,500 from the Read-a-thon for the PPO.  More importantly, students were reading  and experienced great new books in novel ways.

Way to read, MCS!

Courtroom Experience Brings The Boston Tea Party to Life

“Not Guilty!”  That was the conclusion the jury came to in the ‘trial’ of fictitious character Samuel Bigglesworth for his involvement in the Boston Tea Party.  Mr. Bonnema’s 5th grade class participated in a mock trial as a culmination of a project to determine whether the Boston Tea Party was the sole factor in starting the Revolutionary War. The students developed both the prosecution and defense cases, and also created character witnesses to testify. The trial was presided by Judge (and our Principal) Dan DeKam, with Mr. Bonnema as the Bailiff, and the 5th grade Spanish Immersion class as the jury.

The student who pretended to be defendant Samuel Bigglesworth shared that preparing for the trial was kind of tricky.  “You only have so many questions you can prepare to answer – and they might have better questions than the ones you thought of!  I learned that people like Samuel were fighting for civil rights and considered the things England was doing acts of war,” Eli summarized.

In addition to the mock trial, the class also visited the Muskegon County Courthouse, met with a Muskegon County judge, witnessed a mock trial performed by the Prosecutor’s office and learned about trial procedure from the Assistant Prosecutor to Muskegon County (and MCS dad) Tim Maat!

“The project was a great civics lesson as well as a fun way to learn more about the Revolutionary period of our country’s history,” Mr. Bonnema concluded.

MCS Students Get a Job and Travel to Washington D.C.

Imagination Fuels Learning at MCS

How do you learn about basic financial principles when you are 7 years old?  Start a business!
And what better way to learn about Symbols of America than by taking a trip to Washington, D.C.?

The “2nd Grade Mall”

Every winter, our 2nd grade students participate in the creation of a “2nd Grade Mall” in the gym as a fun application of the concepts they are learning.  They first spend a month studying goods, services, consumers, producers, income, budgets and how God calls us to use our money as part of their curriculum, with a special focus on production and the buying and selling of goods.  In preparation for the mall, each 2nd grader spends time making ‘products’ to sell at their store. They are able to see what it is like to make 17-25 of the same product and to set up a shop marketed to other 2nd graders in the mall.

On the day of the mall, some of the students were very set on earning ‘money’ by selling their items, while other students were eager to close up shop and to see what everyone else was selling. They were each given $11.50 in play money to spend at the mall.  Items for sale included baked goods, bookmarks, paper planes, balloons, and even snow cones!   Some students shopped a lot and ended up with no money (but lots of treats) while others ended with lots of money (one had earned over $40).
After the store, students shared their thoughts on the event:

  • “Working at a store is actually fun!”
  •  “I learned if you wanted to get more money, sell more stuff.  If you wanted to buy more stuff, use your money!”
  •  “I learned that some people don’t always like the price of your product.”
  •  “I learned what it will be like when I get old.”

The students had a great time while also learning how earning money, goods and services, producers and consumers all tie together.

First Graders Take a Trip to Washington, D.C.!

One of the highlights of 1st grade at MCS is the annual (imaginary) trip to Washington D.C., an amazing trip that takes place in the space of 3 hours throughout the MCS building and serves as the culmination activity for their Symbols of America unit.  This trip involves a number of parent volunteers who take on such roles as check-in attendants or security staff  (and who seem to have as much fun as the kids on this journey)!

Students must show proper ‘ID’ and check in with their tickets and luggage, then clear the rigorous customs and inspection area.  (Yes, they even have to remove their shoes!)  They then move onto the ‘plane’ in the gym.  They enjoy a ‘tour’ of popular D.C. landmarks including the Lincoln Memorial, the Capitol building and the White House.  Tired from a full day, they change into pajamas and rest at their ‘hotel rooms’ in preparation for their ride back home.  What a memorable experience for students and ‘staff” alike!

Save the Date for the 2018 MCS Star Wars Auction!

We are excited to be hosting our annual Muskegon Christian School Auction at  The Century Club in the heart of downtown Muskegon on Friday, May 4th at 6pm.  Our goal is to raise over $40,000 from this auction and all funds raised will help support our teachers and students at MCS.   This auction is our biggest event of the year and we love how it brings together our community leaders, donors, current parents, and friends of MCS.  We would love you to be a part of it!

We are currently collecting items for our auction!  Especially popular items include gift certificates from local businesses, getaway and ‘staycation’ items and once-in-a-lifetime (think ‘bucket list’) offerings.   Do you have a donation for us?  We love new and creative gifts to offer at our auction!  Hundreds of people attend our annual auction and your donation would be noticed by many more through our advertising efforts and in our booklet.

Or if you’d like to give in a different way by underwriting our event, we also offer great sponsorship opportunities.  Whether you are a basic X-wing sponsor or a Millennium Falcon event sponsor, each sponsorship includes:

  • Your company’s recognition in promotional material & in the Auction booklet
  • Social media mentions
  • Receipting for tax purposes
  • That good feeling you get when you’ve supported a great cause ( our students!)

We are a 501(c)3 and all donations will be receipted for tax purposes.

Donations can be mailed to:
Muskegon Christian School, Attn: Auction Committee, 1220 Eastgate St, Muskegon, MI  49442
For more information on this event including donation and sponsorship opportunities, please contact us!

Look for updates and sneak peeks on items up for bid here on our blog and on MCS Facebook page.
Plan to join us on May the 4th for an epic auction adventure!

Spanish Immersion from the Viewpoint of our Students

What Our Kids Had to Say

We recently interviewed a few of our Spanish Immersion students to get some feedback on what the immersion experience has been like for them.  Students usually start the program in Kindergarten but can join as late as midway through 1st grade.  By fifth grade, they can conversationally bounce back and forth between English and Spanish with ease.  It is really amazing to experience their mastery of the language!

We’d like to share our conversation with a couple of fifth grade Spanish Immersion students, Abby and Maria.

How did your Spanish Immersion experience start?

Abby – At the beginning, I didn’t know Spanish at all and the teacher spoke Spanish.  She wouldn’t tell you how to say each word but instead just talked to us all the time and we just somehow started understanding her.
Maria –  I didn’t start Spanish Immersion till 1st grade while the other kids had started in Kindergarten or even earlier.  The teachers helped me a lot.

What’s the most challenging part of Spanish Immersion?

Abby – The silent ‘h’ is tricky because you have to figure out if it’s in a word or not.  And learning the accent took some time – if you speak Spanish words in an English accent they don’t sound right.
Maria – But learning how to spell Spanish words is much easier than English.   In English there are many more tricks you need to learn. In Spanish, you can usually sound it out.

What advice would you have for students new to Spanish Immersion?

Maria – Keep trying!  Sometimes you feel like you can’t do it because you don’t understand, but it gets easier.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  I asked a lot and the teachers helped me.
Abby – Keep an open mind.  When I first started I came in the classroom and the teacher only spoke Spanish.  I would sit there and feel a little lost, but it got easier pretty quickly.

Tell me about a time that you were able to use Spanish outside of the classroom.

Abby – We’ve traveled to Florida and were in a situation where we needed help and the people there only spoke Spanish.  I was able to translate between my parents and the staff.  And here at home I will hear people speaking Spanish in a store and sometimes go up to kids my age and speak to them in Spanish.  Every time I do they will be surprised and say something like ‘You speak Spanish? – I do too!’ That’s really fun.
Maria – (Laughing) I sometimes eavesdrop on people in stores but then I can help them sometimes too.

What would you tell parents who are thinking about Spanish Immersion for their child?

Abby – It’s great – they should do it.  I loved that we did lots of songs and games when we learned Spanish that helped us.  And by learning both Spanish to English I’ve learned a lot of root words.  It makes you smarter.  It will also help me get better jobs because I can speak in 2 languages.
Maria – I want to be a flight attendant someday and travel the world and this will make me more able to get this job.

Further Thoughts from the Parents

Maria’s mom gave us some feedback on the Immersion experience at MCS as well.

“It was a rough go for the first few months, but she has grown to love it.  I’m amazed at how she thinks in Spanish. She doesn’t translate, she knows and understands.  Although her Spanish spelling and grammar are almost perfect, her English spelling is a little behind.

We are excited for the opportunities this opens for her. She is already talking about being a translator, teacher or flight attendant someday so she can keep using her Spanish.

I would not say this program is for everyone. I think a family has to be committed to it and see the big picture. I do think it is an amazing program and has opened up something for Maria none of us had, or could even imagine. I often think about kids all over the world learning English and their native language and I love that my child will also be bilingual.  She helps her siblings with their homework regularly. She has recited the Bible in Spanish in church.
My older kids wish they had the opportunity – they are quite jealous of her ability.”

More Than One Week – Spiritual Emphasis at MCS

At MCS we can celebrate:  He is greater than i!

We just concluded our Spiritual Emphasis Week at MCS today and kicked off a year of exploring ways to apply John 3:30 – “He must become greater; I must become less” – to our lives.  This past week, every day began with a Praise service in which different speakers shared ways that we can make God greater through the choices we make.  Every day of this year, we plan to help students live out and grow in their faith and in their walk with God.

We are so blessed to have a school where we can share our testimonies with each other and lift others up with prayer.  Thank you to those who make Christian education possible in Muskegon and help us to raise up the next generation of servant leaders!

Great things are happening at MCS this Fall!

We have welcomed over 270 students to MCS this fall and we LOVE seeing our school halls filled with children after the summer break!
We have a number of events coming up at MCS that our community members are encouraged to take part in.
The MCS Parent Powered committee is kicking off our annual fall fundraiser. This year we will be selling subs from Great Lakes Market as well as Wesco refillable popcorn buckets. The sale starts September 15 with orders due by October 6. All profits will help fund teacher grants, field trips, and special projects at MCS.
Save the Date for our Grandparents Day on Friday, October 13th at 1pm. Grandparents and special friends are invited to join us in the Three Oaks gym next door (the old WMC gymnasium) at 1pm for the formal program followed by coffee and cookies in the MCS gym afterward and classroom visits.
Spiritual Emphasis Week is coming up September 18-22.  We’ll begin every day of this week with a Praise service!  A different area pastor will share a message with us around this years’ theme HE>me based on John 3:30.  We invite friends and family to join us every morning this week at 8:30am in the MCS gym.
We will host our Scholastic Book Fair from October 9-13.  The Book Fair will be open from 2-3:30 during Grandparents Day as well.  Books make a great gift for students (hint: Stock up for Christmas)!
These are just a few things happening at MCS in the upcoming month.  Check back regularly for more updates (e.g. we’re starting to plan a Fall Fest in later October).
Do you want to learn more about any of these events and opportunities?  Contact us!

 

Seeing Stars: MCS Alum Shares His Stargazing Passion with Students

MCS alum Jim Malda takes his star gazing hobby pretty seriously.  In fact, when the total solar eclipse occurs next Monday, August 21st, you won’t find him in Michigan.  Jim plans to get the full experience by camping out with a friend (and his traveling telescope) somewhere between South Carolina and Oregon along the total eclipse path.  “We’ll go wherever conditions are optimal,” he explains.

Earlier this spring, Jim took time to share his passion and knowledge with our students.  He set up his telescope on the playground on a sunny morning.  Students were able to safely examine spots on the Sun’s surface and learn more about how a telescope works.  Most students had never used a telescope like this before.

Jim plans on taking plenty of photos of the eclipse on Monday.  Along with his telescope, he is bringing along cameras and a computer that will be synchronized to allow him to follow the path of the eclipse.  That should result in some amazing photos  – and Jim has offered to share some with us soon after the event.  We plan to post them on our Facebook page. Stay tuned!

Jim’s advice to all those students viewing the eclipse: “Make sure to take the proper precautions when looking at the sun – and then have fun!”

Thanks for inspiring students with your love of astronomy, Jim!

 

MCS Students Who Serve

Preparing for a Lifetime of Service

Muskegon Christian School students enjoy sharing God’s love through service in our community!

Students decorated more than 1,000 lunch bags that were to be distributed by Kid’s Food Basket in Muskegon with uplifting messages and artwork.  Half of the fifth grade students spent an afternoon raking an elderly neighbor’s property, while others assembled snack bags for Kid’s Food Basket.

Mrs. Morrison’s 6th grade class was able to travel to International Aid  in Spring Lake for an afternoon to prepare product for their hygiene kit ministry. The students quickly unwrapped 6,144 toothpaste/toothbrush boxes and taped 3,852 bottles of shampoo.   They exhibited great teamwork and had a great time of fellowship too!

We also encouraged students to pray for and minister to others around the globe through a fundraiser.  Our students raised over $300 through “Fun-raiser Fridays” in May.  Water balloon tosses (involving our awesome teachers) and popcorn snacks were offered for students to purchase.   The funds raised went to two causes:  famine relief efforts in Africa (through World Renew) and hygiene kits sent by International Aid to people who lives are torn apart by disaster, illness or poverty.

We are always looking for new ways for our students to engage in our community!  MCS strives to create opportunities for our students to participate in Christian service in our community as part of their educational experience. Please share new possible opportunities with us by contacting us.

Which Auction Items Will YOU Bid On?

The MCS Auction Book is ready!

It’s time to print and start marking up your MCS Auction Book so you can be ready to make your bids this weekend!

The Muskegon Christian School Auction is scheduled for this Saturday, May 6th from 5:00 – 8:00 P.M. and from the looks of the jam-packed auction book (see link below), our delicious catering menu from Ryke’s and the beautiful venue, we’re going to have a BLAST!

So if you haven’t yet, please SAVE-THE-DATE and join us at the CIO Building.

CLICK HERE to find a link to the official MCS Auction Book. 

See you there!

The MCS Auction Committee