Tuesday, August 22, 2000

School program shows kids importance of religion

By David Eck
Enquirer Contributor

        FAIRFIELD — Scattered throughout Cincinnati Christian School on Monday, dozens of “Sacred Agents 00 Heaven” welcomed students to the start of another school year.

        The “agents” — teachers and staff decked out in dark sunglasses and black T-shirts — were on a mission of their own: helping students understand that with God, all missions are possible.

        It was part of the school's annual opening day assembly. Students also received their own sunglasses, each with information about a Bible character. The half-hour event featured religious sayings, special effects and music based on the theme from this summer's hit movie, Mission Impossible II.

        “Each year we try to do something exciting for the kids when they come back,” said Sherry Wilkerson, the school's development coordinator, who came up with the “Mission Possible” theme. “One of the primary functions of a Christian school is to build Christian influence.”

        The theme also was designed to illustrate that teachers and staff work to help their charges grow spiritually, physically and emotionally.

        “Here (students) have a sacred agent they can go to ... that cares about them,” Ms. Wilkerson said. “We are always trying to give all the glory back to God for what he has done for us.”

        The private Christian school has 543 students in grades K-12 who live in communities throughout the Tristate.

        For at least the last several years, school administrators have held an opening day event to ease the start of the year. The assembly has become more involved each year, but the individual theme remains a secret until opening day, Ms. Wilkerson said.

        “It makes it a little easier for them to start the day,” she said. “Kids that have been here before know the first day of school is going to be special.”

        For some students, the assembly hit its mark.

        “I learned that I work for God, only for him,” said Meghan Lowe, a fourth-grader from West Chester. Katie Wilson, a fifth-grader from Hamilton, said she enjoyed this year's act more than those previously because it included more music and special effects.

        “It was really different from what they did in the past,” she said. “I think it gets the little kids started on thinking school is fun.”


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