When writing about the things that happen at Edmonton Christian Schools, it is sometimes a burden to try capture the full depth of the stories that happen as the school lives towards its mission. But as I set out to write the story of the Grade 12 Passion Projects which culminated in a celebration of learning last week, there is no such burden. Why? Because the story is far to large to BE captured in a blog. It’s a story of 81 students finding ways to explore something they are passionate, or, at very least, curious about. It’s a story about lessons learned from success and from failure. It is a story of enthusiasm and procrastination. It is a story about learning new things about God’s world and about one’s self.
In the end, it is actually a collection of 81 individual stories each with it’s own depth. Stories of making meals for homeless people, creating art, coaching kids and starting a dance club. Stories of travel to the developing world, working with seniors, helping in an immigrant community association, taking artistic photographs, and working from the back of a Salvation Army van to meet the basic needs of people who live on the winter streets of Edmonton. (That leaves 72 more stories to list!)
The best that one short blog can hope to do is give you the breadth of this beautiful story and hope that it will prompt you to mine the depths by taking up a conversation with one (or more) of these Grade 12 students to ask them what they experienced, learned and hope for in the future. If you are able to do that, you will begin to hear how, for many, this project is one of the pieces helping them to find their role in God’s story:
“I hope to be a teacher, and this was my first taste of what teaching and coaching might be like. I really enjoyed this.” Gr 12 student who volunteered as a coach.
“It was powerful getting to know some of their stories.” Gr 12 student who worked making and serving meals at Hope Mission.
“Sometimes I just want to sit down and watch Netflix and not care about the rest of the world. But when you do something, it connects you . . .it makes you think about what it means to be a Christian.” Gr 12 student who volunteered in a Senior’s Care Facility.
“I found out I truly do love working with these kids and being in their lives.” Gr 12 student who worked in a Grade 1 classroom at an east-side public school.
“I learned that I am a good hard worker and that I like helping out people in need.” Gr 12 student whose passion project took him to Belize.
If you know one of our soon-to-be-graduates, see if you can find a chance to go deep with them about their passion project. That’s better than a blog any day!
by Brian Doornenbal