First graders from Mrs. Ito's class pose for Christian Emphasis Week at the elementary campus. Photo courtesy of Joyce Ito.
By Kaycee Nakashima '20
It’s the second quarter, which means the start of Christian Emphasis Week (CEW) for elementary students. This year, CEW took place from October 26-30 where they covered the theme of “Be Together.” Students explored Acts 17:28a (CEV), where God gives us the power to live, to move and to be who we are.
This year’s CEW event took on a different format than previous years due to restrictions from COVID-19. Following the theme of “Be Together,” Cindy Gaskins, Christian Ministries Coordinator for the elementary school, set up BE Guides and BE boxes for the teachers and students. This meant that teachers had the freedom to determine their schedule for the day, take the plans for the week and make them their own. Every student and teacher, at home or in person, received their own BE box which contained supplies for the week.
Every day of the week, 20-30 minute activities and sessions contributing to the “Be Together” theme took place. These activities and sessions included Theme Skits, “BE Ready” to rock and roll sessions, and covering the “BE Attitudes” from daily chapels. Teachers led discussions on the lessons taught during chapel at “BE Chapel Chats.” Students expressed their creativity in “BEartiful” sessions and had some fun in the sun with “BEgin Games.”
This year, the elementary school participated in eight different service projects. Since the students were unable to visit their neighbors in person, they wrote letters and made signs for patients and senior citizens at Craigside, the Care Center of Honolulu, Kuakini Care Center, Rehab Hospital and Malulani Hale. The students also made 3-D Christmas ornaments for Ho'opono Service for the Blind and helped put labels on canned foods for the Olivet Baptist Church Food Pantry. On Friday, the students delivered the canned foods to the church and had a socially distanced picnic following the event. Last but not least, the students filled shoe boxes with donations of school supplies, hygiene products and toys for children in need around the world. The boxes will be delivered through Operation Christmas Child, which is overseen by Samaritan’s Purse.
The guest speaker for CEW was Dani-Beth Crosby, family and communications minister at University Avenue Baptist Church.