With the start of the school year in August, Maryville Christian School celebrated its 25th anniversary. On Aug. 17, the school held a dinner to recall its history from its origins in a church basement to its current campus extending over 30 acres. As the year continues, several exciting projects and trips are in full swing.
One example is Students Helping Others Progress, or SHOP, a student-led program where high schoolers volunteer to tutor children in grades 1 through 6. From 3:20-4 p.m. each Tuesday, the tutors help their assigned student work through a list of homework put together by their teachers. These activities include studying spelling words, learning Bible verses and practicing addition and multiplication. Run for the second year in a row by Ruby Westerfield assisted by Kalee Carlson, the program was founded by Savannah Kawa and Caleb Moses three years ago.
“This program benefits both the students and the tutors and I am more than glad to lead it. It becomes more than helping with their math and English. It builds mentorships and friendships that last longer than one year,” Westerfield said. The students participating as tutors appreciate the opportunity to help their younger peers throughout the school year.
“I enjoy spending time with kids, as well as helping them to learn and find joy in education,” sophomore Josie Hamby said. Her classmate, Megan Lucas, volunteers with children at a local church as well as through SHOP. “I love working with kids and helping people,” explained Lucas. Both of them, despite the busy schedules of sports and extracurriculars, agree the opportunity to help out their school is worth it.
Some events are a little farther from home. The 11th grade class recently returned from a trip to Washington, D.C.
The annual trip aims to help juniors bond as a class and better understand the history of the United States. The 10th grade class is planning a mission trip to South Dakota over fall break. Students will travel to the Cheyenne River Reservation for the school’s fifth trip to minister and serve at Windswept Academy. Windswept is a private school established in 2009 to share the gospel of Christ with one of the poorest regions in America. Through the support of Maryville Christian and other schools, it has grown from 12 students to over 100.
Middle and high schoolers also look forward to a spiritual emphasis retreat in October.
A three day trip to the Smoky Mountains allows students to grow closer in their relationships with God and each other. With all of this going on, Maryville Christian School’s 25th year is shaping up to be an amazing one.