By Gabrielle Williams and Jennifer Sigler
Over spring break, 37 volunteers from Campion Academy and Wichita Adventist Christian Academy flew to Belize to serve the campus of Belize Adventist Junior College (BAJC) in Calcutta, where they’ve been visiting annually for over ten years. Mission groups to BAJC usually focus on a construction project and Vacation Bible School meetings. This year, led by Jim Lynch, the group made immense progress on the library, a project begun several years ago, and on week nights they hosted games, crafts, story time, and singing for kids of all ages. On the last weekend, they passed out shoes and clothes to a local village.
“When we give of ourselves, we end up receiving more than we could have ever imagined. We experience pure joy and peace. Helping others is one of the greatest callings that Jesus gives us,” said Campion senior Gabrielle Williams, who went to Belize for the second time. “It is more blessed to give than to receive; however, what you do receive when you give is an unexplainable joy that only Jesus can give,” she added.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40).
Slideshow by Leslie Bergmann
Robots and strategy games may not be the first thing to come to mind when you think library, but that’s what students find at Campion Academy. Managed by Lindsey Santana, who holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Science, the Campion library is a place where students can get help with research, find a book to read, and study quietly, but it’s also a place where students can get creative, color, play games like Suspend or Gravity Maze, or play with Sphero robots. In sum, our new librarian is helping Campion facilitate inquiry and exploration.
In the past, students could visit the library, read a magazine, or find plenty of books and online databases. However, the library management was tacked on to a teacher’s class load, so students often searched on their own. Now, Lindsey has the time to be a reading advocate, research assistant, curriculum collaborator, and instructor of information literacy.
Teachers at Campion are finding their librarian indispensable, and they recognize what a rare resource they have. According to NAD policy, academies must allot $40 per student towards library resources. But, while the materials may be a standard investment, having an expert to manage those materials and guide students in their use is just as important.
English teacher Erin Johnson said, “Lindsey has great ideas and suggestions for my curriculum. She makes my job easier, and the students’ work is higher quality because she finds resources that I’ve never even seen before.” Kathy Binder, who teaches independent living and English, agreed, “She’s wonderful about ordering materials and making a display of the topic I’m covering in class. She also made the whole assignment, had a key prepared, and was there to teach students and encourage them. I had a team teacher for the period.”
Students benefit, too. Sophomore Juliessa Fernandez said, “I actually get stuff done when I come in [the library]. It’s a really big help with research and getting resources. I come to get help from Mrs. Santana a lot.” School Library Journal reports that student achievement levels are higher in schools that employ a librarian. Besides supporting Campion’s mission to expand minds, the library’s holdings on religion and spirituality—over 10% of the collection—provides students with resources to grow in their walk with God.
Campion recognizes that the role of the teacher librarian is growing even more important as students and faculty are met with new challenges as they use digital information. Lindsey explains her role the best: “Certainly there is a transition going on in the library world from the physical concept of books to ones that are digital. There’s also the mentality (especially among teenagers) that all you need is Google. But what people forget is that we are living in a world where knowledge is growing at an exponential rate. Virtually anyone can publish now, so finding reliable, quality information is like trying to find that one drop of water coming out of a running fire hydrant. It’s overwhelming. Especially for students. So that’s where librarians come in—we help you find just the information you need.”
She’s also an advocate of creativity, which students especially enjoy. At the end of March the library will host “Make & Create Week” where students can trying soldering, programming, and other activities. The creative process enhances the learning process. Whether students are programming Sphero robots, making their own Lego designs, or creating duct tape masterpieces, the Campion library is a place where students can engage in creativity and learn to be producers instead of just consumers.
By Gabrielle Williams & Alyse Maxwell
This past week Campion Academy experienced rejuvenation and renewed focus in a week of prayer hosted by the Rocky Mountain Conference. This week of evening meetings, hosted by Eric Nelson, Anthony Handal, Craig Carr, and Heidi Littell, marked the final days of our campus-wide 40-day prayer challenge.
Each night the speakers shared personal stories on how prayer has played an important part in their lives and what God has done for them. "After week of prayer and hearing all that God has done in people's lives, I have started to pray more than before," said sophomore David Marroquin, a village student. Junior Rayna Williams had a similar experience. “I learned that God always hears us, even if our prayers aren’t answered in the way we think they should be. I learned to pray boldly,” she said.
Week of prayer helps students and staff refocus on what really matters in life, God. Junior Diana Miranda said, "The week wasn't so stressful, so we could focus more on what the speakers were saying." We tend to get busy here at Campion and having time carved out every night just to worship for one week is a blessing.
For vespers Friday evening Pastor Goetz, Pastor Nick, and Pastor Nestor led us in communion to close the 40 days of prayer. Before foot washing, church members and students shared testimonies on how God has been working in their lives these past days. Many people shared touching stories—from physical and spiritual healing to new friendships and divine appointments. These experiences revealed the results of fervent prayer across our campus.
Starting Friday evening staff, students, and church members chose time slots where they collectively prayed 24 hours in a prayer room set up in the ad building. Then after closing Sabbath, the campus hosted a viewing of War Room, a movie on prayer. "War Room opened my eyes to how powerful prayer is and influenced me to commit to prayer more in my daily life," senior Wes Carle stated. Overall week of prayer was truly a blessing for the entire campus.
Photos courtesy Campion Yearbook staff