One of the best parts of my job is serving as a sponsor for Maplewood Academy’s National Honor Society. Nothing touches my heart more than seeing our young people catch fire for serving others and making a difference in their school and communities.
In NHS, students create projects of their own that will serve a need in the community. I help with details if needed, but ultimately, these projects are their own masterpieces. Tracy Butuna, a senior and president of this year’s NHS team, came to my office and shared an idea, “What do you think about having an International Week at Maplewood? We have so many different cultures represented here we could celebrate.”
That little seed burst into life.
All the NHS students got involved and, before we knew it, we had a full week planned. Each day celebrated different continents, and the students decorated the school to represent different cultures. World History Class made displays on countries they were studying and the cafeteria even made special ethnic cousine in honor of the event. Flags were were hung in the lobby each day to represent the cultural backgrounds of our students.
Maplewood Academy is very multicultural – 35% White/European, 30% Black/African, 20% Hispanic/Latino, and 15% Asian. More than 20 countries are represented within our student body!
Friday was All Nations Day. Students wore ethnic clothing to class and all flags were proudly and prominently displayed in the lobby. On Sabbath, 15 students, each representing different countries and dressed in their cultural clothing, marched into the Hutchinson Church carrying their flags. Together they said the Lord’s Prayer, each saying a line in a different language. It was beautiful to see our students celebrating both their indiviauality and their connectedness. All students, with vastly different backgrounds, heritage and cultures, woven together with a common thread of Jesus’ love.
And the best part is, this is just one of the many projects our students are diving into. This year we have students serving at the Humane Society, visiting patients in hospitals, ringing bells for Salvation Army, serving food at blood drives, packing meals for hungry kids, and raising money for causes they are passionate about. They are tackling the call to be God’s hands and feet with all of their might, and I, for one, am very proud of them.
by Laura Cummings, Maplewood Academy Registrar
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