Check out how our 7th-grade students in the “Right Road Kids'” elective are taking positive action and inspiring others to do the same!
These 7th-grade students in the “Right Road Kids” elective are exemplifying our vision of “Lead-Inspire-Serve” by leading a Book Drive! Help them serve a school in our community by collecting 2,000 books that will be donated so that each child can receive the gift of summer reading choices! What an inspiration these students are to our younger students and to us all – encouraging us to take action!
It was an exciting day of science learning for our TK-4th-grade students with an adventure to the California Mojave Desert in the Desert Dome. A program of the California Science Center, the Desert Dome is a fully immersive, inflatable dome where students learn all about ecology, adaptation, desert habitats, and observation skills. The engaging 45-minute program was facilitated by a California Science Center educator and touched on many of the California State Science Standards.
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This week, our middle school students are learning beyond the classroom as each grade-level (5-8) embarks on an outdoor education trip! “It is exciting that we are able to offer such a well-rounded Outdoor Education program to all of our middle school students each year,” says principal Karen Jonas. “I can’t wait to hear about all their wonderful adventures and always love seeing how they grow intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally through these experiences.” Here is a quick summary of their exciting adventures:
8th Grade is spending a week in Washington DC. They definitely make the most of the experience, as each fun-filled day is jam-packed with site seeing. The list of places they visit includes the US Capitol Building, Supreme Court, Library of Congress, a bike tour of the monuments and memorials, Mount Vernon, National Cathedral, Newseum, Bible Museum, Air and Space Museum, National Archives, American History Museum, Arlington Cemetary, Gettysburg, Ford’s Theatre, National Museum of the Marine Corps, and a performance by Twilight Tattoo. Hosted by Christian Discoveries, this trip is a great culmination to their studies at Ascension, tying in what they have been learning in religion and U.S. history while building memories that will last a lifetime!
This year, grades 6 and 7 have the opportunity to explore the beautiful Santa Monica mountains while staying at Camp Shalom in Malibu. It is an exciting week of hiking, exploring, learning, and worshiping together. Their trip includes a boat ride to explore Santa Cruz Island and a day trip to Leo Carillo State Beach.
Each year, 5th Graders go to camp at El Camino Pines. They can look forward to building community and worshiping together in a beautiful outdoor setting with fabulous camp counselors. Their program includes science and environmental lessons such as pollution studies, earthquakes, fire ecology, and astronomy. They even have the option to learn survival skills or try archery! Students had the nice surprise of arriving to snow falling on Tuesday!
Interested in learning more about how Ascension offers an enriching learning environment for Middle School? We invite you to schedule a tour today!
Recently, Ascension Middle School students had the opportunity to stay after school and view an educational documentary called A Plastic Ocean. The film gave a wonderful visual of the impact of the use of plastics on our environment and ultimately upon ourselves. Subsequently, students have been giving more thought to the consequences of our global, disposable lifestyle and how we can each work to change things for the better. Student Council sponsored a $1 dress day where students could wear blue and green clothing to school, instead of uniforms, and choose to donate $1 to Take 3 For the Sea – a group out of Australia who works on removing plastics from the world’s ocean. In Science class, middle school students have continued to examine the consequences of plastic pollution to themselves, their community, and human health. 6th graders were challenged to save plastic water bottles and create something that can be useful. The group of students pictured created a functioning recycle bin out of their water bottles! They have also written essays explaining how the pollution humans create flows to the ocean and impacts life cycles. It is exciting to see our students grow in knowledge and compassion, and then begin to take action, to help address an issue to ensure a better future.
This year’s Lenten theme for Ascension Lutheran School and Church is “Making Room.” The idea is to make room for spiritual practices that help us live fuller, more vibrant lives. This skit, performed at church by some of our 7th-grade students, helps us to think through how we can make room for God through prayer.
Mrs. Beck, our middle school English teacher, presented “the Power of a Book” at our Made to Thrive Growing Strong through the Tween Years event on February 6, 2018. Her passion for reading comes through as she articulates how a book is a life shared, an attitude changer, and a great teacher. Her joy of reading is contagious!
During this season of Advent, we have focused our service learning efforts on giving gifts of hope. Students have had many opportunities to give meaningful gifts that make a difference in the lives of others:
Gifts of Hope Marketplace – Students grades 3-8 put their entrepreneurial spirit into full gear as they created crafts and projects to sell at the Gifts of Hope Marketplace on December 21. The marketplace offered a wide array of creative gifts and treasures – everything from ornaments, to baked goods, to slime, and painted rocks. All students had an opportunity to shop the market (parents were invited too!). We raised over $1000 that will all be donated to the South Sudan Juba Center and Clinic.
Donations for Fire Victims – In response to the outbreak of wildfires in our communities, we had a donation drive at our Christmas Show. Families brought over 500 toiletry items that were taken to Trinity Lutheran Church in Ventura and will be distributed to those who were evacuated and relocated due to the fires.
Cozy Christmas – On December 20, students tied over 30 fleece blankets for Project Linus to be donated to children in need of a big hug! We are grateful to Thrivent for the generous grant to help buy blanket supplies.
Turn Candy into Coins – At Trunk-of-Treat this year, students were given a canister of m&m’s and were challenged to turn candy into coins. They returned the canisters full of quarters to be donated to God’s Global Barnyard. This small gesture amounted to a donation totaling nearly $700! The funds will be used to buy animals that provide communities with food to eat, fertilizer to grow crops, and offspring to sell on the market.
Adopt-a-Family – As a school, we adopted 6 families in our community to shop for this Christmas. Families, who otherwise may not have received any Christmas gifts, will be blessed with an abundance of gifts this Christmas. We are grateful to all those who generously shopped for people they have never even met!
We have truly all been blessed to be a blessing this Christmas season! We pray that our students continue to grow as compassionate leaders who always seek ways to offer hope to others!
Last week, Ascension classes joined with millions of students from around the globe by participating in the Hour of Code. This worldwide effort introduces students to computer science with engaging activities and tutorials. At Ascension, it supplements our commitment to ensuring every student has an opportunity to explore computer science in both weekly computer classes and through activities in our MakerSpace.
Each grade level (1-8) experienced an interactive activity for the Hour of Code that helped them understand how coding works and how they can apply problem-solving skills, logic, and creativity to yield the desired outcomes. Activities ranged from creating a Google Doodle to using an iPad coding app called Hopscotch to working through online activities. Below are some of the links that we used last week so that you may explore more at home:
On Tuesday, November 7, Ascension Lutheran School was honored to welcome the Mayor of Thousand Oaks, Claudia Bill-De La Peña, to our campus for a special presentation, “Ask the Mayor”. In recognition of Election Day, Mayor Bill-De La Peña, shared information about Thousand Oaks, and answered thoughtfully posed questions from each grade level. It was a great experience for our students, as they gained an understanding of the importance of elections and voting, how decisions are made in the city, and what the Mayor and City Council members do. Ascension is grateful to the City of Thousand Oaks for providing this experience and to Mayor Bill-De La Peña who is truly a shining example of someone who leads, inspires, and serves in her community each day.