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Rose Garden Gazette A Publication of Roseland Christian School

Winter 2007-2008

PASTORS PRAYING FOR SCHOOL AT SCHOOL Whether booming in exultant praise or quietly requesting God’s blessing, the voices of local pastors were heard throughout the halls of Roseland Christian School on the P.A. system as each new school day began. They were part of our Prayer Campaign which kicked off on October 1. We were privileged to be prayed for by 50 pastors and ministers all the way throughout December. BOARD OF DIRECTORS President: Vice President: Secretary: Treasurer: Vicar:

Richard Van Hattem Henry Otte Dorothy Wassenaar Rick Powell Ryland Brummel

Building and Grounds Ryland Brummel Dave Kallemeyn Robert Small Arlyn Van Ek Richard Van Hattem Staff: Darcy Nichols Rich Schaap Wendi Waddy Education Essie Hall Henry Otte Dorothy Wassenaar Liza Zimmerman Staff: Lisa Ochsner Wendi Waddy Kimberly Wolff Finance Carolyn Eloby-Render Dwayna Mason Rick Powell Alan Van Dyke Staff: Wendi Waddy Promotion Carolynn Boss Bret Hoekema Andre’ Lanier Wendy Moes Staff: Roger DeGroot Cheryl Flory Wendi Waddy Vernee’ Washington Newsletter: Laura VandeWerken

What a contrast in sound and demeanor! Happy, bustling, jostling children suddenly quiet and reverent and thoughtful. People stopping in the middle of moving from place to place to bow their heads. It was a time to quiet one’s self, listen intently, meditate purposefully, and place ourselves at God’s disposal. What a great way to start out the school day! The children were able to experience firsthand the love and concern of the undershepherd (who leads them mostly on weekends) come and intercede for them during the week. And the pastors were able to see the school where their sheep learn about the greatest shepherd of all, Jesus, who loves them even more! We truly appreciate the giving nature of our local church pastors and their enthusiasm and love for our students and for their Lord! Pictured is the Rev. Dr. As our in-school prayer campaign Ozzie Smith of Covenant United Church of Christ draws to a close we invite you to become a prayer warrior for RCS. in South Holland with To receive prayer request informaMrs. Wendi Waddy, Principal. Rev. Dr. Smith tion, please email us at: also blessed RCS with a rendition of “Lift Every We will be happy to add you to our Voice and Sing” (the prayer African National request list.

Student Ryan Tyler was happy to have his pastor, Rev. Keith B. McGee visit school to pray. Rev. McGee is from Messiah Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago.

Anthem) played on the Soprano Saxophone.

The entire school, family members, and friends gathered to pray around the flagpole to observe the “See You at the Pole” national prayer event on September 26.

“Educating Academically Excellent Servants of Christ’s Kingdom”

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Winter 2007-2008

RAISING THE ROOF WITH PRAYER AND PRAISE The end of our prayer campaign culminated on January 16 in a Prayer and Praise Rally led by Community Development Director Vernee Washington. Children entered the gym to a music video playing CeCe Wynans singing “Hallelujah Praise.” The children were instructed that this was a praise rally, and that they were allowed to be as enthusiastic as possible. To set the tone and encourage free expression, 4 beach balls were sent flying through the air by the students to the tune of Israel Houghton and New Breed singing “Rejoice in the Lord Always.”

Rev. Terrell Wheat of New Life Covenant Church Oakwood gave a message on prayer based on Psalm 24:6 followed by a Power Point presentation featuring photos of people from all over the world praying while CeCe Wynans sang “Pray” in the background. This beautiful presentation was carefully put together by Mrs. Beth Boven, Science teacher.

Rev. Wheat gave a talk on praising God based on Psalm 34:1-3 and hosted a game show type format with questions like “What is praise and what are some of the ways we can do it?” Students came forward to give examples of praise words. One pre-kindergarten student come forward and simply said, “Hallelujah!” Drawing on the many talents of our students, the 7th grade girls performed a praise dance to the song, “I Will Bless the Lord.” Seminarian David Washington, an RCS parent, led a gospel rap using the help of two students. “Now Behold the Lamb” and “This is the Way We Praise Him” were sung by the RCS Choir.

The Prayer and Praise Rally ended with a heartfelt prayer by Rev. Wheat on a variety of topics that included maintaining unity and asking God for resources to continue the school’s mission. The children left the rally to a song and video playing “I Am a Friend of God.”

The Rally sent students, staff, and guests on their way rejoicing with a spirit of total praise! Psalm 24:6 “Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob.” Psalm 34:1-3 “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.”

Winter 2007-2008


STEPPING OUT ON FAITH— Kashaundra Gaston, RCS Alumna As a child growing up in the 1980s and 1990s, Kashaundra Gaston lived around the corner from Roseland Christian School at 103rd and Green. Since her family wanted a Christian education for her and she had cousins also attending here it was a natural for her to attend here too. She remains good friends since kindergarten with Amanda Henderson who was also in Mrs. Murphy’s kindergarten class. Her favorite school memories include hot lunches, field trips, and especially the music. Playing the clarinet in the band under Mr. Moody’s tutelage taught her to use music as an outlet for her feelings, and she enjoyed singing gospel music in choir. Mr. Hansen developed her appreciation for literature and Mrs. Van Zanten and Mr. Hooker were also favorite teachers. “I couldn’t have asked for a better education that prepared me well for high school,” she said.

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produced by others. You might compare her to Jill Scott or Mary J. Blige. The songs talk about common life experiences and express an undertone of optimism and changing one’s attitude to cope with difficulties. She says, “Having the proper mentality is important. You must believe in yourself. Don’t convince yourself that you are inadequate.” Kashaundra is an early riser, has excellent time management skills with her palm pilot in hand, and she is certainly self-sufficient and credits this ability to God. She said, “God has never let me down while humans sometimes do. He’s always there.” It’s her faith in and relationship with him that carries her through life. To hear some of Kashaundra’s music, you can go to her Myspace music page at:


Kashaundra transitioned easily into two Catholic high schools, St. Martin De Porres and then St. Francis De Sales. Being firmly rooted in Christian values from her home, school, and church helped during the difficult time in her senior year when her dad passed away. When she wanted to be angry with God during the grieving process, her faith caused those feelings to be shortterm.

Just as the spring flowers will burst forth in glorious splendor so will the talents of our students be displayed for all to enjoy. Under the leadership of teacher Ms. Renee Bosma and her committee, the Fine Arts Festival assembly will take place on the evening of May 22. This event is eagerly anticipated as it only happens every 3 years alternating with a Math, Science, and Technology Fair, and African Fest. (The latter took place last year.)

Augustana College in the Quad Cities area was close enough to home yet gave her a chance to live away from home. As a very outgoing person, sort of theatrical, and good with people, she chose a dual major; Political Science and Speech Communications. Her desire to pursue a law degree at Northern Illinois University arose from a desire to help people in their entrepreneurial efforts.

Each class will select a special performer who will share his/her gift of song (sung or played on instruments), writing, dance, interpretive reading, etc., in the school gymnasium with the audience. Visitors can view art pieces, sewing projects, read an anthology of published works, and sample appealing foods submitted by students. As more details become available, the information will be posted on our website.

After receiving her Juris Doctorate in May of 2005, she set up her own company, The Gaston Firm. Her specialty is real estate, estate planning, probate, and small business set up. People who want to begin their own businesses “are the easiest clients to work with” she says. She wants to have a positive impact on people and serves low-income clients which a larger firm might not have let her do. Thus, her business tagline is, “Stepping Out On Faith,” which is what she did in having her own business.


Kashaundra’s love of music has led her to song writing during her spare time. She writes lyrics to music

Roseland Christian School was recently featured in the November/December 2007 issue of Christian Home and School magazine published by Christian Schools International. The full-page spread was entitled, “Faith and Family in Roseland.” The article talks about our history, curriculum, and testing results; the joys of seeing God’s handiwork in Science; and comments from an alumna.

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CONSERVATION CLUB AT RCS Our school has been chosen as one of 44 middle and high schools in Chicago to participate with the Chicago Department of the Environment to create a Chicago Conservation Club onsite. They have given our students projects to implement. So far, we have done a waste survey where we sorted 6 classes worth of waste to see what kinds of things were being thrown away that could be recycled. Paper made up a large part of the waste as well as plastic bottles. Each class has been given a bin to collect recyclable items which are then blue bagged for the trash collector to take with the other trash. The 6th, 7th, and 8th graders have also built a wormcomposting bin for leftover food scraps which is home to one pound of worms. The worms eat food scraps such as vegetables, fruit, and bread, and their waste products turn the soil into nutrient rich compost which can be used for food and flower gardening thus keeping food waste out of landfills. Projects like these help urban students to be more environmentally conscious and show them ways to help renew their surroundings. Science teacher Beth Boven will be attending three workshops throughout the

Winter 2007-2008

THOMAS MURRIITHI DREAMS Our Coins for a Cause fundraiser continues. RCS recently mailed a check for $490 to pay for education for Thomas Muriithi who is an orphan living with his very old grandmother in Matanya, Kenya. This money is the first half year promised installment. We hope to surpass that amount with our loose change during the second half of the school year. Before receiving a mattress, sheets, and blankets from Matanya’s Hope, founded by Michelle Stark, he was sleeping on the dirt floor without a single covering. Thomas is an amazing child. He hardly ever attended school until about 2-1/2 years ago due to assisting at home with farming. From the moment he received these gifts, Thomas has gone to school and done very well. He arrives early (no one asks him to do this) and cleans the surroundings. He is a dedicated student and now dreams of becoming a teacher himself. Thomas wrote: “Dear Michelle, How are you, I hope you are fine. First and foremost is to thank our heavenly father for giving me this opportunity to communicate with you. I received your letter and I was so grateful and happy when I read it. I would like to answer the question you asked me about whether I would like to go to boarding school. Michelle, I would be very very happy to go to boarding school where I have never been. You also asked me would I like to have a sponsor. I will be so grateful to you and to my Lord for giving me someone [who] cares about me. May God bless you. I know my Lord will hear my prayer. I am still working hard in my studies so that I can attain my goal of being a teacher in the future time. And I know I will make it-with God everything is possible.

school year at the Center for Green Technology on the north side of Chicago. She hopes to share her new knowledge with her students of things that they can do to contribute toward maintaining a healthy environment.

My grandmother is alright and in good health and taking care of me day and night. She told me to say hello to you and she always keeps you in prayers. She was very happy about the good thing you’ve been preparing for me. She advises me that I must work hard since I have someone to assist me in my education and I tell her that I will never let Michelle down. And I just told my grandmother if God wished I will help my family which is poor to be rich once. My friend, we will talk more when you come to visit us in Kenya. Yours faithfully, Thomas Muriithi Mungo akubariki (God bless you), Michelle

Winter 2007-2008


STAFF CELEBRATE RCS ANNIVERSARIES Congratulations to the following teachers and staff who have devoted several years of sharing their gifts with our school. 2007 Natasha Jones (Teacher) Lisa Ochsner (Teacher) Marla Conda (Kitchen Staff) Lynette Ladd (Teacher) John Smith (Bus Driver) Bill Dykstra (Teacher)

5 Years 5 Years 10 Years 15 Years 15 Years 30+ Years

2008 Elaine Nosich (Teacher) Carmen Conda (Teacher) Kathy Dykstra (Teacher’s Aide) Arlene Robinson (Teacher)

5 Years 20 Years 20 Years 20 Years

MARC MILLER, WEBMASTER VOLUNTEER FOR RCS “In the summer of 2005, the webmaster for Elmhurst

CRC put me in contact with Roger DeGroot who was looking for someone to maintain the Roseland website. I have been working on and building websites for over 10 years. It remained a hobby until 3 years ago when I took a job at Christianity Today as a Web Developer. Currently I work for the Back to God Hour (the electronic media ministry of the Christian Reformed Church) as the Web Producer for all the English ministry websites. I probably average another 10 hours a week working on websites from home for clients and friends. “I have been truly blessed to find a job that pays me to do something I love doing. I am fascinated not only by the power and potential of the internet, but also by the technologies behind it. The internet is constantly changing and advancing and it's tough to keep up. I love learning about the next great thing that websites can do and then I apply those techniques in my work.

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“More and more people are using the internet every day, and that makes it especially important to present the word of God online in engaging ways that make people want to visit these sites. “Readability and compatibility are the things that motivate me most to volunteer to work on a website. Websites that are hard to read, navigate, and have a dated look are sites that people won't come back to. The internet is the first place people turn to when looking for information. They want to find the information they need quickly and easily. Additionally, people will often judge an organization based on their website. So keeping websites fresh and easy to use is a passion of mine. “As for my personal life, I have been married for almost 11 years to my wonderful wife, Sara, who is a Senior Buyer for Lifetime Fitness. We have a 15-month-old son, Alex, who is the pride and joy of our lives.” Editor’s Note: We at Roseland Christian School are deeply appreciative of the service Marc provides. Our website is a beautiful example of his creativity and meticulous efforts.

NEW WAY TO GIVE TO RCS Have you seen the TV commercial where the person buying merchandise with a check stops the whole flow of activity in the store as compared to everything moving along effortlessly when customers use a credit card? That illustration is a bit extreme. We don’t want to stop you from writing those wonderful and much-appreciated checks to RCS, but we DO want to offer you the ease of using a credit card to make future donations. We can now accept your gifts given by way of Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. That option will be given on future solicitation letters and also on our website. Another perk is that parents can now also pay for school services such as tuition, bus fare, and before and after school care, with their credit cards. If you have any questions on this new arrangement, please contact the school office. The web address to use for donations is:

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Winter 2007-2008



It has been customary for the past few years for the youth group of Brookside CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan to do a service project in the Roseland area, usually at Roseland Christian Ministries Center. The leader of the group, Brian Ochsner, (RCS teacher Lisa Ochsner’s brother), phoned Lisa to ask if there was anything they could also do at Roseland Christian School in an effort to expand their outreach.

In order to encourage her students to “get outside the neighborhood” and be more aware of what’s going on in the world, Ms. Ochsner, 8th grade teacher, planned special activities for Breast Cancer Awareness month. The junior high girls were invited to a discussion lead by student Raven McChristian’s aunt, Melvina Alexander, and RCS teacher, Mrs. Arlene Robinson, both breast cancer survivors. They spoke about their experiences, what they went through, how they felt about it, and shared information on self-examination. Student Ashley Wheatley, who lost her grandmother to the disease, researched information on prevention and shared it with the group.

The young people arrived bright and early on a November Saturday morning. Supervised by bus driver John Smith and custodian James Thomas, the energetic group of about 10 high school aged young people set to work scrubbing buses, inside and out using ladders and an array of vehicle washing supplies. When that was finished they attacked the yard fervently around the school with rakes for the leaves and trash bags for grounds cleanup. They were so glad to help and had a lot of fun while they worked. They ate their sack lunches and then took a tour of the school led by Ms. Ochsner. We were very thankful for their efforts and hope they will come back again next year.

Bringing home the reality of the disease, pictures of survivors and loved ones lost were placed on a bulletin board in the first floor hall as a special memorial. The bulletin board was well covered. The Student Council encouraged students to wear pink and/or pink ribbons for a day.

PHONE-A-THON FAST FACTSIT’S A NUMBERS GAME! 37 Different Callers and 7 Clerical Workers Made and Processed 2,908 Calls Over the Course of 3 Evenings Reaping 511 Unique Gifts Pledges Totaling $36,630!!! Friendly Competition: 5-8th Grade Volunteer Young Ladies Netted $1515 3-8th Grade Volunteer Young Men Netted $2490 (including a matching gift) Our RCS supporters and volunteers are awesome! Thank you!

A FUN WAY TO LEARN ABOUT CAREERS RCS 8th graders participated in the Black History Month Career Bowl at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry on February 7. The students listened to a presentation about the difference between having a job and having a career as well as the importance of setting life goals. They were then encouraged to think about and write down their own goals. Next it was contest time. The students were paired off for the Career Bowl which is a contest in a word game format for kids ages 9 through 17 that serves as “What a fun career-learning tool. The students won a we learn with pleasure we never forget.” cash prize by answering questions in six career categories including the film and television industry. The money Louis Mercier won was donated to the RCS Student Activity Fund.

Winter 2007-2008


SOWING SEEDS OF UNITY AND LOVE “Mrs. Waddy, can we do this again next year?” The question was repeatedly asked by attendees of the Pre -Valentine’s Day Get-A-way especially planned for the 6th-8th grade RCS girls. It took place on February 1 and 2 at the Thea Bowman Spiritual Advance Center located in Chicago. Several RCS teachers, staff, and some parents gave up their Friday night and part of Saturday to mentor the girls at this first-time ever event. The excitement and anticipation from the girls was felt from the very beginning as they departed the bus and rushed into the center to choose their rooms for the evening. Dining tables adorned with fresh floral arrangements, white tablecloths and candles awaited them for a memorable candlelight dinner with Christian jazz music playing in the background. Once dinner was over, the girls were instructed to change into their pajamas. A surprise was waiting for them on their beds: a letter of love from God and a box of chocolate candy. It was then time for “girl talk,” where the girls opened up and shared their thoughts and feelings concerning family, friendships, and, of course, boys. Free time came next which included board games, “hide and seek,” and others. Laughter and giggles could be heard throughout the center. On Saturday morning the girls awakened to the smell of bacon, eggs, biscuits and waffles. There was even some after-breakfast entertainment as teachers Ms. Bosma, Mrs. Boven and Ms. Oschner performed a well-coordinated dance to the song “I’m a Soldier in the Army of the Lord.” Workshops on handling peer pressure, gossip and jealousy took place on Saturday morning. The girls learned how they were “fearfully and wonderfully”

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made based on the Bible verse Psalm 139:14. The Get-A-Way ended with expressions of gratitude and comments of how much fun the weekend was. All girls received parting gifts: a fresh long stemmed rose and gift bags with journals, decorative pens, lotion, lip balm, bubble bath and chocolate hearts. Also, a mirror with the saying on it “Mirror, mirror in my hand, who’s the fairest in the land, I AM!” It was a wonderful time for the girls to share, bond, learn, and grow. Tears spilled over, hugs were given, and broken friendships were even mended. Positive seeds were definitely sown into the lives of the girls. Now others can water and God can bring the increase.

IS IT TIME TO UPDATE YOUR ESTATE PLAN? Estate planning is for everyone. It is simply the process of deciding where our assets should be distributed after our deaths. Estate planning is important, not only because of how our families will be affected, but also because we are stewards of God’s resources. As his stewards, it is important to manage our possessions wisely while we are alive and also to make sure that they are taken care of properly after we are gone. Your will or trust should be reviewed annually with these questions in mind: Does it reflect what is important to you and your family? Is it up-to-date with current tax laws? Does it appropriately provide for your children? Are the named Executor/Trustees still appropriate? Does it include your favorite charities? Are unnecessary taxes eliminated? Roseland Christian School is a member of the Barnabas Foundation. Their professionals will be pleased to help you answer these questions. They will make it easy for you to understand the issues and guide you in making decisions that best fit your personal circumstances. Your conversations with them are confidential and free of charge to you. Call toll-free at 1-800-448-3040 or go to the web at


314 West 108th Street Chicago, IL 60628

PAID Blue Island, IL Permit No. 314


264-2174 (773) 264-7445 (fax)

We’re on the web! See our new and improved look and easy to access content!

MUSIC NOTES In music class, students tried their hand at writing music lyrics. To the tune of the rock music song “We will, we will rock you…” here is 4th grader Kaliph Femi Spearman Hassan’s contribution: (RCS Alum) and her Candy I love, I love candy, candy. I love, I love candy, candy. I love candy because it’s so sweet. I also like it because it’s great to eat. Hershey’s kisses are a good treat. Chocolate candy is very, very sweet. When I eat candy, I feel like a chief. I love candy, because I’m just plain Kaliph.

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage

daughter, Imani, read together on one of the “Reading Nights” held monthly for Kindergarten students.

Rhonda and Rhayna Berryhill construct a gingerbread house in Mrs. Rael’s kindergarten class.

Winter 2008 - Rose Garden Gazette  

Winter 2008 issue of Roseland Chrisitan School's newseltter

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