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The Community Connection JUNE 2014

Community in the Café Strathroy Community Christian School’s (SCCS) vision is to provide outstanding, transformative education of mind, body and spirit so that God will be glorified in the Strathroy community. When you read this vision statement, do you get excited and think that this is what Christian schools should be doing in every community? Perhaps when you read this you are less excited about the purpose of education to impact the students’ communities. One of the criticisms of ‘private’ Christian education is that it is exactly that – private, in more ways than one. On May 21, our students put on an Art Café at Coffee Culture in Strathroy. This was an evening designed specifically to engage the broader community in SCCS. Students had their artwork on display and many students also sang and played instruments. It was a great night, not just for students, parents and teachers, but for others in the Strathroy community who experienced a glimpse into Christian education. Jesus often taught his disciples in small groups or in private settings. Take the book of Mark as an example. This book of the Bible is filled with accounts of Jesus’ miracles and his teachings through parables. Interwoven between these miracles are times where Jesus rejects or retreats from community for a time of teaching. In Mark 8, 9 and 14 Jesus has conversations with His disciples about His own identity and who is considered the greatest. He also allows His disciples to experience the Transfiguration and the Lord’s Supper together. So, even while Jesus leaves the presence of the greater community, He is teaching His disciples what it means to live in community. He does this so they are equipped and ready when they enter towns and cities to spread the Word.

Providing quality, Christ-centred education

SCCS is similar. We strive to provide a loving and safe place for students to be able to learn about Jesus. We also provide opportunities for students to experience community as a group of friends, a whole class or as a school body. None of these things are ends in and of themselves. One of the main objectives of Jesus’ ministry was to make His private teachings with the disciples very public in the end. In this sense ‘private’ Christian education is not private at all. It is designed to be shared publicly to provide an opportunity for more people to know and love the Lord Jesus 7880 Walkers Drive Christ. SCCS strives to do this so that God will be glorified in the Strathroy community – even Strathroy, ON N7G 3H4 in the café.


Enjoy this summer, Ken VanMinnen Principal

From the Board Walking in to the school building on Walkers Drive, you can tell immediately that SCCS is more than simply an elementary school. From the student artwork and murals on the walls, the smiles on students’ faces, in-classroom and out-of-classroom learning, and the happy buzz in the air, you can actually feel that SCCS is a vibrant place of learning about our God and His love for each one of us. The vibrancy of learning we are witness to at SCCS is evidence of God’s hand at work through engaged teachers, staff, volunteers, students and the greater school community. The SCCS community is very active in their support of the mission and vision of SCCS and daily we see the fruit of this support in the generous gifts of volunteer time, financial giving and attendance at events that support school operations. Fiftynine years ago, the SCCS Society was established on the basis of providing quality, Christ-centred education in the Strathroy area. Continued dedication to this mission has resulted in a strong community of supporters who hold a united vision to offer education that glorifies God in every way. This vision cannot be attained without the active participation and support of each one of us. As we quickly approach the end of this school year, it’s important to take a few moments to acknowledge the generous gifts of time and resources given by volunteers and SCCS supporters. SCCS sees volunteerism in many different capacities: in classrooms, in the library, behind the scenes in school events, fundraisers, on committees, on the Board of Directors, at the school store and many, many other ways. Volunteers have come together in their desire to be a part of the vibrancy of education offered at SCCS. Each volunteer is a gift and blessing from God and we praise God for each and every one. If you are a volunteer for SCCS, please accept a heartfelt thank you on behalf of the Board of Directors for your dedication and efforts! We look forward to continuing to serve our God together in the upcoming school year. Praying for a blessed time of fellowship with God, family and friends this summer; may you continue to experience the richness of God’s love for you. In His Service, Gabriella Hoogstra SCCS Board Chairperson

Volunteer Highlight By Stephanie Gowan, Resource Teacher

SCCS has been so blessed this year with faithful, dedicated volunteers that have been working directly with students to build academic skills! Jodie Dieleman and Elizabeth Tosland have been working with primary students building literacy and numeracy skills and Cathy McLean has been working with junior/intermediate students specializing in mathematics. We appreciate their ongoing support and care and know that the students they support are making significant steps forward in their confidence and knowledge. Thank you so much! Jodie Dieleman “I enjoy volunteering at SCCS because it is rewarding to see how kids learn, and how a little bit of my time can make a difference in their path of learning and understanding. And, of course with all three of my kids there full time now, I can squeeze in a hug or a big smile from them every now and then! I hope to be able to volunteer at the school next year as well.” Cathy McLean “As a retired teacher and local Math and English tutor, I felt I wanted to give one-on-one tutoring to build confidence by reinforcing what they were being taught in their classes. Children who are easily distracted often miss important concepts and ideas being discussed in the classroom. I am grateful to be working with students at SCCS.” Elizabeth Tosland “I have enjoyed teaching one on one. The stories that come along with building the one-on-one relationships are rather entertaining as well. I love seeing students’ faces light up as they begin to understand concepts taught that may not have sunk in in the classroom setting. It has been a blessing to get to know students personally. I look forward to volunteering in this role again next year.”

SCCStore Update June 9, 2014 marks the second anniversary of the opening of the Second Chance Construction Store (SCCStore). In that time, the volunteers at the store have logged countless hours picking up donations, making deliveries, arranging furniture, moving shelving, assisting customers, making sales and having fun, all for the purpose of glorifying God through the support of SCCS. As of April 30, 2014, total sales at the SCCStore have topped $340,000 since we opened, and more than $155,000 has gone to the SCCS budget, to help keep tuition affordable for our families. To God be the glory for this amazing blessing to our school community! The Store Oversight Board and Finance Development & Planning Committee have been working together to do some long-term planning for the store. The vision for the future is that the SCCStore returns value to the greater Strathroy community by transforming how we think about and respond to our environment. This vision statement will have a potentially huge impact on moving the store forward in the future. A few other snippets of information: • The SCCStore volunteer appreciation BBQ will be held June 21 at Pete and Carol Speelman’s home. If you have volunteered at the store in any capacity in the past year, we would like the opportunity to show our appreciation at that BBQ. Please let Joy know that you are coming (! • We are joining forces with Youth For Christ to help each other out! The SCCStore is now accepting all electronics which will be donated to YFC for a fundraiser that they do.

Important Dates! June 16 – Graduation Ceremony at 7:30 p.m. June 17–19 – Grade 8 class trip to Camp Medeba June 17–20 – Grade 7 class trip to Fair Glen June 20 – Closing chapel at 8:45 a.m. June 20 – Last day! Report cards go home, noon dismissal

In return, YFC is going to send some help our way to get the yard cleaned up and complete a few other projects for us. We are looking for a reasonably priced garden shed to store these electronics in an organized fashion…please contact store manager Rob Hoiting if you know where we can find one (519-246-6000). We own a trailer for deliveries and are exploring acquiring our own truck. Numerous scenarios are being considered… would your business be interested in sponsoring this vehicle in return for your name and logo on the truck? Please contact Jacky Dieleman if you have an interest in this ( Our need for volunteers continues. We have a wonderful, dedicated group of regulars who would LOVE to share their SCCStore stories with you! We encourage all SCCS families to look for an opportunity to cover one or two shifts over the summer. We know that your time is valuable…but the pay is AWESOME! (Check out how much the store has saved off your tuition in the past two years.) Please contact Joy at to let her know when you can help. High school students can get volunteer hours!

“I am learning reading and colours. I am learning sounds. I got to make shapes out of food and eat the food! I can get my work done more quickly and am learning more when I work with my helpers.” Quote from primary student who is being helped by volunteer instructor.

Stay Connected to the Community! Join the SCCS community online, stay up to date with happenings and show your support! ‘Like’ us on Facebook today!

Student Council Proud to See Reading Garden Progress The goals of Student Council are to: • Encourage school spirit; • Nurture discipleship in students as they seek opportunities to serve others; • Allow students to be involved in decision-making within the school; • Build community and provide spiritual leadership; • Provide opportunities to serve others (outside of the school community); and • Provide leadership in community service projects. One of our goals made two years ago was to create a reading garden on our school grounds. A landscape professional, Calvin Dykstra, has helped to design our garden with flagstone paving, a pergola, benches and shrubs. We feel this will be a wonderful opportunity for students to learn in an attractive outdoor setting. We have been involved in various fundraising activities to raise money for this project. We have run bi-weekly tuck shops and have set up concession stands at various home games, the Touch-A-Truck event and at this year’s basketball tournament in London. As well, last year we coordinated a very successful electronic recycling event. Student Council has raised over $5,500!

• • • •

Jr. Kindergarten only


Sr. Kindergarten only


Both Jr. and Sr. Kindergarten


JK – Grade 8 with siblings attending either LDCSS or PRC


JK – Grade 8 with no siblings attending LDCSS or PRC $10,975 All tuition rates include transportation. The true cost of education at SCCS is close to $13,500, or $7,000 per student. We strongly encourage all families to note the support received by the greater community to keep tuition rates affordable. Please make a commitment to help at the SCCStore, support the Voucher Incentive Program (VIP) and participate in fundraising activities!

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Rebates from those sales totalled $28,416.93. Half of that total went to the school’s operating budget and the other half was allocated to tuition rebates and the Tuition Assistance Fund. SCCS transportation uses VIP coupons to pay for gas; rebates from those purchases totalled $3,730. Half of those funds went to the budget, and the other half supported the Tuition Assistance Fund. There are 73 families registered to use the VIP; 50 of those are parents of students at SCCS The top 10 families will receive tuition rebates totalling $6,407.04. That’s an average of $640.70! The top-earning family will receive a rebate of $1,073.63. That’s 10% of tuition! Most credit cards offer rebates of 1–2.5% off your annual purchases, at a graduated level, with an annual cap. VIP vouchers offer rebates between 1 and 15% off your purchases with NO graduated rebate levels, and NO cap! It’s never too late to join the VIP! Ordering begins again in September…register NOW at so that you’ll be ready to go! You can place orders online, via paper order, or via instructions for a standing monthly order. It’s easy and SCCS needs your support!

SCCS tuition rates for 2014–15:

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The 2014–15 budget was passed on June 2 at the Membership meeting.


VIP sales for the last year totalled $562,095!

Tuition for 2014–2015

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From Finance Development & Planning Do you wonder what this committee does? Well, the word development is key, and can mean different things in different contexts: • In business, it refers to growth and planning performance improvements. • In fundraising, it refers to seeking volunteer contributions of time, money and other resources to a certain cause. • In an organization, it represents an organization-wide effort to increase effectiveness and viability. Strathroy Community Christian School has characteristics of all of the above contexts, and our understanding of what development is touches on all of the above! We recognize that when God is calling His school to excellence in His name, requiring us to seek growth in all areas of the school—including our business decisions and how they are made, how financial needs of the school are planned for and managed, and how accomplishments are measured. So, our Development and Planning Committee works to discern how God is leading SCCS to support growth of the school through fundraising. The past eight months have seen an intentional examination and analysis of the fundraising that we do at SCCS. It was a difficult process…but taking an objective look at what we do and why we do it is part of the process of discerning God’s leading for our fundraising efforts. We took into consideration the importance of relationships, valuing and respecting volunteer time, traditions, raising certain amounts of money – and a whole lot more! The results were interesting and have been compiled in our Fundraising Strategy which will be rolling out in September.

Celebrating Spring Drive Giving!

You will notice some changes for next school year. Notably, SCCS is taking a one-year break from the Bazaar to re-vision this event. There are so many amazing things that happened each year at the bazaar; the camaraderie in the kitchen, the building and re-connecting of relationships, the opportunity to invite the community to enter our doors and visit with us, the greasy croquetten and oliebollen! These are invaluable gifts to the school. However, we also recognize declining attendance, increasing difficulty to recruit volunteers and donations, and lower profits. How do we keep the ‘good stuff ’ and stop the effects of the ‘bad’? We’re going to take a year to find a solution. Our thanks go out to the many, many people who have led the planning of the bazaar over many, many, many, many years, and also to their families who supported you as you shouldered the monumental job of organizing this event!

The Annual SCCS Spring Drive is You will also notice that we will no longer be participating in sales campaigns at practically over. Our goal this year was SCCS. This was also a difficult decision because there are some sales campaigns $50,000, which was the that are fun to do and are also financially successful. At the end of the discushighest ever, and as of the sion though, we recognized that we want your neighbours to think of your should printing of this newsletter, Students learning children (and you!) as “those people who go to that wonderful school called n o focus $43,000 has been raised! SCCS” rather than “those people who are trying to sell me stuff again!” Gifts for school operations and So are you curious now? The Fundraising Strategy is available to you our upcoming HVAC replaceon our website…feel free to take a look! This committee is also ment project are always welcome seeking an additional committee member for a three-year term, so rive 2014 Spring D - please contact the school for if you have gifts in this area of oversight, we would love to hear from you! Contact Jacky Dieleman at dielemanjsccs@gmail. more information. and not

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Big Thanks to The Jack & Barbara Hay Foundation

This local family foundation recently gave SCCS a grant for more than $5,000 in new instruments! These gifts will be used to help take the talents of our students out into our community and delight the many faces of Middlesex County’s residents and visitors in a number of fun and unique ways – all through the power of music. The goals of this project are to: • Better connect youth and children with music; • Increase students’ appreciation for music; • Connect our community with music; and • Make people happy.

Goods and Service Dinner Auction Help Needed This fall the SCCS Goods and Service Dinner Auction will be celebrating its 25th Anniversary! We need your help! We are looking for donations of cups and saucers, pre-1970 dinner and dessert plates, white linen and lace table cloths or pieces of lace and clean burlap. We are also looking for old watering cans, Canadian Tire money, milk cans, old rakes and any old metal containers. There is a drop-off box at the school and at Second Chance Construction Store, so please bring your donations to either location.

Good Golf for a Great Cause The 21st Annual Strathroy Community Christian School Golf Tournament welcomed back golfers on May 17 at Widder Station. It was a little chilly, but everyone had a lot of fun, with almost $9,000 being raised for the school! Special thanks to the Golf Committee volunteers, eager golfers and fantastic sponsors for making this day possible.

Your Business’s Logo Here! We’re looking for an amazing business or two in our school community to help cover the cost of printing the Community Connection, which is sent quarterly to churches, parents and Society members. If you’re interested, please contact our Director of Marketing, Darren Hakker, at or 1-519-491-0404.

Track & Field Fosters Success in Leaps & Bounds On May 16, students took to the school grounds to participate in friendly competition. Great work, everyone - wonderful talent!

Canadiana Fun at Spring Dinner

An evening of Canuck humour and trivia filled the gym on Saturday, April 12, raising funds for SCCS. Thank you to the many volunteers who helped to make this annual event a success!

Spring Superheroes Unite! Students performed two song- and thrill-filled performances of The Agape League: A Super Hero Adventure about the Fruit of the Spirit. Thank you to all those who joined in on the adventure and applauded our students’ fantastic work!

One for the History Books Anne Pelkman from the Historical Society donated a book to the school library. Thank you!

Stuff the Bus Success

On April 5, a school bus was parked outside the Real Canadian Superstore in Strathroy to collect donations of money and food for the Salvation Army. Students collected $96 and filled all of the buckets the Salvation Army had and some extra boxes as well!

Grandparents & Grandfriends Celebrate SCCS Hundreds of proud families and friends of students were warmly welcomed into the school on May 7 to see learning in action, enjoy a delicious lunch and watch the spring musical firsthand. Our students were blessed to have you visit!

“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.� Romans 12: 4-5

Community connection - June 2014  

All about the latest happenings at Strathroy Community Christian School.

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