education

Lessons in the Kinderforest

College Kindergarten students play in the snow during a Kinderforest Day in Goshen (Ind.) College’s Witmer Woods on Jan. 15. (Goshen College photo by Brian Yoder Schlabach)

College Kindergarten students work in Witmer Woods on a fort made from branches during a Kinderforest Day on Jan. 15. (Goshen College photo by Brian Yoder Schlabach)

Teacher Jenna Labash talks to her Kindergarten class during a Kinderforest day in Witmer Woods last September. (Goshen College photo by Brian Yoder Schlabach)

About once a month, 24 students from the Goshen College Laboratory Kindergarten class—a partnership between the college’s education department and Goshen Community Schools—spend the day climbing trees, building shelters and making mud pies in Witmer Woods. 

Volunteers ‘go beyond’ in the community

Grade 9 Rockway students Thomas Klassen, left, and Haolin Li repair bicycles at the Working Centre’s Recycle Cycles shop in downtown Kitchener, Ont. (Rockway Mennonite Collegiate photo)

Our journey at Rockway focuses on students developing an ability to lead with compassion when classroom learning is extended so they can live out Christ-centred values, develop empathy and perspective, and serve the community locally and globally. This is the inspiration behind Rockway’s new Students Learning in Community (SLIC) partnerships. 

Seminarians study sustainability at Merry Lea

Benjamin and Rianna Isaak-Krauss sit in front of a pocket prairie at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center’s Rieth Village in Indiana. (Merry Lea photo)

A vision for incorporating sustainability into seminary education came to fruition in the fall of 2018 when two students from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) in Elkhart, Ind., joined the Sustainability Leadership Semester at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen (Ind.) College.

From Winnipeg to Win-Stick

RJC Grade 10 students pose with the Win-Stick, an artistic representation of what they learned on their class trip to Winnipeg. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

The Win-Stick, created by RJC’s Grade 10 students, tells the story of their class trip to Winnipeg, where they learned about many forms of injustice through the theme “Insiders and outsiders.” (Photo by Donna Schulz)

It’s called the Win-Stick and it tells a story. Created by the Grade 10 class at Rosthern Junior College (RJC), the Win-Stick expresses some of what they learned during a class trip to Winnipeg.

Training peacemakers through ‘Tough talk’

Rosthern Junior College student body. (Rosthern Junior College photo)

Rosthern Junior College held its fall Deeper Life Days in late October and early November. The topic was ‘Tough talk: Conversations about the Bible, peace and violence.’ (Rosthern Junior College photo)

“It’s called Deeper Life Days for a reason,” says Grade 11 student Shaelyn Nordmarken. Deeper Life Days give Rosthern Junior College (RJC) students opportunity to engage with challenging topics.

The topic was “Tough talk: Conversations about the Bible, peace and violence.” The event was held over four days in late October and early November 2018.

Exploring God’s call

Werner and Joanne DeJong enjoy the company of new friends in a coffee shop across from Meserete Kristos College in Ethiopia. ‘In a communal-based society like Ethiopia there are more opportunities to sit, visit and sip coffee under the trees,’ says Joanne, who is impressed with the strong emphasis the college places on peace, justice and community development. (Photo courtesy of Joanne DeJong)

Werner and Joanne DeJong faced a challenging decision. After many years of pastoral ministry with Edmonton’s Holyrood Mennonite Church, they felt called to consider ministry in East Africa. The call, however, was not equally clear for each of them or for their congregation.

Grebel sings to bridge gaps and build community

Grebel students, faculty and staff will spend the 2018-2019 school year intentionally singing together as a way of building bridges and exploring issues of diversity, justice, hospitality, faith and peace. (Photo by Jennifer Konkle)

At the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, students, staff and faculty at Conrad Grebel University College took a deep breath and sang together, first in unison, and then in several different parts to build a new melody. The piece called “We All Sing” was written by Karen Sunabacka, a Grebel prof, and commissioned for the College’s 2018-19 integration initiative.

Students gain out-of-school experience

Grade eight Rockway students, Alors Lin (foreground) and Ellery Ezekiel help plant one of 20 10’ by 10’ plots in the Courtland-Shelley Community Centre Garden. (Rockway Mennonite Collegiate photo)

The garden plots are open primarily to Courtland-Shelley townhouse residents. The gardeners come from many different cultures, making this an opportunity for Rockway students to learn about gardening and different cultural practices. (Rockway Mennonite Collegiate photo)

This past spring, students from Rockway Mennonite Collegiate’s Grade 8 class began participating in a new project whose goal is to build character, skills and perspective; and to create opportunity for students to serve our larger community.

Canadian schools show slight student increases

Systems design engineering student Isaac Veldhuis was among 40 official Orientation Week leaders who welcomed new students and their families to Conrad Grebel University College this September on Move-In Day. The eager crowd was greeted with cheers and a song, and students soon got to know each other during a week of games, activities, and an all-college retreat. (Grebel photo by Jennifer Konkle)

Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) students enjoy the sun and play games at the welcome festival on September 4. (Photo courtesy of Canadian Mennonite University)

Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Ont.

From ‘never a teacher’ to ‘why not?’

Photo courtesy of Henry Neufeld

Henry Neufeld’s first classroom in Pauingassi in 1956. (Photo courtesy of Henry Neufeld)

In northern Manitoba, winter travel in the 1960s was by snowmobile and summer travel was by boat. This early snowmobile was made by Ingham Brothers of Lanigan, Sask. The seat and steering at the front were connected to the frame and motor at the back by hinges on the runners. It was propelled by a metal cleat track. (Photo courtesy of Henry Neufeld)

Elna and Henry Neufeld are pictured in front of the Moose Lake School in 1952. (Photo courtesy of Henry Neufeld)

Henry Neufeld learned to fly this two-seater ‘bush plane,’ obtained in 1961 by the Mennonite Pioneer Mission. (Photo courtesy of Henry Neufeld)

“Never a teacher,” I declared from the time I was in public school, growing up in the Leamington district of southwestern Ontario.

Education equips Ethiopian leader to serve

Distance education director Tigist Alamirew, standing, with students in class at Meserete Kristos College in Debre Zeit, Ethiopia. (Photo courtesy of Tigist Alamirew)

Distance education director Tigist Alamirew at her desk at Meserete Kristos College in Debre Zeit, Ethiopia. (Photo courtesy of Tigist Alamirew)

“With the grace of God, I escaped many deaths throughout my journey in Christ,” says Tigist Alamirew. Born to an Orthodox family in Finote Selam, she now serves as distance education director at Meserete Kristos College in Debre Zeit, Ethiopia.

To serve and to give

Sandra Luna assists Jimmi Bedoya, 3, at Centro de Capacitación del Niño (Children’s Training Centre) in El Progreso, Soacha, outside Bogotá, Colombia, where Luna teaches Grade 1 and acts as one of the coordinators of the school. (MCC photo by Colin Vandenberg)

I was born in Santander in north-central Colombia. My husband and I married when he was 17 and I was 15, and we decided to come to Bogotá to look for a better life.

RJC performs Godspell

Kaitlyn Janzen (centre) leads the chorus in “O Bless The Lord.” The disciples and chorus used their own names for their characters in RJC’s production. (Photo by Rosthern Junior College)

John the Baptist (Nathan Bartel) “baptises” Benjamin Gerwing in the opening sequence, “Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord.” (Photo by Rosthern Junior College)

Every year, as part of homecoming and graduation weekend at Rosthern Junior College, the students present a large-scale musical. This year they performed Godspell by John-Michael Tebelak and Stephen Schwartz.

True connections

A Grade 3 class at Hagar Association made signs for International Tolerance Day to promote ethnic and religious tolerance in the region. Hagar is a bilingual MCC-supported school educating 330 Arab and Jewish children from age 1 to Grade 6 in Be’er Sheba, Israel. (Photo courtesy of the Hagar Association)

Tal Dayan, right, and Lev Zemer Gilboa-Oppenheim, left, attend Hagar Association, a bilingual MCC-supported school in Be’er-Sheva, Israel. (Photos courtesy of the Hagar Association)

Walk into Hagar Association, a school in Be’er-Sheva, Israel, and it looks like almost any other school. But if you listen closely, you’ll hear children speaking both Hebrew and Arabic, and see them playing together—uncommon sounds and sights in the region.

Nonviolent action in history and today

Karen Ridd facilitates the Village Game during her workshop at this year’s Red River Heritage Fair at the University of Winnipeg. (Photo courtesy of the Red River Heritage Fair)

“In the Second World War there were over 10,000 loyal Canadians who served Canada without weapons. What were they called?” This is the question Conrad Stoesz has been asking students at the Red River Heritage Fair for more than a decade.

Peace is everyone’s business

Constructing a house of peace that is inclusive, containing a health and safe environment in which the human soul can thrive requires the involvement of all vocations and disciplines. (Photo © istock.com/danr13)

The political scientist Harold Lasswell once defined politics to be “who gets what, when and how.” If that is politics, peace studies in contrast can be seen as an attempt to answer the question “why” things are given to whom, when and how.

A child’s world in the palm of their parents’ hands

Parents of students at Winnipeg Mennonite Elementary & Middle School can now download a school app to help them connect with their child’s school world.

When most parents send their elementary-and middle-school-aged children off to school, they rely on school websites and notes in their children’s backpack to keep them informed. But one Winnipeg school has changed all that. Now, Winnipeg Mennonite Elementary & Middle Schools (WMEMS) parents can download a school app to stay in the loop with their children’s world.

Drawing students ‘in’

During a chapel service, Grade 10 students from Rosthern Junior College present what they learned from their trip to Winnipeg. (Photo by Ryan Wood)

Grade 10 students at Rosthern Junior College debrief after a visit to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg. (Photo by Kenna Forrester)

In “Outwitted,” poet Edwin Markham writes: “He drew a circle that shut me out— / Heretic, a rebel, a thing to flout. / But love and I had the wit to win: / We drew a circle that took him in!”

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