“Grandma, Grandpa, I have something really important that I need to ask you.” The door to Grandpa and Grandma’s house had been opened by a very sincere and serious six-year-old boy. “Will you please sponsor me so I can help the people in Hawaii that were in the fire?” You can be sure Grandma and Grandpa were more than willing to help the little guy out! The teachers at College View Academy are trying to focus their students’ attention on helping others, just like Jesus did. Last October grades K-5 participated in a read-a-thon to raise money for the “Maui Fire Relief Fund.”
To kick off the read-a-thon day, Principal Casey Prindle had worship with the students. He read from a book that taught that one of the best gifts we can give to Jesus is our time. Then for the next several hours that’s just exactly what the students did.
Weeks earlier students had gone around asking friends, family and acquaintances to sponsor their participation in the read-a-thon. Each student was given a “Reading Passport.” On the passport were a number of activities they were to accomplish throughout the morning. Some of the activities included the following: read with a flashlight, read outside, read with a stuffed animal. The day also included several guest readers, buddy reading, YouTube stories, and reading stories on tablets.
The money collected was sent to the Hawaii Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. The students and teachers are grateful that they were able to help provide funds to ease some of the suffering. It was so exciting when the students used Zoom to talk to Erik VanDenburgh, the conference president from Hawaii. His eyes got really big, and everyone erupted with joy and astonishment when Mrs. Finch, the second grade teacher, announced that over $7,840 had been raised.
Pastor VanDenburgh showed the students pictures of the destruction throughout the area. All were amazed when they saw a picture of a whole neighborhood burned to the ground except one building: the Adventist church. It had been spared with little to no damage. Even the interior was free from the smell of smoke.
Families have found refuge in this miracle church. The money raised will be used to help support the children of these families in order to attend the Adventist school in the area. The students and teachers at College View Academy know that Jesus is pleased they gave of their time in helping others.
Kirk Powell is a retired CVA teacher and current volunteer outreach coordinator for CVA’s K-5 team.