The mission of San Jose Christian School is to advance the kingdom of God through exceptional teaching and curriculum fully integrated with a Biblical perspective. Within our Christian community, we seek to engage and transform culture for Jesus Christ.
Ask elementary students about a favorite part of school and you will likely hear, “RECESS!” Mister Rogers himself would agree that recess is an important and necessary “classroom” as he noted, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” The well-known poem "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" confirms this viewpoint with its opening lines, “All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in Kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile…”
At San Jose Christian our Reformed perspective starts at creation with the truth that the whole world belongs to God for God’s kingdom purposes. Eden was paradise where people were created for flourishing. This is why we teach the whole child at SJCS and why all aspects of our time at school–classes, collaborative work, spiritual practices, relationship-building, recess and playground time–are valuable and critical parts of the school day. Seriously!
Part of my job description as Teaching Principal is to “foster sound relationships among students, parents, staff, and Board; oversee student discipline and advancement of citizenship and spiritual/emotional/academic growth; and mentor and counsel students as needed through transitions or growth.” This is no small task, and, by its very nature, will not be complete until Jesus comes again. Given the challenge and scope, I see student support as one of the most difficult yet kingdom-oriented parts of my job at SJCS. I have opportunities every day to see God at work and join Him in that good work, work which can bring the kingdom of God here on earth and give glimpses of the paradise for which we were created.
The playground is full of opportunities for us to transform culture for Jesus Christ.
What might paradise, the flourishing for which we were intended, look like at SJCS? Imagine a playground where differences in students are celebrated and enjoyed. Imagine a recess game where each student joyfully and purposefully contributes. Imagine a conversation between principal and parent where grace and truth coexist. Imagine two students practicing conflict resolution tools which lead to forgiveness and healing in the relationship. Friends—these are all marks of God’s kingdom here on earth! The playground is full of opportunities for us to transform culture for Jesus Christ.
We were created for paradise! We see this paradise in part whenever God’s will is done or His power is shown. But it is an already-not yet kingdom until Jesus comes again. Until that day, we have good work to do in moving toward the flourishing for which we were created. Here are some of the intentional ways we are living out God’s kingdom at SJCS.
August | Grades 1-5 students gathered in the auditorium for a Playground Presentation to establish procedures and expectations in a community setting. Teachers joined the fun by role-playing for students what good choices can look like on the playground.
September | Our first Grade 5 Recess Pieces students started their leadership role. Each one completed an application which included self-reflection on servant leadership. Six students applied for the position and were chosen to serve this year. The Recess Pieces support the recess monitors with playground equipment pickup and advise the Teaching Principal in understanding concerns of our playground culture.
October, January, March, May | Four times throughout the school year I go into elementary classrooms to lead a Principal Connect session on an area of social-emotional well-being. In October we explored self-awareness, the ability to understand one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values. We recognized the range of emotions God created in us as a stepping stone to understanding self and promoting communication about our emotions with the important people in our lives. (If you are an SCJS parent you can read about this Principal Connect in your student’s Faith Journey postings.) Upcoming Principal Connect sessions will focus on self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.
Year-round | I have the heavy and holy responsibility to walk students through conflict resolution and choice-making. If students come to my office after a conflict, we take time to practice active listening. During this time of gathering information, each of us listens fully to the other without interrupting. In a culture where assumptions and interruptions are the norm, we want to listen well to one another to hear the heart and seek healing and restoration in relationship to God, self, and others.Through object lessons such as a quarter in my hand, a string held by two people, two concentric circles, or an apple placed among a group, I help students consider what a step forward might look like.
Imagining paradise in our daily lives sharpens our purpose and moves us forward in kingdom-minded ways. God made a beautiful, whole, fully-alive creation meant for flourishing and His glory. While we are reminded daily of the sin within ourselves and others, as Christians we have hope based on the truth of the resurrection. We can love those who hurt us because God loved us first while we were still in sin. We can seek healing and restoration because the Holy Spirit bears fruit in us of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. While this “work” is not always easy, it is good. It is God’s work in and through us that brings God glory.
Father, we praise you as our Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer, and Provider. You are holy, God! We confess our sin to you today—sins of pride, gossip, grudge, or hate. While we are still far off, you look for us as a Loving Father, and run toward us, welcoming us into your arms with feasting and joy. In this day, whether on the playground, in the classroom, at the office, or at home, may we see where you are at work and humble ourselves to live in ways that bring your kingdom here on earth. Amen.
Kaboom! and Delta Air Lines partnered together to build a new play space for San Jose Christian School. Through the playground grant program, Kaboom! provides many kids a space to play and let their imaginations soar. We are so blessed to be a recipient of the Kaboom! Grant and our students have enjoyed their new space immensely. Recently Kaboom! provided San Jose Christian School this special digital storybook keepsake to commemorate the wonderful gift we received in December 2020.
San Jose Christian School, Delta Air Lines and KABOOM! Work to End Playspace Inequity with a New Playground in Campbell, CA.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
San Jose Christian School, Delta Air Lines and KABOOM! Work to End Playspace Inequity with a New Playground in Campbell, CA
The new playspace brings joy to hundreds of kids after months of playground closures
(Campbell, CA – December 14, 2020) – Kids at San Jose Christian School (SJCS) in Campbell are celebrating today because they have a great new place to play. For months, representatives from San Jose Christian School, Delta and KABOOM! (the nonprofit organization focused on ending playspace inequity) have been working together to increase access to playspaces for local kids with the creation of a new, kid-designed playground that was installed on December 8, 2020. The playground will give kids an incredible place to play close to where they live and learn, an opportunity that is often hard to achieve.
Since 1959, San Jose Christian School has been partnering with Christian families to provide students with a strong foundation for life. SJCS started the school year with distance learning but remained hopeful Santa Clara County would accept their waiver application to have on-campus instruction. The County approved their waiver application and SJCS has been operating under this waiver since September 28th and continues to have on-campus instruction. Individual learning cohorts will begin using the playspace as an early Christmas present before the Christmas break.
Mr. Buddy Hucks, Head of School at San Jose Christian School said, “Considering the year we have had, San Jose Christian School is feeling blessed to have on-campus instruction and have a new playground. It is fantastic to hear the children learn and play on campus. The students love being on campus and have adjusted very well to the protocols put in place to be open. They are certainly excited to play on and explore the new playground.”.
Mr. Hucks added, “We are so grateful for this opportunity to create memories for our students that will last a lifetime. The playground we replaced was more than 20 years old. It was well used and created lasting memories for many generations. It is very exciting to think of the memories and friendships that will be created on this new playground provided by Delta Air Lines and KABOOM!.”
In October, kids from the SJCS community participated in a virtual Design Day where they creatively thought of ideas to create their dream playground. The new playground, which was designed with inspiration from their drawings, will provide hundreds of kids and their families with an incredible playspace that can spark hope and enable kids to reach their full potential.
While San Jose Christian School is currently operating with a closed campus due to the COVID-19 crisis, their team is looking forward to opening the playspace to their surrounding neighbors to enjoy when it is safe to do so.
KABOOM! knows that playspaces are essential to resilience, health and childhood. The communities that have been hit the hardest by COVID-19 are more likely to be communities of color that also often lack access to parks and playspaces due to historic disinvestment. The partners have teamed up to help end playspace inequity, creating a new place for kids to play that reflects the neighborhood’s unique needs and aspirations, and gives every kid the opportunity to experience the joys of childhood.
“We know disasters and crises often exacerbate the inequities that communities are already experiencing, and in many communities, kids won’t have a playground to go back to once the COVID-19 crisis is over,” says James Siegal, CEO of KABOOM!. “We must stop the playspace inequities from becoming even deeper after we get through this pandemic, giving every kid the chance to play and just enjoy being a kid.”
Through its partnership with Delta, KABOOM! is committed to ending playspace inequity for kids, for communities, for good.
To ensure that playgrounds are able to open safely in every community, KABOOM! has issued important playground guidance that all communities, playground owner/operators and caregivers can follow. The guidance can be viewed or downloaded at kaboom.org/reopen.
About San Jose Christian School
Since 1959, San Jose Christian School has been partnering with Christian families to provide students with a strong foundation for life. We prepare students for academic success in high school and beyond, and we care deeply about each child’s physical, social, and spiritual development. At San Jose Christian School, we teach students to develop a Biblical worldview where they are discerners and world-changers. We believe in teaching the Whole Child, recognizing that God created us all with different abilities and gifts. We hold every student to his or her level of Educational Excellence within a safe and loving environment.
About Delta Air Lines
Delta’s mission to connect the world starts with its commitment to being a strong partner to the communities where our employees live, work and serve. Giving back has been core to Delta and its culture for the past 90 years, demonstrated by its commitment to invest in charitable organizations each year. Delta, The Delta Air Lines Foundation and its employees contribute thousands of volunteer hours and millions of dollars to a host of causes across the globe.
Delta has also been named an honoree of The Civic 50 by Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service for the past three years in a row. In 2019, for a third straight year, Delta landed on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list, the only airline to do so. Delta has also been named Best Workplaces for Diversity, Women and Millennials by Fortune and Great Places to Work.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta has served as many as 200 million people a year, taking customers across an industry-leading global network of up to 300 destinations in over 50 countries. More about Delta can be found on Delta News Hub as well as delta.com, via @DeltaNewsHub on Twitter and Facebook.com/delta.
KABOOM! is the national non-profit that works to achieve playspace equity. Kids who don’t have access to play miss out on childhood and are denied critical opportunities to build physical, social and emotional health. And all too often, it more deeply affects communities of color. So we amplify the power of communities to build inspiring playspaces that spark unlimited opportunities for every kid, everywhere. KABOOM! has teamed up with partners to build or improve 17,000+ playspaces, engage more than 1.5 million community members and bring joy to more than 11 million kids. To learn about our goal to end playspace inequity for good, visit kaboom.org and join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom, facebook.com/kaboom and instagram.com/kaboom.
San Jose Christian School: Christopher Pinkham | 408-371-7741 | email@example.com
Delta Air Lines: Delta Media | 404-715-2554 | firstname.lastname@example.org
KABOOM!: Tamara Grider | 202-464-6411 | email@example.com