Each year I look forward to connecting with you during our Caring Is Sharing Annual Fund Campaign, not just to invite you to join the celebration of supporting Christian Education in Peterborough but to share with you some of the amazing ways God is using YOU to help our students and Rhema Christian School!
This year I can’t wait to tell you about a student of ours, who is now in Grade Two. This young lad had a really tough time last year as he made the adjustment from Kindergarten to Grade One. Perhaps you can recall those Kindergarten moments of your childhood - the paint, the naps, the playhouse. Who wouldn’t want to stay in Kindergarten forever? For this little one, the struggle was more than the typical first-day tears, for he was a runner. He ran after his mom, he ran out of the class, he ran down the hall, he ran, ran, ran. For the staff, we were running out of ideas. We were running out of patience. Mom and Dad were running out of steam. But we didn’t run out of hope. At Rhema, we are known for never giving up. As we met as a staff, we prayed. As we met with the parents, we prayed. As we fell into bed at night, we prayed. We all ran into the arms of God, who gave us wisdom and strength in the struggle. It was soon determined that a “graduated entry” into Grade One was the best way to approach the tricky transition.
Now it must be said that it wasn’t without difficulty, this graduated start into Grade One. For Mom, it meant a daily commitment to bring her runner (with 3 younger ones in tow!) to school for what was, at first, a 15 minute stretch of time, then a 20, and so on, to then take him home again, in order for our runner to experience short bouts of success. This meant Mom would drive into town, stay briefly, come back to Rhema for a Hi-5 check in, pick up our runner and return to Rhema again at the end of the day to pick up their other school-aged child. Big deal? Yes, BIG DEAL. They live 40 minutes out of town. And they did this for several weeks. The weeks turned into months but the time spent at school did increase! The Hi-5’s were abundant. The staff cheered. The parents cheered. The students cheered with their friend. Our runner made it to recess, to lunch, and eventually, to the end of the day. Hallelujah!
Success stories such as this one are woven into every family who has a child at our school. You understand how the ups and downs of parenting are challenging. You understand how exhausting and exhilarating it is to raise children! Our partnership with parents and families make a difference, and it’s a privilege to be part of each life story!
At Rhema, each child has a success story that will carry over into their adult life. Perhaps they don’t realize it at the time, but sure enough, when speaking with our graduates, our alumni and our students who now have Rhema children of their own - the lessons they learn about perseverance, patience, commitment, accountability, compassion and just plain grit are the things they recall most now as adults. At Rhema, we stand shoulder to shoulder, overcoming the odds, pushing through the difficulties, praying through the trials, and celebrating it all. We love that you can celebrate with us!
This is why we have a Caring is Sharing Campaign. Given that the cost of education is much greater than what the yearly tuition covers, the Caring Is Sharing Campaign is held every year. It’s an Annual Fund. It is essential in filling the gap between tuition and operating expenses. Each year, Caring is Sharing helps control tuition increases – making Christian education affordable to families in our community – while providing funding for many of Rhema’s most pressing needs.
Your donations keep our Special Education programming available. Your donations continue to provide an amazing Music and French program for our students. Your donations help purchase technology to run a 21st Century classroom. We can take amazing trips, we can offer dynamic sports opportunities for our students and we can be involved in our community. Thank you!
Not only is your support critical to maintaining excellent programming for our students, I can’t say enough about what it does for our staff and teachers. Your support gives them confidence. It encourages them. It motivates them to master their practice, that they might reach every student. Thank you for helping us make breakthroughs that open doors to a lifetime of learning.
Did you know that many of our Rhema students move on to become Ontario Scholars? Our graduates become Valedictorians, top Provincial Athletes, engineers, nurses, technicians, missionaries. They lead. They work with their hands. They serve. They pray. They go out into the world ready - ready to move in the way God leads them. They bring about hope for the future, with Christ at the centre of their very being.
This year our Goal for the Caring is Sharing Annual Fund Campaign is $100,000.
Last year, we started the campaign with goal of $20,000. We were trying to manage our school with what we considered to be an “achievable” level of donations, and make our expenses fit within our revenues. In hindsight, that effort placed a heavier burden on our staff than it was wise to ask.
Even as the Caring is Sharing campaign was beginning, we were realizing that with just a little more staff, we could dramatically change that dynamic. So we prayed. We knew our finances couldn’t manage hiring another teacher. But God lead us to trust Him more, to ask for more, and we prayed for more…and God provided a miraculously larger amount of donations than we ever planned through the incredible generosity of donors throughout the entire year! Not only were we able to make the required staff additions, God provided us with the financial reserves that enabled us to commit to the same staffing configuration again this year, even in the absence of certainty of what our revenues would be. Praise God!
The impact has been remarkable. Our parents are extremely satisfied with the experience Rhema provides for their children and their families. Re-enrolment is at the highest it’s been since any of us can remember. Our students are thriving. We see the “green shoots” of growth sprouting up everywhere. God is at work in us!
Will you pray with us and for us? Will you share our story with everyone you know; that we might see a miraculous event? Will you connect with your employers, your families, your friends and your churches to help support our school? Will you nurture these green shoots of growth?
We have the building and the staff and the passion to bless more families. We pray expectantly for God to bring them to us. As we wait, our Caring is Sharing Campaign goal of $100,000 will get us through this year in a strong financial position; a position to continue offering double grades and a position that will ensure that Rhema remains strong for another year.
In Christ’s Service,
Principal Sheila May
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us."
P.S.Our Grade One Runner is now doing very well in Gr. 2. In fact, he’s been known to tell his teacher that he wants for her to check his work for mistakes, so he can fix them, and make his work better. Wow. Now he’s running strong!