February News Notes from Dakota Conference Education
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Archived newsletters can be accessed from the Newsletter link at the top of our Dakota Conference Education  website. 

Thoughts From Under the Desk . . . 

--Brad Gienger, Children's Ministries/Sabbath School/Pathfinders

Proverbs 11:2 says, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.” The contrast between pride and humility and their relationship to wisdom is striking to me because I often find myself being prideful of my wisdom. It is so easy for me to become haughty in an area of strength. Prideful to the degree that any insight I may have is, according to this proverb, disgrace. How do we go about maintaining humility in areas that we are strong, for many of us areas that we are employed to be strong in?
Jesus makes a case of His own in Matthew 5:5, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” According to Jesus the humble, or meek, are blessed because they will inherit the earth.  Inheriting the earth sounds like strength, so Jesus suggests that there is a way for someone to be strong while maintaining humility. How? Paul wraps it all up for us in Philippians 2, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name.” How do strength and humility come together? By focusing upon and giving everything to Jesus, God in turn grants strength and humility.

Heard Around the Conference. . .

“Do I have to play the PE game? When I run too much, I get tired and start breathing funny and lose all my energy!” ~Rapid City Kindergartener

I walked into my classroom during recess and found a couple 3rd graders running around my room in their socks. When I asked why they weren’t outside and why they’d taken their snow boots off, a boy responded, “Because we’re trying to warm up our freezing phalanges!” ~Rapid City

I’m currently reading Hatchet to my students as a read aloud and Too Much Salt and Pepper with one reading group. We’ve been keeping up with the and, which is the adventures of Dave and Amy Freeman who are spending a year in the Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota in order to raise awareness for protecting nature and the wilderness. We’ve even been writing back and forth with them and they were excited to share with the class about their recent encounter with a wolf pack. The students have enjoyed seeing their pictures and learning more about the special nature that God has created and entrusted to our care. ~Rapid City

~ What have YOU heard in or about our schools? Add your contribution at:

School of the Month - 
Hillcrest Adventist Elementary School

Article by Mrs. RaeLea Frishman, Teacher
The first semester has been filled with guest speakers and educational field trips for the students at Hillcrest SDA Elementary! 
We started the year off with the fifth  and sixth graders attending Eco-Ed Day at  Pipestem Dam Recreation Area to study  natural resources. They visited different  stations and learned about the different  kinds of soils, stream flow, watersheds,  wildlife, and even saw a live bald eagle.
Just about a month later and we had our first guest speaker, Barbara McClintock. Barbara is an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator. It just so happens that her parents are neighbors of a school family and she agreed to visit our school while she was in town to visit her parents. Not only did she share some of her books with us and tell us secrets about some of the drawings and character’s names, but the students were able to play some drawing games with her.
In the month of October, the fifth graders spent a day at the University of Jamestown for Math Day. College students from the math and science departments created stations for the students. They went from room to room to learn new ideas while actually trying things out for themselves and experimenting. A big hit among the students was the bed of nails! There was also disappearing glass, card tricks using math, musical beakers filled with different levels of water, noodle structures, medical bandaging, and making and racing Lego cars to test the aerodynamics.
A couple of weeks later, the director of Math Day, Julia Peterson, visited our school to share some of her activities with the rest of the upper grades class. Regardless to say, they were feeling left out until she came! They enjoyed learning how math is used in every life and careers.
 Throughout the first semester the lower  grades' room had a special visitor as well.  Christina Rittenbach, Extension Agent for  NDSU, came to the classroom to talk about  nutrition. She visited once a week and  discussed the five food groups. Each week Christina came with a different topic as well as fun activities!
The most recent field trip was when the fourth graders went to Agriculture in the Classroom sponsored by the NDSU Extension Service. The students enjoyed six breakout sessions discussing honey farms, wheat products, soy products, careers in farming, organic farms, and cattle farms. Then they participated in a large scavenger hunt on the main floor of the civic center!
We are also blessed to have Pastor James Venegas who comes to our school every Wednesday to have worship with the students. It is definitely a highlight  of everyone’s week.
 We look forward to what the rest of the year  will bring! The upper graders are looking  forward to Music Festival and Academy  Days at DAA. The lower graders are  excited for their spring field trip! The eighth  graders are really looking forward to their  8th grade class trip to Minneapolis in April.  They have spent many hours working and fundraising. It just can’t seem to come soon enough for them!

(Photo Credits: Carol Toay and RaeLea Frishman) 

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