The teachers and Hillcrest constituency are working diligently to train their students to be servants of God in their local community of Jamestown, North Dakota. On Sept. 21, 2016, students, teachers and volunteers went into the community for the first bi-annual Hillcrest Help-Out Day. Students were divided into groups and dispersed all over Jamestown to perform acts of kindness.
In the past two years, students have made the Jamestown community a better place by cleaning food and water dishes and socializing with the animals at the Humane Society, picking up trash in various locations, cleaning and weeding at a cemetery, and raking leaves. Students come away from each Help-Out Day excited for the next one. They get to work with friends and make a difference in their community. The most exciting thing is they are learning the importance of service.
Block party with a purpose
Hillcrest Adventist Elementary School has come up with a creative marketing strategy. The school has joined with the local church’s community service organization to participate in the University of Jamestown block party. This is a community event to welcome the freshmen at the University of Jamestown and help them see what is available in the town.
On a Thursday afternoon, at the end of August, about three blocks are closed off and tables are set up representing businesses, churches, schools—you name it! The whole community shows up to take part in the free food and giveaways at the tables. It is a time of fellowship where connections are made.
The Jamestown Adventist Church reserved a table and prepared vegetarian sloppy joes to serve. Brenda Weber, a parent at Hillcrest, decided to also put together Ziploc bags with eight science experiments in each bag. She enlisted the help of three Hillcrest students: Noah Weber, Ana Weber, and Aubrey Babcock. The students made up 150 bags to give away. The school emblem was on the front of the bag and school contact information was on the back.
Since teachers, parents and students were attending Dakota Conference’s Outdoor School the day of the block party, Pastor James Venegas and Pastor Casey Bartlett manned the table. They handed out 142 bags to young people who came by. The pastors’ knowledge, enthusiasm and positive promotion of the school led to many people requesting more information about Hillcrest. Next year Mrs. Weber plans to make a Ziploc bag full of old-fashioned games.
It is evident that Hillcrest is training its students in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it (Prov. 22:6).
—Sue Nelson is education superintendent for the Dakota Conference.