Friday, April 15, 2016

Who Writes the Songs?

Well... We do - at least, Mr. Barnes and his music classes do! A super fun feature of our Spring Program this year was an original song from each class.  The 2016 program, titled "Who Writes the Songs?," kicked off with a salute to the flag featuring local law enforcement officers and the audience joining in the singing of the national anthem, followed by the K-6 classes joining together to sing "Seek Ye First." Each of the  classrooms then presented a collection of songs, including one they wrote themselves with help from our multi-talented Mr. Barnes.  The students determined the theme for their songs, and worked on lyrics and music together.

Original songs for the evening included:
"When You Make God Happy" - Kindergarten
"Ninjas and Zombies" - 1st and 2nd
"White Hills of Nebraska" (played on the recorders) - 3rd and 4th
"Lilly's Tune" - (recorder) by Lilly, 3rd grade
"Black Night" - (recorder) by Jaelyn, 4th grade
"Genesis" - 5th and 6th grades

Judging by the reaction from the crowd present, "Ninjas and Zombies" might have been the favorite in the original song category.  Other highlights of the evening included guitar and piano pieces from Faythe and Leyton, junior high guitar students, and Malachi, 6th grade piano student. The 5th and 6th grade class presented a beautiful worship set, and the program concluded with all the classes again on stage together, singing "Shine, Jesus, Shine."

Mr. Barnes and the students definitely deserve an "Academy" award for a great program: a wide variety of selections, plus the original songs, made for an enjoyable evening celebrating God's gift of music and our student's artistry!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

ACSI Giving Day and 24 Hour Prayer: THANK YOU!

from Erik Ritschard, Administrator

We are SO GRATEFUL to all of you who supported us during ACSI Giving Day and our 24 Hour Day of Prayer!  Many of you prayed for us throughout the day yesterday (some of you in the middle of the night...) - THANK YOU! With your generous support we raised a little over $2000.00, which means that DPCA receives about $1800 - a huge help for us right now - and we get to contribute the remaining $200 or so to international Christian schools who are sharing the good news of the gospel with kids in their parts of the world.

What is ACSI?  DPCA is a member school in a broad and committed family of about 24,000 Christian schools around the world called the Association of Christian Schools International. ACSI schools serve about 5.5 million students, and the Association provides member schools a number of services, including professional development, teacher certification, school improvement programs, legal resources, curricular resources, standardized testing, and more.  As a school community, we've been enriched and helped over the years by our membership in ACSI, so it really is a privilege this Giving Day to be able to both receive your gifts to us, and contribute to the health of some of our fellow Christian schools overseas. If you'd like to learn a little more about the work of international Christian schools, ACSI's work in other countries, and see some examples of our shared vision and ministry of Christian schooling, check out this video:

The video is just from one country - some of the exciting things the Lord is doing through Christian schooling in Paraguay.  Imagine the multiplied results of Christian schools in the lives of students like Valeria all around the world and across the U.S.!  

We love that we can weave a call to love for God and neighbor all through every school day at DPCA.  We love that we get to share in this task with thousands of other Christian educators around the world. And we love that so many of you made time yesterday to pray for us, to make a donation, and to be partners with us.  THANK YOU!

If you didn't get a chance to join in yesterday, it's not too late! Pray for us!  You can click here to go to our prayer page.  You can click here to make a donation.  If you'd like a percentage of your donation to go to ACSI to help with schools like Valeria's overseas, tell us that in the comment section, and we will handle that part of the donation for you as well.  If you would like to learn more about ACSI, click here.  And if you want more general information about who we are and our vision at DPCA, click here.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Super Speller!

Congratulations to Dixie, who placed 2nd in the 5th grade group at the Avery Parsons Elementary Spelling Bee on January 11.  Way to spell, Dixie!

Dixie is in Mr. Hoppen's 5th and 6th grade class at DPCA. We're proud of her faithful scholarship!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015!

by Isaiah Durbin, student boosters small group

Mr. Barnes put together another wonderful Christmas program. He has put so much time and effort into his programs and this year was yet another example of his hard work. Some elements of the program come together at the last moment - one thing he mentioned was that the different classes had learned a song separately and come together to do it for the first time that morning! First and second grade said they had fun learning with Mr. Barnes. 

Every year we have a Christmas tree decorating contest where the grades are separated out and get to decorate their own tree. Kindergarten had a foil tree where they made ornaments and a star out of foil. First and second grade had a snowflake tree with candy canes. Third and fourth had a camping tree complete with s’mores ornaments.  Fifth and sixth had their traditional World Vision tree with picture of many flags of countries across the world, which leads me to another topic I will discuss in a moment. The 7th and 8th grade class had a heritage tree covered with little snippets of information about our American heritage. Ninth through twelfth had the simplicity tree (their excuse for not decorating the tree). The trees are then judged by the people who attend the Christmas program by donating money to the tree they think is the best. That money is then put into our World Vision missions fund. Our winning tree this year was the 5th and 6th grade, who brought in an additional $103.00 for our World Vision shopping day.
I mentioned World Vision a little bit ago. Every semester the entire school gets together for World Vision Chapel where we buy things for people in need with the money that we raise throughout the year and from donations we get for each tree. It's a lot of fun and everyone participates. World Vision Chapel is Friday, December 18, 2015, and all parents are invited to join us.

 Thanks again to all the parents and guests who came out to join us for the Christmas program!  We do wish you all a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Operation Christmas Child

by Heather Burdges and Faythe Baxter, Student Boosters small group

 We had a large group take advantage of the opportunity given to us to volunteer at the Operation Christmas Child Warehouse in Denver. This is one of nine facilities in the United States. This organization’s goal is to tell people of the good news of Jesus and to point people towards God. The nine facilities in United States send out approximately 8.6 million shoeboxes every year. The Denver facility proposed a goal to send out 800,000 shoeboxes around Christmas in 2015. 

While some who had volunteered before were excited to again participate in this activity, those who had not partaken before saw the excitement of others with experience and were encouraged by the positive atmosphere walking into the warehouse. “It was a good experience; it really put things into perspective for me. We take our Christmas and gifts that we get for granted and forget about how fortunate we are especially around Christmas time,” Tori McManamay (9th) said. 

Some of the roles that we played at the OCC warehouse included a pre-inspector, an inspector, a taper, a scanner, and a “cartonizer.” The pre-inspector would look through the box for donations for shipping to the organization, the inspector would examine the box for any items such as liquids, foods, or anything that could ruin the box or put the child in danger. Next the taper would tape the box shut to seal it, and they would give it to the scanner if it had a bar code on it in order for the family to track their box in order to see what country their shoebox traveled to. Lastly, the “cartonizer” would pack the shoeboxes into a box to be shipped. “It was a good experience because I got to take part in bringing joy to children around the world. I got the opportunity to be the scanner of my station. Scanning allows you to keep track of the boxes so that we make sure to know where the boxes go. As the scanner, I held the responsibility that every box was accounted for so that the people who donated the extra money for tracking can have peace of mind when they see where their shoeboxes were delivered,” said Tanner Culp (12th). In the midst of the work, everyone in the warehouse would stop for a minute to pray over the boxes and to be reminded of how much of an impact we are making on many children.

 All of the students and staff had a great time packing the boxes for the children and all had a great attitude, even after a four hour shift. It was certainly difficult to stay standing for that long period of time, but everyone had a great time and couldn’t believe that four hours had passed by so quickly. The thought of a child’s face first opening that gift kept us working hard to get as much done in the time we were given. We hope to have another opportunity to volunteer at Operation Christmas Child again in the future.

Thanksgiving Chapel

By secondary students in the Student Booster small group

Thank you to everyone who attended and contributed to the Thanksgiving Chapel!  We extend our gratitude to all the volunteers and donations that made the event possible. Parents and students alike enjoyed grade-level
elementary performances including songs, verse recitation, and a one-act play, while the secondary school contributed poems and foreign language orations.

Chapel was followed by a luncheon made possible by our middle school students and parent volunteers. In total, we served over two-hundred patrons and raised fifty dollars in donations for World Vision. Darren Patterson Christian Academy is thankful for you and your contributions this Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

EMH Instructor Lindy Reese Completes Wilderness First Aid

by Erik Ritschard, Administrator

Miss Reese teaches EMH courses and English
Over the weekend of October 3-4, Ekklesia Mountain High instructor and DPCA teacher Lindy Reese completed her Wilderness First Aid certification, raising her first aid skills from general first aid with AED and CPR to more advanced abilities suitable to EMH wilderness courses and instruction.  Here's what Lindy had to say about her experience taking the class:

This past weekend I had the opportunity to take a class through the National Outdoor Leadership School on Wilderness First Aid. The course was taught by instructors from the Wilderness Medical Institute and included twenty hours of fast paced, hands-on training. Classroom lectures and demonstrations were combined with realistic scenarios in order to practice knowledge and skills.  In two short days, we studied patient assessment techniques along with a wide range of treatments options geared towards wilderness settings. In addition, we learned how to make critical medical and evacuation decisions for remote locations. I found this course to be expressly applicable to working with EMH students as well as to my own lifestyle and outdoor pursuits.

The most challenging and helpful aspect of this course were the scenarios integrated throughout. These situations required quick analysis and creative critical thinking. Instructors would pull aside people from the class and give them incredibly realistic wounds using stage make-up. They would assign each “patient” a personal medical history, symptoms, levels of responsiveness, and a detailed rendering of the situation involving their injury. The patients would go outside and position themselves accordingly - sometimes crumpled on the ground moaning from a fall or hyperventilating from shock - each patient really committed to acting out the scene in order to make it as realistic as possible. Then, the instructors would prepare the rest of the class separately by describing the scenario in which we would come across the patient. The rescuers would go outside, sometimes to find fairly gory scenes, and begin to figure out how to connect with and care for the patients.

These situations felt very realistic and challenged me to immediately implement the things I was hearing, seeing, and writing down in class. They also tested each participant’s ability to remain calm, communicate clearly, act efficiently, and administer care accordingly. The variety and frequency of these scenarios continually reinforced skills taught in the classroom. This unique format was effective in solidifying skills and in building confidence.  I found that I loved learning about the detailed medical aspects of patient care and, perhaps just as importantly, I discovered that my personality was very well suited to performing in high-pressure situations...

Kate on winter mountaineering course winter 2015
Ekklesia Mountain High provides high adventure for students - and we want to be sure our instructors are well-equipped for the task of leading students in meaningful, adventurous wilderness courses.  On-going training for our instructors is part of our program and helps ensure that EMH courses are run well and carefully to provide great experiences for the students.  Both Lindy and Jordan Euler, our lead instructor, will be completing additional avalanche training in early December, and Mr. Euler holds and keeps current a Wilderness First Responder certificate, yet another level of training above Wilderness First Aid, and the eventual next step in Lindy's first aid training as well.   I am really proud of our wilderness instructors' conscientious and careful efforts to provide such great care for our kids when they are on course, and appreciate Lindy's diligence this last weekend in completing her Wilderness First Aid. 

For more information (and great pictures!) about DPCA' EMH program, please visit