Welcome Class of '34
The first day of kindergarten is sweet and salty swirled together. It is a great big, joy-filled day for our little learners (and their parents!) A day that marks the beginning of a journey. At Landmark Christian School, it is a journey that parents will not make alone but in community.
Community of Love and Grace
Every kindergartner was met and welcomed with an open and gentle spirit. Even masked, the students' and teachers' happiness radiated out of them.
Sometimes it is hard to grasp the full beauty of a thing or take it all in at once, either because we are standing in the middle of it or looking up at it. But every once in a while, we catch a glimpse of where we've been, where we are, and where we're headed. First days are like that.
One of our first-day moms works at a private college preparatory school in College Park. Her family also lives in an area with "exceptionally" ranked public schools. When it came time to enroll her child in kindergarten, she was conflicted about where she wanted him to go. While touring the other private school and her neighborhood public school, she shares, "it felt like something was missing." After processing with her husband later that evening, it occurred to her...that what was missing was Jesus.
God laid on this mom's heart a dream for a school in which Christ was the center. "Children need to hear about Jesus and experience the love of Christ - not just from mom and dad, but from their teachers," she says.
This mom had heard about Landmark from a friend - so she picked up the phone and called. On Friday, August 13, 2021 - her son became a Landmark War Eagle.
Mrs. Denise Gunn, Director of Early Childhood Center (ECC), believes that providing a faith-based environment is the foundation that will uphold children as they begin their lifelong journey of learning and discovery. She shares, “our goal in the ECC is to meet the individual child's needs within the framework of the group, never losing sight of the powerful impact our actions and words will have on the child. Recognizing that children are unique, we embrace their originality. Every child is to be honored for who they are. For they are God’s Masterpieces.
Faith, fun, and learning are words anchored into ECC. As the children pretend to swim in the IMAGINATION STATION sea, their teachers are more like gardeners tilling the soil and planting seeds rich in values, gratitude, and hope. "What we teach a child today will make a difference in who they are tomorrow," says Mrs. Gunn.
Applying God's Truth in Our Daily Lives
"As we see what makes each child unique, as we help uncover their talents, we are demonstrating love towards a child. That process affirms the deep knowing that they are loveable (by more than just their parents and grandparents). We connect for them our actions with our words and the Word of Scripture. From that love, they feel safe to ask questions; they are listened to. They feel safe to share their hopes and their worries,” Jordan Walker, Assistant Elementary Principal.
Children remind us that life was given as a gift. God wants us to enjoy it. "Celebration" is a spiritual discipline - kids remind us of that so well.
At Landmark, our elementary teachers partner with parents to influence a child's life's course and ultimate harvest. There is nothing nobler than that. That starts with identifying and supporting excellent teachers. All of our teachers are unique and incredible individuals who share one common characteristic: Christ is the center of their lives and work.
Rise up, War Eagle!
There are many layers of meaning within the origin of Landmark. Isaiah 40:31 was the guiding scripture of our founding families. War Eagle was chosen as our mascot. These founders knew what most of us are just now learning: eagles fearlessly face storms, unlike all other winged creatures.
Every bird can sense when a storm is approaching. All other birds flee or hide. Eagles are the only bird that flies towards the storm - into the dark clouds. The forward momentum and deliberate positioning of the eagle's wings meet the intense pressure of the storm. Facing the storm head-on, causes the eagle to rise up - to fly - above the storm.
The eagle instinctively knows there is peace and security in the high heavens just past the storm. It is the perfect refuge.
Our kindergartners will learn throughout their educational journey what all those who have gone before have. Just as the eagle flies toward the storm, knowing the peace above it, so will every War Eagle graduate. When the storms of life come upon our children - they will know their ability to rise above them by setting their minds and their heart toward God. The storms will not overcome them, they will face whatever challenges they encounter, with confidence, courage, and clarity, by placing their faith in Him. As War Eagles, they will have learned to soar individually and collectively, as one body, united in Christ. Isaiah 40:31