By Kelly Loyless, LS Assistant Principal
Utilizing communication, collaboration, problem solving, and building relationships all while learning content, Loganville Christian Academy’s goal is to challenge students to reach their full potential in every area of their lives. The administration and teachers at LCA are intentional when it comes to learning objectives for the students and how to best accomplish them. Outlined here are several examples of ways that LCA prepares Lower School students beyond the traditional textbook methods.
One way that LCA accomplishes this is by occasionally taking our elementary students outside of the traditional school environment. For example, a highlight for our fifth grade students has been an overnight field trip to Camp Mikell in Toccoa, Georgia. Our students experience two days of scientific discovery, physical challenges, fellowship with classmates, and spiritual growth through devotion times. Throughout the adventure, students are challenged with knowledge, in building stronger peer relationships, and through developing problem-solving skills. These challenges instill confidence in the students who realize that can continually learn new things, learn to relate well with others, and identify solutions to real-life problems with both logic and teamwork.
Another way LCA is challenging their Lower School students is related to encouraging creativity and teaching business skills. This year we challenged our students to develop entrepreneurial skills by debuting the freshINC entrepreneur program with our fourth and fifth grade students. The student groups created a product from recycled materials and had to pitch their idea in front of a “shark tank.” Each group also met with a business owner as a mentor for guidance and suggestions on their projects. During the month of April, they created their product and launched it on The Marketplace, an online site where each “business” was tasked with selling all of their merchandise.
LCA’s goal for the entrepreneur program was to teach our students the skills needed to identify a problem, to come up with a solution, and to build a business around their product/service. To accomplish this goal, six LCA parents volunteered time and shared their business expertise with the students. For example, a parent who works in software development company, an operator of a Chick-Fil-A, the owner of a successful local salon, and others shared their personal stories from start to present. The students learned what it means to make a profit and what to do if their companies fail to make money. The experience was remarkable for the students to see how real-world businesses function and to ask questions of the owners who provided plenty of inspiration.
A third avenue in which LCA is seeing young people make tremendous growth to be all they can be is with our Journey program. Based on standardized test scores and a brief intelligence test taken by the students to qualify for the Journey program, our second through fifth graders have the opportunity to join an accelerated learning class. Once they meet the required standards and are accepted into the program, students begin a year-long Journey where they meet in small groups with teachers to face extensive academic challenges. The Journey groups focus on topics of creativity, teamwork, problem-solving, exploring history, making predictions, researching, coding, and scientific discovery.
All of our students at Loganville Christian Academy are pushed to do their individual best and to learn through their mistakes. At the end of an LCA student’s fifth grade year, our goal is to have fostered each child into being a lifelong learner who has the ability to question and think for himself or herself. The LCA teachers want their students to wonder and desire and to explore the world around them. And at the close of another successful school year at LCA, it is exciting to see the Lower School students progress to middle school well equipped and ready for the next step in the educational process!