This morning I took a walk down memory lane at Cono Christian School.
I started in the green house and walked on into the science room, I found many seedlings for flowers, fruits, and veggies. The kids were excited to show me their plants as they watered and cared for their very own little gardens.
I headed out of the science room—there is still a mural of a gate, garden, and church on the wall.
The art room is full of supplies. One of our favorite art activities is called Zentangling. A Zentangle is artwork that looks like fancy doodling. We use it because if helps kids use both the right (creative) and left (analytical/finding patterns) sides of their brain at the same time—a calming and healing activity for trauma survivors.
I passed the library. Dr. Caldwell is busy organizing her set of shelves in the library with science books and others she enjoyed. Each teacher has a few shelves to fill and will do the same as they have time.
Reorganizing and building the children’s section of the library was a high priority because many of our students did not experience mom or dad reading to them when they were developmentally ready. We take the time to read to the students who need to experience that stage of growth. I can hardly wait to get a nice rug and a couple of rocking chairs in that area.
Rocking is a proprioceptive activity that helps children know where their bodies are in space. We hardly think about it, but neglected or hurt children often have less understanding of how their bodies and objects in space are related.
In the next classroom, the teaching team is leading a study called “Stories of Courage and Manipulation.” This six week plan has four objectives: World History—specifically stories from WWII showing courage and manipulation; Current Events—relating present to past, seeing the same courage and manipulation; Creative Writing—telling our own stories of courage and manipulation; and Literature related to WWII and our theme.
The class is currently listening to an Audio Theater production of Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. Set during WWII, a beautiful and sometimes difficult opportunity to see both courage and manipulation. We want kids to read, write, and wrestle with serious issues.
This room and others don’t really look like classrooms. A couch, rug, and large table dominate the room making it look cozy, safe, and inviting. We strive to avoid as many negative triggers about school as possible, while still working hard and learning.
I pass the wall of graduates—so much history in this special place.
I keep walking and find a math class in session. The middle school math class is busy using pawns and cubes to solve Algebra story problems.
On down the hall, in the science lab, a student and Grandpa Ted (maintenance man extraordinaire) are setting up for the weekly tests on the sewer water. Grandpa Ted collected the water (can’t tell you how much I appreciate that!). Together we run the tests and package the bottles of sewer water in ice to mail to the lab. A real life chemistry experiment.
Finally I reach my office—the office that Mr. Dupee moved into during my senior year at Cono. Sometimes I can almost feel him smiling beside me.
If you had told me on graduation night in May of 1990 that I would be back at Cono leading, teaching, and parenting, I would have laughed. God had a better plan.
Before coming to Cono, I worked at a large public high school—with a significant Hispanic population—as a teacher, principal, and researcher/trainer. We were all encouraged to display our diplomas and credentials. I proudly displayed my Cono diploma along with my B.S. from Sterling College and my M.A. from Covenant College.
I quickly discovered that I had to put my Cono diploma away. Cono is not a nice word in Spanish. If you must know, Google it.
During the last few years, our team of adults has developed expertise that is essential for working with children from hard places.
Now we are ready for a new and fresh start. We are refreshing Cono with a new name—Adora.
Adora, historically Latin and Greek, means beloved, a gift, adored. All of our hurting students and families are beloved gifts from God. Because of what Christ has done for us, we are honored to help kids heal and mature into adults who love their Savior, are restored to their families, and have the insight to care for others.
This is a new day! Celebrate with us! Please pray for us and please support us. We are continuing on a journey to see more students and families from hard places experience spiritual, physical, emotional, and academic growth to become the next generation of Godly men and women.