BCCA MESSENGER November, 2020

Harmoniously blending the work of redemption and education

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BCCA Families,

Fall is upon us! I say this every year, but this is my favorite season here in Alabama! Watching the colors change on the trees is beautiful!

Unfortunately, one thing that has not changed is dealing with covid. It has been a nightmare at every level. For the school, it makes planning almost anything and everything more difficult. However, one silver lining is people are spending more time outside. Rebekah and I have noticed this in our neighborhood when we take our dogs for a walk. We have met more neighbors in the time span of covid than ever before. It gives everyone a good opportunity to meet new people and build relationships with those around them instead of sitting inside.

Speaking of being outside more, the younger students at BCCA are getting to experience an entirely new type of learning on a daily basis - Outdoor School! Mrs. Boyd and Miss B spend much of the day outside. The students are taught the typical subjects - Bible, Math, Science, Social Studies, etc., but in a completely new way! They get to be outside to watch nature change, play, and learn in it as well!

Of course, Thanksgiving is coming up later this month. Even amid the covid crisis, there are so many things to be thankful for. One already mentioned is nature, but we also should be thankful for so many other things too - family, friends, pets, food, shelter, etc. One of the spiritual aspects of Big Cove is teaching the students to always be happy/ thankful for the blessings they have in life. Our theme song for Friday worships this quarter is Rejoice in the Lord, Always. Teaching students to always rejoice, even during a pandemic like the coronavirus, is an incredibly valuable lesson that will stick with them throughout their lives.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.

Philippians 4:4

Lucas Smith

BCCA Principal

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November 9 - Garden Day

November 11 - Veteran's Day (No School)

November 20 - Thanksgiving Lunch

November 23 - 27 Thanksgiving Break

December 12 - Christmas Program 6pm

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We have a new feature added to our newsletter. Every month we will learn about one of the families attending BCCA. With all the busyness of life, here is a great way to know each other better. This month our resident Family Connections member Dahlia Swatzell interviewed the Smith Family.

The Smith Family (by Dahlia Swatzell)

This month, we present the principal himself and his wife, Lucas and Rebekah Smith, as our November family. I am lucky enough to call her my co-worker. So one day at lunch we caught up with Mr. Smith on FaceTime in true COVID-era style to do this interview.

There's more! Click the attachment below to learn more about the Smith Family

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Veteran's Day, Nov. 11

Thank you to all of our Veterans for their bravery and sacrifice in serving our country and protecting our freedom! School is closed.


Thanksgiving Break (Nov 23 - 27)

Don't forget that Nov. 23 - 27 is Thanksgiving Break! Please reach out to those who may not have family near by or who are going through the holiday blues due to loss of loved ones. Enjoy your time with family and friends, and appreciate the many blessings God has given.


Fall Picnic Fun

The weather could not have been better for our annual Fall Picnic at Big Cove Christian Academy! What a blessing to see so many new faces during our time together. The clear evening began with various family friendly games, and enjoying each other in fellowship. This year we enjoyed a picnic-style theme with each family bringing some home-cooked goodies, and roasting hot dogs by the fire. As the evening closed, the Pathfinder Youth provided worshipful music, and our Pastor, Randy Mills expounded with a quiet reflection on enjoying life despite the challenges we have had this year with COVID. Once the cool of night engulfed the evening air, the children (and adults) had an opportunity to enjoy taking a hayride. Thank you to everyone who made this event a success. Special thanks to Maggie Navarro, our Home and School Leader, for organizing this event.


National Blind Awareness Month

Every October, Blindness Awareness Month brings a heightened focus on the blind and visually impaired community and the realities of living without sight. Two of our local church Members, Deb Saylor & Tim Hendel came to BCCA to discuss how they overcome the challenges of being blind, and how they are using this platform as a means to educate the community on how the blind can achieve a full and independent life.

They began their presentation with a discussion and demonstration of how they get around without sight using their cane, and how guide dogs are helpful companions to help them get to their destinations. During the question and answer time, Deb and Tim answered the MANY questions of what it's like to be blind.

Hands-on learning is very important. They showed the students a Braille magazine and read to them from it. Then they gave each student a Braille alphabet card. Each student received a card with their name printed out using the Braille machine. The time of visitation ended with Deb playing a few classical songs for the children on the piano. The students loved their presentation and learned so much from the experience. We are hoping to have them come back in the spring with their friend to show the children her seeing eye dog! Thank you Deb and Tim for sharing your testimony and talents.

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Thanksgiving Lunch (Special Invitation), Nov 20, 1PM

For our Thanksgiving Potluck on Friday, November 20 at 1 PM, we are going to have a pizza party instead of people bringing dishes from home. The pizza is free! If the weather permits, we will have it outside and if not, we will space things out in the gym so everyone can eat and be comfortable with no mask. In order to have a good headcount there will be a sheet at the front of the school for you to indicate how many people from your family will be coming. All are welcomed!


Calendar Fundraiser, $10 (More details to come)

We have an awesome calendar fundraiser featuring the kids from BCCA in memorable bible scenes. Calendars will be on sale for $10. Be on the lookout for further details about selling dates and included is a sneak preview! We will be taking pre-orders, so please contact your teacher with the amount you would like ordered. They will make great Christmas gifts! Thank you Dahlia Swatzel for your time and talents in taking the pictures.


HEALS Ministry Outreach

BCCA is a strong advocate for community outreach. This year we are collaborating with the organization called HEALS. It's their mission to deliver accessible, quality, school-based, primary health care for children through collaborative efforts with the school system and the medical, dental, and optometry communities. If you are interested in supporting this ministry, please bring in individual toothbrushes, toothpaste, or floss. A box will be placed in the lobby of the school for these items. Once all the items are collected, the students will have an opportunity to make care packages. In December, the HEALS staff will there to collect the items, and also give a presentation about how their organization helps those in our community. Thank you in advance!


Pavilion Building Project Update

Big Cove Christian Academy strongly advocates outdoor education and ministry. In an effort to take this ministry to the next level the school initiated the Pavilion Building project. Our goal is to reach $5,000. Currently, $3,430.40 has been donated so far! If you are interested in supporting this ministry please see Mr. Smith.

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Taking learning outdoors (Every 2nd Monday of the month)

This month we weeded our woodchip garden and then prepared to plant garlic. Garlic can be planted in the fall and will over winter and be harvested in the spring time. We planted garlic that was purchased from the local grocery store. Each individual garlic clove will produce 1 head of garlic. It will be ready for harvest in May! Ask your child about the garlic race we played while planting the garden. All work and no play makes for a very boring day!

Tearl King

Garden Coordinator

Outdoor learning Study update

Our outdoor initiative has been going great. Below are 2 studies that show that the medical field agrees!

  • study of 498 Japanese individuals evaluated the impact of walking in the forest versus a routine day. The study found hostility (P<0.001) and depression (P<0.001) scores decreased significantly, and liveliness (P=0.001) scores increased significantly on the forest day compared with the control day. (Morita, E. et al., Psychological effects of forest environments on healthy adults: Shinrin-yoku (forest-air bathing, walking) as a possible method of stress reduction, Public Health , Volume 121 , Issue 1 , 54 – 63).
  • Great Britain has over 100 schools that operate in outdoor forest settings. Observation of students from these schools noted improvements in the children's confidence, motivation and concentration, language and communication and physical skills. (O'Brien, L., Learning outdoors: the Forest School approach, Education 3-13, Vol. 37, Iss. 1, 2009, Pages 45-60. O’Brien, L., Forest School and its impact on young children: Case studies in Britian. Urbaan Forestry and Urban Greening, Vol 6, Iss 4, November 2007, Pages 249–265).
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Distance Learning Opportunity (Grades 9-12)

We have exciting news. This school year (2020-2021) we have partnered with the DIstance Learning program (TRUeConnect) at Atlanta Adventist Academy for grades 9-12. Please keep this initiative in prayer.
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Thank you families for supporting BCCA. YOU make all the difference, and we appreciate your choice for providing a christian education for your child.