This week’s closing chapel marked our fifth-grade students’ final chapel service as Lower School students.
In preparing for the service, our fifth graders noted how this school year, they were inspired by Moravian Academy’s new mission skills. Keeping this in mind, the students worked together to bring to life a service commemorating creativity, curiosity, empathy, and perseverance.
Throughout the service, several students shared what the mission skills meant to them, and how they have shaped their experiences at Moravian Academy. In celebration, each fifth grader decorated one of the letters of the mission skills. The letters, paired with photos taken during the Lower School this year, made for a nice display during the student readings.
We invite you to read our student reflections below. Congratulations to our fifth graders and best of luck in your transition into Middle School!
When I think of creativity, I think of new ideas, things that are unique, and making something new.
I express my creativity in many ways. One way is through art, where I make some really creative things.
I used to think that art was all about drawing, and I didn’t really like it. But then I realized that art is really about making things, and if you are creative, you can do a lot that’s pretty amazing. I enjoy music and playing my saxophone. I enjoy working with clay and sculpting and making things that are 3 dimensional.
There is more to art than you might think. I might not be the best artist but I still really like it.
I discovered this year that I love to stitch. You can make things that you can use in everyday life, such as the pillow I made this year with my mom. I have also made a blanket and a scarf. Right now I am working on a belt. It’s pretty hard and I’m not done with it, but I am having fun making it.
Creativity is not just about expressing yourself. It also helps us solve problems and to think outside the box.
Science has always been my favorite subject. But ever since I came to the Lower School it’s been Art, because I have discovered how much I love to be creative.
I remember my first art class here. I wasn’t excited because art wasn’t much fun in my old school. But then I heard what we were doing.
We were making sunglasses that would somehow reflect our summer! They were made out of paper, but in the lenses, we drew pictures with colored pencils.
In my lenses, I drew myself at the beach and at camp, which were two of my summer memories. Other art projects I have enjoyed include making ugly dolls. Mine was supposed to be a rat, but the tail was the only part that actually looked like an animal. We made Japanese fish lanterns called nebuta. First, you make the skeleton out of wire and then you attach special paper to make the lanterns. Then you wax, ink, and paint it.
We even made clocks out of clay. We could make them in any shape or form. I made mine into a tree!
Coming to Moravian Academy really let my creativity out! Here I feel free to express myself, And as a result, my creativity flows in many ways, especially through art. But also through science. This year in my science experiment, I got creative about the tools and supplies I would need to test my hypothesis.
It turns out, in science, you can be creative too.
Curiosity to me means seeing more than what there is right now. People are curious about all kinds of things, including sports, learning, and different countries.
One of the things I am curious about is music. Before fourth grade, I never wanted to play a musical instrument. But then I saw all of my friends play the violin, and I became curious. I wondered what it was like to play an instrument, would it be fun, and how would it feel to make music.
I was curious if I would enjoy playing the trumpet. So I tried it. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected. But my curiosity wasn’t satisfied. I decided that maybe playing percussion would be a great idea. So I experimented some more, and it turns out that I really enjoy the drums. I enjoy the beat and keeping up with the rhythm of the music. I followed my curiosity and ended up finding my favorite instrument.
A lot has inspired my curiosity over the past four years in Lower School, But there is one particular experience that I will never forget.
I was in second grade. I was new to the school at the time, and I didn’t know what to expect. I walked into the classroom, greeted my new teacher, said hello to a few people I had met before, and introduced myself to the people I was meeting for the first time. Then the fun happened. Our teacher sat us down and pointed out a cage in the back of the room.
She started to talk about what was inside. It was a guinea pig. Her name was Patches. I had never seen a guinea pig before. If you’ve never seen a guinea pig before, trust me, they’re adorable. Over the next few days, we learned how to care for her and how to hold her. Then one day, our teacher added a new job to the job board. We all looked over excitedly. The new job was simply called “Patches”.
For this job, we had to feed Patches some vegetables once a day, and at the end of the week, we would be able to hold her and brush her. Our teacher even took pictures of us handling Patches. For that whole year, everyone waited for their week. Patches gave us a lot to be curious about. For example, she had a funny squeaking sound she made. I don’t know why she made this sound, because it seemed to come out at the most random times, like during Spanish class.
Sadly, later that year, Patches died. She was an old guinea pig, and had been a class pet for many years. Some of us were sad, some of us were distraught, and some of us didn’t know how to feel. It has been a little bit over four years since then, but she still holds a special place in my heart. Patches inspired me to get a small furry companion of my own.
I now have a hamster named Waffle whom I love a lot. I never would have gotten my hamster if it wasn’t for the experience I had with Patches. I never expected that something so small could spark so much curiosity in me.
Perseverance to me means not to give up, but to keep going, even if something is hard. For the past two years, I have been a part of the 10 Mile Cub.
To join this club, you have to run ten miles. We run these miles during gym class. Basically, 5 laps around God’s Acre is 1 mile. And you run laps every gym class until you reach 50 laps, which is ten miles.
When I first started running, I did not enjoy it. It was really hard for me. Running was definitely not my favorite activity. And there were days I didn’t want to do it anymore. But, then after a few gym classes, I realized it had become easier.
I stopped asking for the time while I was running because it didn’t seem to move so slowly. I wasn’t moving as slowly either. I was able to complete my mile more easily. And at the end, I was happy that I didn’t stop. From this experience, I have learned that sticking to something and not giving up allows you to achieve something you didn’t think you could.
Perseverance has also played an important role for me in Lower School, especially this year.
I enjoy geography because it allows me to learn more about the world. In January, there’s a national geography competition called the GeoBee. I wanted to do well and I worked very hard, but I did not qualify for the next level. I was sad but it didn’t stop me. This one thing did not go in my favor, but there were other opportunities ahead.
In April, I entered another competition called Math 24. In this game, you are given four numbers and you have to make 24 out of them using any math functions that work. I wanted to win this competition and that was my goal. You might think that winning this game is just luck. You compete against three random players, and some of them are better than others, so winning depends a little on who you sit next to at the table and their ability. But for me, winning Math 24 was mostly about perseverance.
This victory was not easy. I said to myself that no matter what happens, I am going to work as hard as I can. Every night for a month, I practiced for a half an hour. Even in class I would sit on my own and work as hard as I could. Sometimes I struggled. Sometimes I got stuck and couldn’t solve a problem. I learned to face the most challenging three dot double-digit cards and find a solution.
Sometimes I thought “I am done with this.” I wanted to back off and just have fun. But I persevered to my goal and that is what I think is most important. Even if you haven’t met your goal yet, if you don’t give up, you are a true winner.
Arwen del Real Sobiech:
A few months ago I slipped on ice and hurt my ankle. I was in a splint, then a cast. It was terrible.
I couldn’t even get my own dinner. There were all kinds of things I couldn’t do that I wanted to do. I couldn’t go up the stairs like everyone else. I was walking slower than everyone else. At circle time, I couldn’t stand up, and this made it hard to play some of the games.
Although it was very painful, hard and tough, I had to push through and say I could do it even when I thought I would never be the same and I would never get out of the boot. I kept doing my exercises and taking care of myself so I could heal. This took a lot of perseverance on my part, but I didn’t do it alone.
For everything I couldn’t do alone, someone helped me. My brothers helped me get my dinner. Friends helped me scoot up the stairs every day while they carried my crutches and my backpack. Even though I walked slowly, someone always walked with me. And at circle, someone always brought me a chair so I wasn’t left out.
Perseverance helped me heal for sure, but I wouldn’t have made it through that time without the empathy of others.
Empathy is feeling how someone else is feeling, and then treating them the way you would want to be treated.
One of the ways I show Empathy is to new students in the class. I started at Moravian Academy in Kindergarten, so I have been a part of the school for 6 years.
It must be scary to be a new kid at a new school. So I like to help new students feel welcome, and not feel lonely in their new environment. I want everyone to feel a part of the Moravian community.
This is my first year at Moravian Academy, and Empathy has played a big role for me. While some of my classmates have been together since Pre-K, I started in fifth grade, meaning I had a lot to learn and a lot of people to get to know.
In the beginning, I was very nervous. I had never switched schools before, and this was a completely new environment, so it was pretty scary for me. I worried that everyone in the grade already had their friends, and no one would want to be friends with me.
For the first few weeks at school, I came home crying because I was lonely. One day I was standing in the lunchroom, in the line leading out to recess, with my head down and a frown on my face. Then, something wonderful happened.
Someone came up to me and introduced themselves. We quickly became friends. I noticed as I became friends with this one person, other people started introducing themselves to me. It was a chain reaction!
All it took was that one person, putting herself in my shoes as the new kid who didn’t really know anybody. By doing this, she really showed empathy. And it spread to lots of other people. Small acts of kindness can make a big difference.