As parents, we are constantly teaching our children, modeling behavior, and doing our best to help shape them into responsible Christian citizens. We take them to church, Sunday school, youth groups, and summer camps. We enroll them in arts, clubs, and sports teams, looking for teachable moments at every turn. We pray they develop relationships with role-models that develop their character. How can we ensure that our children are being influenced by godly people that will help to “train up a child in the way he should go?”
Someone To Look Up To
The mission of Mount Paran Christian School focuses on developing servant-leaders who honor God, love others, and walk in Truth. The ability to invest in students in this way is not typical in most traditional schools. For this purpose, MPCS established the 11:1 Effect. This treasured student-led program is founded on 1 Corinthians 11:1 which reads: “Follow me as I follow Christ.” Since MPCS is a PK3-12th grade school, there is a truly unique opportunity to engage older students in the lives of younger, impressionable children.
An astounding average of 55 high school students commit to the 11:1 Effect program for a complete school year. These mentoring students serve our kindergarten through fifth-grade student body every Wednesday morning by reading books, performing skits, playing games, and building meaningful relationships.
Even Teenagers Experience the "Effect"
Espen Oswald, junior, stated, “11:1 is a highlight of my week. To see the joy that I can give to the kids each week helps fuel me.” Senior Nathaniel Raeder said, “I love spending time with my kids and seeing the smiles on their faces. It never fails to brighten my day.”
Along with building relationships, we see a growth in commitment, social skills, and responsibility, specifically through monthly devotions. High school students are given a topic every four weeks and must research, write, and share the good news with their assigned groups. This important task also builds confidence, study habits, and presentation skills.
Junior Anna Voss said, “11:1 is my favorite organization at Mount Paran Christian School! When I share my devotions, I am also growing in my own relationship with God because of the unconditional love shown by the kids in my class.”
Building Community Between Students... and Teachers
This love is evident beyond the regular Wednesday morning visits. The small children truly look up to our young men and women and are overjoyed to see them around campus. Senior Ansley Brague shares, “seeing the kids in the lunchroom or around school is so neat and I love being able to say hello and give them a hug!” When asked about the program, second-grader Jordan Sewell said, “I like that the high school students become my friends.”
While students are blessed by the program, so are the faculty and staff. Fourth-grade teacher Jennie Chandler commented, “My 11:1 students Andre, Lauren, Hailey, and Anton are faithful to come, wonderful at interacting with my students, and great at leading devotionals.” It is a blessing for a teacher to see former students return with servant-hearts and live out the example of Christ.
Proverbs 11:24-25 states, “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” We see this promise on a regular basis through this devotional role-model program. From the youngest five-year-old kindergartener to the oldest senior mentor, MPCS students are proof that cultivating mentor relationships enrich the Christian walks of all who are involved in 11:1.
Does your school or church provide mentoring programs between upper and lower classmen? If not, we invite you to come see the difference an MPCS education can make for your child through many opportunities such as the 11:1 Effect.
To learn more about how school community and spiritual development is fostered, please click here.
Amy Moore is the lower school art teacher and 11:1 Effect coordinator at Mount Paran Christian School.