The following is a letter we received from SRCS mom, Anna Loughridge. Anna and her daughter, Ella Joy, visited preschool classes as they studied "The Body and Our Five Senses."
I just had to sing the praises of your preschool team. Ella Joy and I were invited to come in to all of the PreK classes this week during their “Body & 5 Senses" unit study. This morning we visited Miss Treva's and Miss Becky’s classes. The teachers were welcoming. The children were amazingly well-behaved, engaged, curious, and precious. And Miss Cheri spearheaded the visits, which I am so grateful for having the opportunity.
Ella Joy sat…or laid… in my lap while the children circled around us, criss-cross-apple-sauce. We talked about:
Who made us? God!
Why did He make us? For His glory!
How do we glorify God? By loving Him and doing what He commands!
How does Ella Joy glorify God? Through her laughter and joy!
We talked about our 5 senses and how Ella Joy uses her senses: sight, hearing, smelling, touch…but not so much her taste, because of her special needs, and we learned about how she “eats” through her mickey-button feeding tube with her special formula.
We talked about how God is sovereign over ALL things - even the broken things in this world - and how we can trust Him even when things don’t turn out the way we expected them to.
We talked about how it is okay to feel nervous or sad or curious when we see someone who looks or acts differently than we look or act. We talked about what questions we can ask our parents/grandparents when we see someone that might be a little different than us, and how we can show kindness and compassion.
The kids got to ask all sorts of questions they had about Ella. We sang “Head, shoulders, knees and toes," and we passed around uncooked, spiral pasta shells (Ella’s favorite sensory touch item). The kids loved watching Ella cry, yawn, pull my sunglasses off, play with her pasta shells, and respond to their attempts at making her laugh. And we discussed how old we thought Ella was (“ZERO” being my favorite guess from one of these precious children!).
When Ella and I had said our goodbyes, and I was out in the parking lot, loading Ella in her car seat, I heard a precious little voice yelling, “Hi, Ella Joy!!” It was a preschooler from the first classroom we visited, now having a morning snack with her mom under the big oak trees. She was overjoyed to see Ella again, and I could hear this child re-telling her mommy all about our morning together. “That’s Ella! She is different than me, but she has 5 senses, too! And she has a special belly button where she drinks milk, and she can’t walk, but she can laugh and…….”
I smiled as I drove away, thinking about the core values we are instilling in our students from preschool on up:
Serve others first.
Defend the weak.
Seek always to encourage.
Live the significant life for which God designed you.
We love being a part of this Christ-filled, Gospel-centered community and couldn’t be more grateful.