As principal of Columbus Adventist School (CAS) in Columbus, Georgia, Cody Clifford is seeing many of the visions he had for this small school finally come to fruition. Like many Georgia-Cumberland Conference teachers, Cody, and his wife, Rachel, have been actively working to provide a quality Adventist environment for families. This past summer, much of their time was focused on partnering with Atlanta Adventist Academy (AAA) in Duluth, Georgia, to establish a distance learning high school program. The dedicated faculty from AAA and CAS have allowed those students who want to remain in Columbus, yet continue their educational journey in an Adventist school, to do so.
Clifford shared his thoughts on becoming a partner campus with AAA TRUeConnect: “We felt impressed that the students deserved another option in the city of Columbus after graduating from the eighth grade. Admittedly, there have been some bumps in launching this program. At some points it appeared all doors were closing, but God worked it all out according to His plans and in His timing. For this, we are immensely blessed.”
CAS sits on a 12-acre church campus. With the ample space, the Cliffords have decided to integrate subject learning through hands-on experiences. In reading Adventist Home, they’ve been inspired to implement teaching practices that are simple, yet engaging. “Let them each have a piece of ground of their own; and as you teach them how to make a garden, how to prepare the soil for seed, and the importance of keeping all the weeds pulled out, teach them also how important it is to keep unsightly injurious practices out of life,” Adventist Home, 146.1.
This year, the students helped their teachers construct and design their own raised beds. Each student partnered with another, and productively worked as they utilized wheelbarrows to transport organic soil up a hill to their raised bed. They weeded, filled the beds with soil, planted, and prayed earnestly for their gardens. Prior to planting, Clifford taught about the effects of weather and the different seasonal plants. Although cool crops were suggested for ideal results, a few of the children decided to test the seasons and plant warm weather crops instead. With autumn underway, many of the seedlings have sprouted. The students have been learning invaluable lessons in science, faith, service, and patience while tending their gardens.
The students at CAS are growing in more ways than one, and it’s evident that the children have been enjoying the entire gardening process. “Let the children and youth learn to recognize in natural things the workings of divine agencies, and they will be enabled to grasp by faith the unseen benefits,” Christ’s Object Lessons, 80.1. The Columbus Adventist Church family are so grateful for teachers who point the students to Jesus inside and outside of the classrooms!
Georgia-Cumberland | December 2017