Half a dozen years of engaging the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) community every day to share what’s energizing people has added up to hundreds of headlines that together tell an inspiring and moving story.
The story is that there is a community in this province that may not grab mainstream headlines often, but it is actively and passionately contributing to the betterment of its local community, countries abroad and the future through a unique and meaningful educational experience based on a democratic governance model and faith-based worldview.
That story has been built over the years by virtue of the OACS News service consistently and constantly inviting and being available to stakeholders from across the OACS’ plus-70 member schools to create and publish news of their world multiple times a week, every week.
A strengths-based philosophy has been integral to this work that could be seen as both a communications platform and organizational development tool. While not sweeping challenges under the rug, the principles undergirding this news platform’s approach have included ones such as: strength connected to strength can transform and change and inquiry can be simultaneous. There is also the belief that constantly inviting conversations about possibilities can be a generative force.
A quick scan of six years of headlines reveals the OACS community to be very active beyond its walls, both locally and abroad. From schools performing musicals for the visually impaired to students serving weekly in local soup kitchens or taking part in Model United Nations events in South America, there is a strong and inspiring current of activity across the OACS membership around serving, giving back, and being open to learn and receive from others outside their community.
More recent news has focused on member schools’ exploration of the forward-edge, project-based learning, which engages students in creating solutions to community issues.
It’s also fun to note some of the community’s unique bents as revealed by the news — such as a keen love of hockey at some schools like Rhema and Thunder Bay.
The news service has also honoured and drawn on the wisdom of various leaders across the years, from Adrian Guldemond to Hugo Marcos.
And this past year the news team was especially thrilled to begin a news inquiry on society and education at a crossroads and how OACS schools are responding to that crossroads.
As this school year wraps up, the Axiom News team, which has delivered the service since its inception on behalf of the OACS, is keen to hear your thoughts on your experience with the news service. What’s surprised you? What’s challenged you? What else would you love to see tried?
This article will be shared on the eCurriculum site in the OACS News group, if you wish to comment there.
You can also e-mail michelle(at)axiomnews.ca, peter(at)axiomnews.ca, jennifer(at)axiomnews.ca or lisa(at)axiomnews.ca.