A tangible way to have a fresh start

By Aaron Winkle, Head of school

I keep thinking about this story I heard from David Wainer. He’s taught at Living Stones Academy since we started 12 years ago and knows that fourth graders bring some negative assumptions about themselves when they start school.

So David takes his class outside for a walk and asks them to name those struggles. Students write them down on pieces of paper—and then they bury them. Each student digs a small hole and says goodbye to their “I can’ts.” It’s a tangible and powerful way to have a fresh start.

David Warner and students

Parent Sarah Visser remembers that exercise when her daughter was in fourth grade. It was several years ago, and their family had just moved across the country to Michigan from California.

As a student in a new state and a new school, our daughter entered school that day with all sorts of questions and insecurities, but she left with a renewed sense of hope, purpose, calling, and belovedness. All three of our kids have been blessed to learn under Mr. Wainer—and many other LSA teachers like him—who help them to discover who God has made them to be and give them the courage and conviction to live into this call.

What a powerful lesson to learn as a fourth grader and as an adult. David is helping the students see themselves as God sees them, as loved and full of potential.

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