“The object of education is to teach us to love what is beautiful.”
Lower School students enjoy many regularly scheduled activities throughout the year that enrich their WCA experience. Below are just a few examples of those activities.
Girls on the Run is a positive youth development program designed for 3rd - 5th grade girls. While the WCA chapter was started in the spring of 2012, Girls on the Run has been around for much longer and has more than 140 chapters across the country. The girls meet multiple times a week, and the curriculum innovatively weaves training for a 5K run with lessons that empower girls to celebrate their bodies, honor their voices, and embrace their gifts. The leaders cover topics such as cooperation, friendship, how to be positive, healthy, and grateful, and how to stand up to peer pressure. At WCA, the leaders go even more in depth and discuss what all of these things mean in light of the truth of the Gospel.
Safety Patrols are 5th grade students who are stationed at the Lower School drop-off and pick-up location to make sure the students have a safe arrival and departure each day. Within the Patrol group, there is a Captain, Lieutenant, and Sergeant. This valuable leadership opportunity teaches the Patrols to be alert and observant, to make quick decisions, and to communicate kindly and clearly.
The buddy system was started when the school was still in its home on Franwall Avenue. Each year a 5th grade student has one or more buddies in 1st or 2nd grade. They meet two times each week, beginning the year with interviewing each other to find out who they are, what their families are like, and what their favorite things are. Buddies also work on the Safe School curriculum together, which covers topics such as self-esteem, respecting others, and how to deal with bullying. Buddies complete worksheets and activities together, play games, and even have time to pray and sing together.
Special events provide Lower School students with valuable opportunities to fellowship with classmates, teachers, and parents outside of the normal classroom routine. Below are just a few of the annual Lower School events at WCA.
Parents from each grade level host back-to-school parties a week or two before school begins. This gives returning students the chance to reconnect after the summer, and it gives new students an opportunity to meet their classmates before the first day of school.
In the fall and spring, parents of Lower School parents are invited for a special morning program that celebrates the father and mother relationships we have with our children. In addition to the donuts and muffins, the students share special songs with their parents.
This is a day set aside to enjoy all things science. Lower School students spend the morning visiting the science experiments led by Upper School students and faculty guests. The day culminates with an afternoon assembly presentation by traveling scientists from Philadelphia's famous science museum, The Franklin Institute.
Lower School students present an evening of Scripture, music, and more to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ with everyone in the WCA community.
Each year, students in grades 4 - 8 participate in the school-wide Geography Bee, sponsored by the National Geographic Society. WCA's winner has the opportunity to be selected to compete against winners from other Maryland schools at the state-wide Geography Bee.
As part of their Maryland state history lesson, 5th grade students bake cakes and cut them into the shape of each state county and then join them together to make an enormous state of Maryland cake. Each county is then decorated with remarkable accuracy to represent the local geography, agriculture, and industry. The assembled cake is a masterpiece that all grade levels, teachers, and parents are invited to enjoy.
Each year, students in grades 3 -8 participate in the school-wide Spelling Bee. WCA's winner goes on to participate in the Regional Spelling Bee.
History Night is an opportunity for our Lower School students to show the fruit of their studies in History. At each grade level, students complete extensive units on various eras of American and world history, with each grade building on the knowledge gained in the earlier grades. Through a combination of hands-on projects, artwork, drama, class trips, textbooks, videos, and historical fiction, the students are immersed in another time period, and bring back an impressive body of information about it. The students’ excitement and fascination with these historical periods, combined with their teachers’ seemingly endless creativity, produces an evening that is fun, informative, and thoroughly enjoyable.
To close out the school year, students enjoy a morning of fun and games. Classes are divided into teams, each wearing a color coordinated T-shirt representing their class. Students have fun competing as teams in a wide variety of entertaining and hilarious games. Students, teachers, and parent volunteers all enjoy this day.