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February 8, 2023

Teaching for Transformation at Hope Academy

With the help of Teaching for Transformation, Hope Academy is providing more opportunities for urban youth to experience God’s goodness, truth, and beauty in their lives. Teaching for Transformation (TfT) was developed by the Center for the Advancement of Christian Education (CACE) and has been implemented by more than 70 schools across Canada, the United States, Central America, and Africa.

At Hope Academy, Teaching for Transformation is equipping staff with the training, tools, and support to more deeply integrate faith into their teaching and daily interactions with students. From raising chicks to analyzing literary classics, students are learning to see the world through the lens of God’s Word and becoming active participants in His redeeming story.

3rd Grade Students Re-Write the Story of Peter Pan

A core theme at Hope Academy this school year is “identity.” We want our students to know who God is and who He has made them to be. Beginning in kindergarten, each child memorizes and recites our school’s creed, which says:

“I am created in the image of God, and He loves me beyond my imagination. God calls me to love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ . . . to love and encourage others and to serve my community. For I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

With these powerful truths in mind, third grade students look at examples of misplaced identity and hope in Peter Pan. In the story, Peter says, “I want always to be a little boy and to have fun; so I ran away. . . .” He finds himself with other “Lost Boys,” in a fairyland that’s empty of meaning and purpose. Through Peter’s example, students see the danger of placing our ultimate hope in youth, fun, and other temporary circumstances.

3rd Grade Students prepare for their new production of Peter Pan.

After analyzing Peter Pan through the lens of Scripture, students then have the opportunity to write a new ending that’s truly hopeful and redemptive – and to act out this new story!

With support from Teaching for Transformation, children are learning to connect God’s Word to literature, history, and culture and see how they can become part of His work to renew and restore all things.

1st Grade: Raising Chicks in Minneapolis:

Using the TfT framework, teachers are also creating Formational Learning Experiences (FLEx) for their students. These are “opportunities for the learner to engage in ‘real work that meets a real need for real people’—opportunities to practice living the kingdom story.”

Though there aren’t many farms nearby, first grade students raise chicks at Hope Academy! With the help of an incubator, a process called candling, and reading a book on the development of chicks, children watch and learn as chicks grow inside of their eggs.

Students waiting for eggs to hatch.

Through this project, children also develop core habits for engaging in God’s story.

TfT provides ten habits or “throughlines” to help further this growth. One of these is Order Discovering: “Learners seek and find God’s fingerprints in the intricate, purposeful design of what he has created.”

Hope Academy students learn that God created many different breeds of chicks, and He gave them the ability to hatch from an egg all on their own!

When the eggs hatch, there is a real problem to solve. These chicks are messy. Students take on the responsibility of caring for their new friends—cleaning out the cage, sweeping the floor, and feeding and watering the chicks.

Finally, they have the joy of giving the chicks to a new owner, knowing their work will meet a real need outside the classroom as the chickens produce eggs.

1st grade student holding a baby chick.

Across K-12, we’re thrilled to provide these and many other activities that help students experience God’s love and engage in His story.

Each year, Partners like you help to make a remarkable, Christ-centered education possible for hundreds of urban youth. Together, your gifts provide for 90% of the cost to educate our students. Click here to learn more about becoming a Hope Academy Partner.

You can also learn more about Teaching for Transformation here.

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