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#MyCommunityMonday

Avery Jones

Students worship before school on the National Day of Prayer, Sept. 26.

A body of believers gather around a small campus grove, unite together in praise and prayer during See You At the Pole. Students splinter into groups, riding around Fresno to volunteer during Serve Day. They ask each other to events like NOTS and Sadies.

From a group of individuals with the same interests to a group who obtain a similar history, community plays a role within every school, including Fresno Christian

Throughout the years, the Fresno Christian community has branched out into the city as a group of leaders. From the students and faculty, to various board members and donors, the FCS body sets out to enrich not only each other, but the lives of those outside the campus borders.

Starting in 1977 with only 135 students K-6, Fresno Christian has continuously educated for 42 years. Seven churches in the Fresno area came together to create a vision that they had for a Christian school. This vision then turned into Fresno Christian. The school community will celebrate their 36th annual auction, March 9, and the 38th graduating class this upcoming May.

Because the student body at FCS is so small, many are able to have close relationships with each other. Students are able to form friendships with the teachers as well as receive instruction on a one-on-one basis.

At FCS, student community does not stop at the gates of the school, but continues with the parents and families. Alumna Dawn Hinton, ’93, continues to be involved in FCS after being a “lifer,” a term affectionately given to student who attended continuously K-12. Hinton explains the friendship of the FCS community.

“Now it’s great to see parents gathering together to pray for the students, staff, and each other,” Hinton said. “Community really happens when you do life together; sharing in the joys as well as the struggles. My favorite part of the FCS community is having friendships still today from when I was young, and knowing my children are also forming meaningful relationships with people that last a lifetime and beyond.”

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Seniors enjoy their annual retreat trip at Hume Lake Christian Camps, Sept. 24-25.

FCS students, teachers and faculty aim to support each other. Campus math teacher Angie Counts explains how students have helped support a new student from El Salvador.

“Everyone is pitching in,” Counts said. “Everyone is helping her, walking her to class, helping her with her locker because we are a family and we are a community, and she totally loves it.”

Born in El Salvador and new to campus this semester, Mariana Muller, ’21, shares why she came to America.

“I came to Fresno Christian because the education in my country is not that good and I want to study at a university in the United States,” Muller said. “My uncle lives here and he has some family friends who study here and we heard that it is a really good school and very nice.”

Like many schools, FCS holds formal and Sadies, but they differ from other schools. Often traveling out of town for Sadies, the school administration does not promote dancing, but instead students partake in activities like Magic Mountain or Great America. Winter formal Night of the Stars (NOTS) imitates The Oscars award show, premiering each class’s home movie with a multi-course dinner served alongside the viewings.

Promoting the school’s collective faith, early Thursday mornings, leadership members greet students with prayer buckets, writing down any prayer requests.

Last year’s editor and chief Mariana Fikse writes about students coming together and voicing their opinions.

FCS welcomes many students from all over the world and joins them into our community. Many international students attend the high school and junior high as transition into a different culture. They engage and involve themselves the through hosting special lunches during Chinese New Year or donating gifts during Operation Christmas Child.

Basketball player and foreign exchange student Shoujian Huang (Michael) shares about community at FC, his favorite moment playing basketball and what differs from playing sports in the USA to China.

“What makes FC a community is that every student communicates with each other and helps each other out,” Huang said. “My favorite moment was when I made a buzzer beater game winning shot of my first year on the JV basketball team. It is different because of the basic point of competition. I have made lots of progress in the FCS basketball team. I have learned lots of skills and leadership that I didn’t before. I have been in the US for three years and FCS basketball has accompanied me with them.”

Superintendent Jeremy Brown shares what community at FC means to him to reporter Annabelle Messer.

Junior Ben Vaipen explains what community looks like at Fresno Christian as well as what his favorite part of FCS is.

“I think what makes Fresno Christian a community is that we all have something in common,” Vaipen said. “I have grown closer with my fellow classmates and I have closer relationships with them. My favorite part is that we are free to talk about Christ and the Bible and we are free to voice our own opinions, unlike public schools because it’s not shoving evolution down our throats.”

A highlight of Fresno Christian is the percentage of athletes on campus. Many students participate in one or more sports. Community holds a role within sports, as the teams work together to reach and achieve a goal.

Three sport athlete, junior Kayla Vanderlinden shares why she loves being on a team and why she plays sports.

“I like playing sports at FCS because they are all so fun, and the teams are like my second family,” Vanderlinden said. “I play as many sports as possible including volleyball, soccer, and softball. I also played basketball for the past two years. I like the idea of having both a team and family aspect. We all get along so well, and we have fun playing and do very well when we work together.”

Many communities form in our world today, small or big. Community supports and helps each other in time of need. Community holds a role in teams, churches, schools, business, etc. Community is not just a size of a group but what people experience together and have in common.

Which campus communities are you a part of? Share your perspective in the comments below.

For more articles read COLUMN: Serena Zhao shares American culture experience or Drama teacher expresses passion for the arts.

Annabelle Messer can be reached via email and Twitter.

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