Often, the words “fun” and “Christian school” don’t go hand in hand. Arise Academy not only defies this stereotype, but they also add a bit of fun into everything they do. In fact, “learning fun” is one of the marquee mission statements found on their website home page.
Arise Academy, a diverse Christian preschool in Brandon, is licensed with the Florida League of Christian Schools. As a Christian preschool, they offer programs for infants up to four and five-year-olds. Because of their low staff-to-child ratio, teachers can zero in on a child’s needs, wants, and unique personalities. Arise Academy teachers know this is key to success because they can individualize teaching methods to correlate with a child’s learning ability. For example, some children do well with verbal instructions and lists to accomplish, while others need a hands-on approach and a more creative outlet. Not only does this personalized method build a child’s confidence, but they also get a sense that learning can be fun, too.
Along with making learning fun, Arise Academy has other strong beliefs that they define as their core values. These are:
- Providing a safe place
- Offering legendary service to their community
- Building community between home and school
- Creating lifelong learners
Regarding safety, their buildings conform to the Hillsborough County Licensing Board mandates, and they inspect smoke and fire alarms frequently. Each classroom has an emergency exit that is locked and monitored throughout the day like all other doors.
Since Arise Academy is a Christ-centered preschool, it’s no wonder they are passionate about building community. They understand that parents long for teachers who will love their children for who they are and instill in them the joy of learning. After all, the key to a better life is through education, which begins at the earliest age. Arise’s vision goes well beyond the child-teacher relationship. By connecting with families of all backgrounds and ethnicities, they share God’s love for them, which spills out into Brandon’s communities.
Having fun in a Christian preschool may have some Christians concerned. What games are played, and are they appropriate? Do they line up with my biblical worldview? To answer these questions here are some games and crafts Arise Academy use.
- The Good Samaritan: Children make a cutout doll and put small Band-Aids on places where it may have gotten hurt. Teachers lead the conversation to illustrate how even as a child, they can help others who are hurting.
- Creation: Ideal for any child who can walk, teachers lead their class outside to observe nature and discover God’s handiwork. Teachers ask the children to point out things God has made. Older children are encouraged to help and ask the younger ones similar questions.
- Angry Ping-Pong: Anger is often misconstrued and miscommunicated even in the church. While at Arise, children learn that anger is a natural emotion and how to express such feelings appropriately. In this game, children write something that angers them onto a small foam ball. These are thrown or shot at a wall made of cardboard boxes. Afterward, children discuss what they experienced. Teachers discuss Ephesians 4:26-27 and how “hurling” angry words or actions can be dangerous and damaging.
- Ten Commandment iPhone: Sure, young children probably don’t own a cell phone, but no doubt they see them everywhere. Children cut out an enlarged iPhone from cardboard. Using other craft materials, they write out the Ten Commandments and glue beneath a numerical number on the keypad.
- I Can Pray When: This craft teaches children that prayer can be incorporated into every aspect of their lives and not just at meals or bedtime. Children draw on a paper plate images of the many ways people pray. Above the drawings is written, “I can pray when…” On the flip side of the plate, children draw (or write the words) other times during their day when they can pray. For example, when they are playing or driving or doing chores.
Naturally, these games and crafts are for older children, but Arise also has activities for infants too. Some examples are finger painting, playing with ice, and coloring with whipped cream. Since such fun times are messy, Arise Academy plans accordingly.While there are many Christian preschool options in Brandon, Arise Academy stands above most because of its Christian values, small classes, superb staff, safe environment, and Christian co-curricular activities.