We are very careful about having students learn Bible from an academic perspective. We do not force any of our students to be Christian, nor do we require that they memorize Bible verses or various religious chants. Although the staff are all Christian, we try to give each student the space to question their faith and figure this out for themselves. I guess you can say that the only part of our program that is NOT Sudbury is that we do have morning devotions with the students and we do ask the students to read the Bible from time to time. We see this as our way of presenting the Word to them so that they at least can be familiar enough about it to make an educated decision about their religious choices. In honor of the Christmas season, students were asked to read the book of Luke and to do a creative project on their favorite part of the book. To our surprise, they really got into it. We did not tell them how to do the project, we just asked that they be ready to share it with the community on Friday, Dec. 16. Students developed plays, did artwork, created display boards, etc. It was so amazing to see them become interested in the story of Christ for themselves. In fact, as a result, one of the students found a movie about the life of Christ, brought it to school and invited students to watch it with him. The entire school wanted to watch it! The staff was so shocked that these kids ages 4 to 17 on their own sat down to watch the movie. They watched the movie with a deeper understanding and appreciation, we believe. One teen said, "His story is so sad!" It blessed our hearts for them to see the story of Christ from a place of the heart and not some random head knowledge. At the same time, we had another student who engaged some staff in a deep debate on why he does not believe that Jesus is the Son of God. The staff did not mistreat him or judge him for feeling this way and they did not "argue" with him, but we listened to him. His mom often says that she is so thankful that she found a Christian school like this, where her teenage son can work through his beliefs in a safe environment. We as a school believe that it is so important that we give kids the freedom to choose Christianity for themselves. Many grow up feeling so oppressed in the way they are forced to learn about Christ and they never come to a place of falling in love with the Savior for themselves. We also have to get rid of that fear of "what if they don't believe?" They may not! God is in control. We are only called to share our faith, not to oppress others into believing and that goes for even when ministering to children. This Christmas we as a school celebrate the free gift of Jesus, freeing us from religious rituals, but freeing us to enjoy a true and sincere love relationship with God, through his Son. This is what we hope our students come to experience, and even if they don't they will be loved unconditionally, even still.