On January 28, kindergarten students at Edgerton (Minnesota) Christian Elementary brought their dads back to school in the evening for the school’s first Science Night. Also in attendance were fathers and preschoolers who are considering enrollment at Edgerton Christian as a way of introducing them to what the school offers.
“Our best promoters are the ECES community,” said Margene Raak, kindergarten teacher and point person for the event. “Rather than explain Christian education to interested families, why not let them experience Christian education at ECES and interact with our present community?”
The event was advertised in local newspapers, invitations were sent to families in the school’s preschool program, and kindergartens were encouraged to invite anyone interested in ECES to the event. Ninety percent of current kindergarteners and preschoolers attended with their fathers, and interested families attended as well. Participants preregistered for the event, and groups were formed that included prospects and current students.
The evening started with a devotional, “Whiter than Snow,” that used a chemical reaction demonstration to make the point. Four stations were set up in the gym, and each station had between five and eight investigations for the child and dad to do together.
“Science naturally requires asking questions, predicting, and observing,” said Raak. “I teach science for early childhood from the perspective that the student needs to do the asking and thinking, predicting, and put into their words the what, when, and why. The stations were not ‘true’ experiments but were activities that led to investigate God's world and marvel at his design and creativity. Christian schools know the Who of science. What an awesome delight to help students investigate his world!”
Promotions committee members supervised each station to explain and answers questions and mingle with children and dads, but “the best mingling and promotions happened dad to dad, child to child,” according to Raak.
The school hopes to make the “Dad event” an annual promotion, alternating the focus between science and sports. This spring the school will also offer a mom-and-me event.