Friday afternoons are reserved for assemblies and our students are treated almost weekly to programming that is relevant, fun, and has their teachers sharing a talent or something personal about themselves. We regularly host author visits and programs from local museums, zoos, and musical groups. One of our favorite assemblies is a group of retirement-aged gentlemen who croon to our delighted young audience!
The primary role of Chapel in Moravian Academy’s Lower School is to foster and affirm the atmosphere of love and understanding that is part of our mission. As an independent school, we welcome people of all faiths, and understand and live our religious identity in ways that honor and celebrate this diversity.
Chapel meets weekly for grades one through five for about 30 minutes in the Old Chapel, an historic building on our Church Street Campus. Our chaplain, Rev. Jennifer Nichols, leads the service where we sing hymns and listen to readings led by our fifth graders. The chaplain invites speakers from many different faiths to present messages to students, usually focusing on character-building and the value of education. Prekindergarten and kindergarten students attend Kinderchapel every other week in a more intimate setting (usually their classrooms or our auditorium) and a modified version of our Chapel is presented.
Moravian Academy lives and breathes by the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” By making volunteer efforts a priority in every grade, students are giving back to their communities in a meaningful way. The lesson and its reward are very soon realized as children get more in return than they give through: donations to food pantries, reading to seniors, donating coats and warm clothing to local shelters, visiting and donating to a no-kill animal shelter, and much more. Woven into the fabric of their day-to-day lives is the notion that a community that is fortunate can and must give back in time, spirit, and service.
In the Lower School, students in every grade experience the rich opportunity to attend field trips on a monthly basis. These trips are central to our educational mission which aims to not only provide lessons in math and reading but to culturally expose children to the arts. Our prekindergarten class will explore a local cave as they learn about geology in one of their units, while third graders will attend an overnight camping trip to an environmental education center, learning more about ecology and biological science. The main thrust of all field trip programming is to enhance what is happening in the classroom and provide students with an opportunity to bond as they explore the communities around them.
Moravian Academy is a community filled with a diverse student body. We take full advantage of our strong parental connections and have guest speakers in classrooms throughout the year. Some guests will share an area of expertise such as evaluating and understanding the stock market. Some will share a talent or a hobby such as knitting or crafts. Parents are invited to join the classroom to lend insights—perhaps about their culture or simply to read and share a story.
Mentoring is a unique opportunity for older students to build relationships with younger students. Throughout the year, social, emotional, and sometimes academic relationships are formed between prekindergarten students and seventh graders; kindergarteners and fifth graders; first graders and seniors. Nothing is as rewarding as getting a “thank you” note and admiration from a five-year-old, or a big hug from a first grade buddy! These relationships allow for leadership qualities to blossom in our older students while also bringing a strong sense of community to our school.
To work hard you also have to have opportunities to play hard! Students in all Lower School grades have a daily 20-minute recess time to play games, run around, and let off some steam. Studies have shown that children’s brains assimilate information better when periods of activity are interspersed throughout their daily lessons. Our playground facilities offer climbing apparatus as well as a soft recycled tire surface, safe for young, active bodies!