great value

 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.  When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. (Matt 13:45-46)


Our scripture for the week was about one’s response to finding something of great value.  This impulse to sell everything is striking. It might seem rash; some might say an overreaction.  In a world of so much mistrust and disappointment, being clear about what I value and finding it is a moment of revelation.

Each month we try to find what’s of value by asking simple questions of the heroes, the parents and the staff to gather feedback.  For Journey, it is our path to getting better. Monthly.


This month 86% of our ES heroes strongly agreed with “I liked my school and I am happy here.”

86% of the ELS heroes strongly agreed. We are paying attention to the heroes’ feedback and we are grateful that they find value here.

And this month, the heroes are taking a writing journey into composing informational texts.  With mentor texts like David Macaulay’s The Way Things Work, the heroes are being pushed to develop world-class non-fiction writing.

Noah working on his information essay all about Minecraft has developed a beginning glossary.

And as they find out about the way things work as well as what is of value, the heroes continue to pray in the Restorative Room.

They’ve thanked God for their dogs on gratitude ribbons.

And they have made earnest requests to grow closer to the Father. Discovering value in the gifts given to them as well as the value of the Giver.

May we all find the value; and may we all sell everything to obtain it.

//Dr. T//


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alka-seltzer and band-aids

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find. Matthew 7:7

As we start the new year, the heroes have completed their study, design and drafting of the new prayer space called the Restorative Room.  Through learning from our friends in the UK about Prayer Spaces in Schools, the heroes took what used to be a storage room and transformed it into a room for restoring as they have an individual, scheduled time each week for prayer, silence and contemplation.  With multiple stations, heroes have a range of choices for their time in the Restorative Room.  Our hope is that they will seek and find some Kingdom practices like journaling and meditating on Scripture (pictured above) useful for their individual spiritual journeys.

One of the things we believe that heroes need is for their learning  to connect. This is why our project-based learning called Quests are so important. We are trying to connect the different content subjects like science, math and history with content skills like writing, reading and Kingdom practices. In our current quest, the heroes are apprenticing as detectives as they are learning about forensics and the scientific method. Recently, Deputy Omar Dieppa from the Kent County Sheriff’s Department came in to give a Hero Talk about his journey in law enforcement.  And as they learn about observation and investigation, the heroes are seeing how Scripture highlights the same Quest skills of seeking, asking and discovering highlighted in the Scripture above.

Alka Seltzer and Band-Aids have been places for great learning in the Restorative Room. Heroes sit down at the Fizzy Forgiveness table where they consider someone they need to forgive or some way they need forgiveness. When they’re ready, they can drop the Alka-Seltzer into the bowl of water, offering or asking for forgiveness. As the Alka-Selzer disappears, they are encouraged to let go of the transgression.  With the world map, heroes are encouraged to simply find a place in the world, place a band-aid over it and ask for healing.  On this day, I join with the heroes and ask each of us to redouble our commitments and efforts towards practicing and preaching forgiveness as well as seeking healing.  

One of my favorite features of the Restorative Room is the Big Questions corner where heroes can post their big questions about life to God.  And Journey’s embrace of big questions moves beyond the Restorative Room into Writer’s Workshop where the heroes are just starting their work with informational writing.  Today, they brainstormed what they wanted to learn more about. Their curiosity blew me away as we spent the entire writer’s workshop getting excited about all the things about which they were curious.

All in 15 minutes.  Leveraging this type of curiosity and supporting it as it drives learning forward is what Journey is about. Needless to say, the excitement grows here at Journey.

May we carry our excitement, our fizzy forgiveness and our healing into this new year.

//Dr. T//


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