Last month I “happened” to be in the hallway near our primary classrooms. I noticed a first-grade girl, (I’ll call her Susie) making her way to the water fountain, crying. As I walked toward Susie, I saw her teacher making hand motions, calling me down to the classroom. When I got to the classroom, the teacher quickly told me that one of Susie’s friends had died last night and asked if I would please take her somewhere to talk.
It is without any doubt in my mind that God put me there at that exact moment. My name is Patty Dolaway and this is why I have worked at CCCS for the past 32 years. It is where I am supposed to be today. It would be next to impossible to tell you the number of times that a faculty or staff member has been at the exact right place at the exact right time to “be there” for one of our students.
Susie, after some pretty heavy sobbing, was able to tell me that her friend who died is 5 years old. She had a chronic illness, but she died quickly and unexpectedly.
I happen to know that Susie’s grandfather died before she was born, so I was able to suggest that perhaps her grandfather could be her friend’s grandpa in Heaven. That did elicit a small smile and nod of her head. Her crying slowed down a bit and I suggested that she talk to her friend and her grandfather in her prayers and ask them to take care of each other.
About that time another teacher walked by and saw Susie’s distress and stopped to talk with her and share some loving thoughts. That is also what we do. We don’t walk away from sadness (or any emotion our students are having), we enter into it with them.
Taking care of each other is what we do at CCCS. Yes, we educate our students. In fact, we do that remarkably well. But it is in our relationship with our students, their families, and with each other that we grow in God’s love.
We try every day to model that often cliched saying, “What would Jesus do?” It is not a cliche at CCCS; it is the form and substance of what we do here every day. Do we fall short somedays? Of course, but we know that God will work with our imperfections to help us be the people our students need.
Our mission: To Know Jesus, to Love Jesus, and to Serve Jesus.
I hope that I can offer some small insights into what makes CCCS the right choice for our children.