By Jodie Aakko, Brooklyn Hill, Kierstin Syvertson, James Adams, and Caleb Fish – Brighton, Colorado … Brighton Adventist Academy (BAA) completed its first quarter of in-person education for the school year. To celebrate, the staff and students planned and participated in three jubilant events.

In August, the school year began with anticipation and excitement as 61 students enrolled with a ten percent increase in enrollment from last year, a number not seen at BAA in nearly a decade.

The week of events began with students showcasing their musical talents for the members of the Brighton church in a special worship service. The service included students not only performing but getting involved behind the scenes.

The K-4 choir shared three songs with stirring choreography, and the upper grades’ ukulele class and hand-chimes class offered several other sacred numbers. Bob Dunkin, BAA ukulele and band director joined the ukulele musicians, playing the recorder and the trumpet.

The pre-school and pre-kindergarten classroom recorded a special video where the youngest students beamed with joy and happiness while citing Psalm 23 and thanking Jesus for His many blessings. The program’s highlight was when BAA graduates, Lexi Contreras, Brie Bell, Staci Baker, Hailey Baker, and Abigail Segovia, led the song service with Zane Meyers operating the sound system.

“I liked the songs that we sang in church. The words were very meaningful, especially saying that we are a grain of sand that needs pressure in order to turn into a diamond,” Sienna, a fourth-grader, said.

The following Monday, Wayne Morrison, Brighton church pastor, began BAA fall week of prayer. The students were encouraged to pray and walk with Jesus as their best friend and Savior at the daily morning gatherings. The students were urged to “Be still and know that I am God,” so the students spent quiet moments each morning resting at the throne of God.  In addition, Pastor Wayne urged them to remember the words of Philippians 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

Students thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Morrison and the messages he shared.  Christopher, a fourth-grader, exclaimed enthusiastically that the “week of prayer with Pastor Wayne was interesting.  My pastor is awesome!”

The week of celebration ended on the evening of October 21 when staff, students, parents, and community members enjoyed a time of fellowship at the annual fall festival. The teachers and volunteers elected to attempt a festival that was outdoors and shortened in length. While wondering how successful this plan would be, all eyes quickly noticed that this event would go down in the books as the “biggest comeback ever!”

Cars were parked down the street, as the school parking lot filled up with carloads of students, friends, and family members who wanted to fellowship, laugh, visit, and play. The crowd was thrilled with the face painting, bouncy houses, corn hole challenges, free throw competitions, water balloon tosses, obstacle course races, dino dig expeditions, and s’more roasting.

“We had the best Fall Festival ever because a lot of people were here, and I liked the obstacle course, and dino dig the best,” Ericsson, a third-grader, commented.

The evening continued with a silent auction of baked goods that provided winners with a homemade treat, such as key lime pie, toffee, peanut butter cookies, brownies, apple pie, meringue pie, Scotchies, apricot bars, and much more. The event was topped with delectable corn dogs, cheese sticks, pupusas, spring rolls, horchata, and pancit for the masses to fill their appetites.

Pastor Wayne helped with the decorations by hanging festive lights while the festival’s co-directors Marilee Rego and Ashley Radu, decorated the school’s courtyard and playfields with colorful autumn decor.

As the students begin their second quarter, memories of the special week remain fresh in their minds as the staff starts planning out the next event to honor and showcase the students.

— Jodie Aakko is Brighton Adventist Academy’s head teacher, and Brooklyn Hill, Kierstin Syvertson, James Adams, and Caleb Fish are BAA’s student reporters; photos courtesy of BAA Facebook page.