Once a month the middle schoolers at ZCS head to elementary classrooms to help gather the children in their family groups. On these days it’s common to see piggyback rides and hands being held while the kids chat about their days and find their classrooms. The noise erupting from the halls is both rambunctious and endearing.
Family groups are an integral part of the community here at ZCS. First graders are placed in a group that will remain theirs through eighth grade. The students are able to get to know kids of all ages, friendships are formed and they are able to mutually bless each other.
As the years go by, the students in family groups form a tight bond. For a first grader to have an 8th grader that they know well and can look up to is an amazing thing. Together they learn, do service projects, and just hang out!
During the last few weeks of the school year, the students gathered together one last time to say goodbye to the graduating 8th graders. The 8th graders shared advice and experiences they have had. Lauren Spahr offered her group this advice:
“If you have the opportunity to do something, take it! You never know if you will have that opportunity again.”
The younger students, in turn, took the opportunity to ask God to bless and protect the 8th graders as they move on to different schools.
ZCS is a stronger community because of the relationships that have formed during family groups. When students no longer see age difference as a barrier to growing together, so much can be accomplished.