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The Wushu Stars of FCS

March 14, 2024
By Fremont Christian School

For a school of its size, Fremont Christian offers students a wide array of extracurricular activities, including those in its robust athletics program. But even with so many on-campus options, some students opt to participate in other hobbies and sports. Two such students, senior Howard Kam and junior Elena Chow, have chosen wushu (a Chinese term for martial arts), a sport in which they have proven not just adept but exceptional.

Finding Their Passion

Howard's early exposure to martial arts dramas on a Hong Kong broadcasting station fueled his initial interest in wushu. “The channel had a lot of dramas with martial arts,” he says. “I saw that, and I was like, wow, this is really awesome and super cool."

His parents, understanding his passion, allowed him to pursue wushu at the age of six. Despite the commitment and sacrifices — he currently practices for three hours four to five times a week, including with a straight sword and a spear — Howard finds fulfillment in pushing himself beyond limits. He emphasizes the importance of enjoying the journey, saying, "Winning hasn't been the same for me. What I came to realize was that I have to be willing to push myself in practice and in preparation."

Elena also became interested in wushu at a young age, partly because her mother ran a kung fu school. She began practicing when she was seven, and the physical activity soon became an integral part of her identity. Balancing academics and wushu, Elena highlights the supportive environment at FCS, citing how accommodating and understanding the teachers are as a main reason she transferred from her previous school, which hadn’t been as accepting.

Howard echoes this sentiment, “If, for example, I have a competition, I can ask my teachers ahead of time for assignments, tests, or whatever I need. They’re very supportive.”

Competition Champions

Both students’ dedication has paid off. Howard has competed in several high-profile competitions, including the Golden State International Wushu Championships, Tiger Claw (where he was grand champion), and the prestigious Pan American Wushu Championships, for which he traveled to Brazil and took home the gold.

Elena has also competed in esteemed competitions, including the World Wushu Championships. “I got to see athletes who do this sport for like a living — athletes from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia — who I would normally watch online to get inspiration for my own routine. And I got to compete on the same floor. I just remember it being so surreal because I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, these people do the same thing I do, and I get to see them in person.’” She has also traveled to Indonesia to compete in the World Junior Wushu Championship.

Howard, having competed at national and international levels, underscores the sense of community in wushu. “The people you compete against push you to be better. The community is a big part of what draws people into the sport.”

Elena echoes this sentiment, emphasizing wushu’s transformative power. “It’s taught me discipline and perseverance. It's not just a sport — it's a way of life.”

Unleashing School Spirit: An Inside Look at Spirit Week

February 28, 2024
By Fremont Christian School

Spirit Week at Fremont Christian School isn't just another week on the calendar — it's a vibrant celebration of unity, creativity, and school pride that brings together students and faculty in a whirlwind of activities and events. Led by Student Activities Director Jimmy Fu, Spirit Week offers a unique opportunity for students to showcase their talents, build lasting friendships, and create cherished memories.

Under the banner of this year’s theme of “Board Games,” the festivities kicked off on January 27th, with a flurry of activity as students dove into skit and dance rehearsals, each class guided by its respective advisor. As the day progressed, students came together for decoration setup in the gym, infusing the space with the vibrant energy of Homecoming and basketball excitement. The day culminated with more rehearsals, ensuring that every performance was polished to perfection.

Each class chose a different board game for their theme:

  • 9th grade: The Game of Life
  • 10th grade: Candy Land
  • 11th grade: Jumanji
  • 12th grade: Monopoly

Throughout the week, activities continued to captivate the school community, with classes earning points based on various criteria. Students gathered to engage in various games and challenges, showcase videos created by each class, perform energetic class dances, and take the stage with creative skits that highlighted their class unity and talent. Friday saw the Spirit Rally, featuring the introduction of the Homecoming court and a basketball game. The excitement culminated on Saturday with the dance, which had a masquerade theme this year.

This year’s winner of Spirit Week was the junior class. Congrats to them and everyone who participated!

Spirit Week’s Role at FCS

The week-long annual event aligns seamlessly with Fremont Christian School's values of unity, leadership, and holistic development. By fostering a supportive and inclusive environment, Spirit Week empowers students to embrace their unique talents and strengths while promoting collaboration and positive relationships among peers.

Mr. Fu employs various strategies to encourage student participation, emphasizing the value of teamwork, leadership, and personal growth. Through positive peer pressure and inclusive leadership, our Student Activities Director — himself an FCS alum — motivates students to actively engage in Spirit Week activities.

Student leaders play a pivotal role in organizing and leading Spirit Week activities. Tapping into their leadership skills, class presidents and council members collaborate closely with Mr. Fu to plan and execute various events, ensuring effective communication and coordination within their respective classes.

Mr. Fu’s Long History at FCS

In his role, Mr. Fu works closely with the student council to ensure that each class is on track with their assignments and collaborates with students to organize various activities throughout the week. He also promotes the culminating events of Spirit Week, including the Homecoming basketball game and dance, encouraging widespread participation and enthusiasm among the student body.

Mr. Fu's journey at Fremont Christian School has come full circle. As an international student from Taiwan, he graduated from FCS in 2006. After pursuing higher education and gaining experience in event management and hospitality, Mr. Fu returned to serve as a faculty member and youth leader. His deep-rooted connection to the school and his passion for student engagement drive his commitment to making Spirit Week a memorable experience for everyone involved.

Spirit Week is more than just a series of events — it's a celebration of community, teamwork, and the unique spirit that defines Fremont Christian School. Guided by Mr. Fu and fueled by the enthusiasm of students, Spirit Week continues to be a cherished tradition and a testament to the vibrant spirit and community ethos of Fremont Christian School.
 

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Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Gets a Boost With Friendzy

December 07, 2023
By Fremont Christian School

Fremont Christian School understands the pivotal role emotional intelligence plays in shaping well-rounded individuals. That's why we've partnered with Friendzy, a leading program in social-emotional learning (SEL), to provide an enriching experience tailored for our students. After piloting the program last year and being quite impressed with the results, FCS has decided to expand the program across TK-12. 

The Friendzy Biblical Friendship Program has an emphasis on building a healthy school culture that creates a safe environment for learning. The carefully structured TK–12 curriculum, rooted in scripture, aims to empower students with practical skills — such as respect, confidence, problem-solving, and communication — for navigating the complexities of emotions and relationships. Teaching friendship skills supports students in managing their emotions, improving their ability to set and achieve positive goals, feeling and showing empathy for others, maintaining positive relationships, and making responsible decisions. 

Friendzy covers a range of essential social and emotional skills. From understanding emotions to conflict resolution and responsible decision-making, the program provides a comprehensive foundation for our students' personal growth. The curriculum is divided into well-thought-out modules tailored to different age groups, ensuring age-appropriate content that aligns with students' evolving experiences.

One distinctive feature of Friendzy is its integration of online resources with real-world applications. Through an accessible online platform, students engage with videos, exercises, and activities designed to encourage self-reflection. This dynamic mix of technology and hands-on learning forms an immersive experience for our students.

FCS teachers and educators have observed tangible positive impacts on our students' lives through their interaction with Friendzy. We see students developing increased confidence, compassion, and resilience as they navigate challenges. 

“Since I started using Friendzy with my 8th graders, I’ve noticed them helping each other more,” says our computer science teacher Maya Mathews. "They remind each other about Friendzy teachings or take the time to reach out if they notice someone needs help in class. They even stay a bit after the bell to put back their chairs and tidy up the classroom. That's definitely progress compared to the beginning of the year, when they used to talk over each other and rush out the door at the end of class.”

Students themselves can feel the positive impact Friendzy has had on their time on campus, as evidenced by the chart below. 

Friendzy isn't just a supplement — it's a tool for transformation. Its methodical approach, combining online accessibility with tangible, applicable skills, sets a solid foundation for our students' holistic development.

Explore more by visiting Friendzy.co. This collaboration reflects our commitment to nurturing well-rounded individuals equipped not only with academic knowledge but also with the emotional intelligence needed to thrive in an ever-changing world. 

Navigating Early Education: Choosing Between Montessori and Play-Based Learning

August 31, 2023
By Fremont Christian School

When looking for the perfect educational fit for their child, many parents prefer a Montessori school. What many don’t realize, however, is that play-based learning can fulfill many of the same goals. Here’s how play-based learning can align with Montessori values while offering a different perspective on your child's growth.

Montessori Values and Play-Based Learning

These are just a few of the more important ways that the two learning methods are similar. 

Fostering Independence. Montessori education is renowned for nurturing independence through self-directed activities. Play-based learning similarly encourages independence by allowing children to explore and make choices based on their interests.

Individualized Learning. Montessori schools focus on tailoring education to each child's unique pace and preferences. 
Play-based education inherently adapts to individual learning styles, ensuring that children engage with activities that resonate with them personally.

Hands-On Exploration. Montessori classrooms offer specialized materials to engage children in hands-on learning experiences. 
Play-based learning is grounded in tactile, hands-on exploration, providing a variety of materials and activities that stimulate creativity and critical thinking.

Joyful Learning. Montessori emphasizes that children learn best when they are genuinely engaged and joyful in their exploration. 
Play-based education thrives on creating an environment where learning is synonymous with enjoyment, fostering a lifelong love for learning.

Mixed-Age Interactions. Montessori classrooms often group children of different ages, allowing younger ones to learn from older peers. 
Play-based settings naturally facilitate mixed-age interactions, especially during outdoor play, enabling younger children to learn from their older playmates and develop important social skills.

Choosing Play-Based for Montessori Goals

So, why might you consider a play-based school even if you're initially drawn to Montessori education?

Holistic Growth. Just like Montessori, play-based learning promotes holistic development, nurturing cognitive, social, emotional, and physical growth through imaginative play.

Flexibility in Exploration. Play-based classrooms offer the flexibility to explore a wide range of interests and activities, allowing your child to discover and develop passions organically.

Natural Learning Rhythm. In a play-based environment, children engage with learning at their own pace, aligning with Montessori's goal of individualized education.

Nurturing Self-Motivation. Play-based learning encourages intrinsic motivation, as children actively engage in activities that pique their curiosity and enthusiasm.

When considering the educational journey for your child, it's essential to weigh your priorities and values against the options available. While Montessori education boasts its unique strengths, it's worth recognizing that many of those same goals can be achieved through a play-based approach. As you explore the possibilities, remember that the right choice for your child ultimately depends on their unique personality, learning style, and your educational aspirations. Whether Montessori or play-based, the goal remains the same: to provide your child with a solid foundation for future success and a lifelong love for learning.

Big-School Opportunities in a Small-School Environment

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