Community Christian School to celebrate 100 years

news CCSPRESENT

A lot has happened in the past 100 years. World wars have been fought, presidents have come and gone, man has traveled to the moon and back.
Through all that, a one-room school house in Pease, Minnesota, has stood the test of time, and even expanded its building to invite more students to earn a faith-based education.
Community Christian School will celebrate its centennial from July 3-6 with several events throughout the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Community Christian School, a history
CCS first opened its doors in 1914 as a one-room schoolhouse called Pease Christian School. The school was founded by Dutch immigrants that wanted their children to get an education that involved God. By 1918 the school expanded with a building addition, and in 1919 they added another school building, Riverside Eastern School, for kids who wished to attend but lived farther east.
By 1927 the school had ballooned to more than 100 students, which caused them to add another room to the school.
The Depression then hit the school hard and Riverside had to be closed in 1936. In 1954 the school expanded once again, adding two classrooms, an office, a storage room and bathrooms. In 1970 that whole wooden building was torn down and a new school with classrooms, a kitchen and a boiler room were built. The gymnasium, three more classrooms and a lobby were added in 1971.
The name of Pease Christian School was changed in 1978 to Community Christian School in part to debunk a myth.
“The myth was that you had to go to the Pease church to go to the Peace Christian School; a lot of people used to think that,” said Amy Banks, CCS development director. “But more than 27 churches are represented here now. It encompasses anyone who wants to send their children here.”
Another myth that has followed the school throughout its history is that all they do is teach the Bible, but Banks is quick to note that they are first and foremost an educational facility.
“The misconception is that you just teach Bible, or put Bible into everything,” Banks said. “We’re an educational facility, we educate, we have certified teachers and they are coming from certified colleges. It is just a focus and a way in which you teach and present.”
In recent years the school has expanded from K-8 to include prekindergarten as well. They also remodeled the offices, lobby and bathrooms in 2013.
And the school still has the same mantra as it did when it opened.
“Our whole goal is to continue offering families a Christian perspective on learning,” Banks said. “We really try to work together in that triangle of church, home and school.”
Celebrating 100 years
The school’s events to celebrate its centennial will kick off with an ice cream social, games for children, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 3, at CCS.
On Friday, July 4, there will be a golf tournament hosted at Stones Throw Golf Course in Milaca and activities and fireworks at Pease Park.
CCS will host a 5K run and walk Saturday morning from 9-11 a.m.
The biggest event will happen on Saturday evening, July 5, when a centennial banquet will be hosted at Northern Lights Ballroom and Banquet Center in Pease. The guest speaker at the banquet will be nationally known Tony Campolo.
Festivities will wrap up on Sunday, July 6, with a worship service led by Pastor David Smit at 9:30 a.m.
Banks is happy to be celebrating what the school means to the community.
“It’s come a long ways, but the thread that began, has stayed,” Banks said. “It is Christ-centered education in everything you do and that’s why you do it.”
Alumni of the school from across the country, including Florida, Texas and California, plan to attend.
“It’s a big thing, and we have more than 360 people coming to the banquet right now,” Banks said. “We have a lot of alumni coming back, so it’s exciting.”
Banks said she is impressed with the longevity of CCS, especially in times of economic uncertainty. They have outlasted many other small Christian schools in the state.
“A lot of small Christian schools are shutting down, and the support here has been very good, and the roots of people who firmly believe and are deeply rooted in the school,” Banks said. “Our prayer is that we have 100 more years to offer this in this area.”

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