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Innovation is defined by Merriam Webster's online dictionary as the introduction of something new, or a new idea, method, or device.

For children, Webster’s definition is the same. I share these details in that for Central Valley, innovation has the potential to become the center of what we do. The adjective form of the word, innovative, is also one of the more powerful descriptors associated with Jesus Christ.

When we look at the life of Jesus as he ministered on earth, we find rich examples of something new. Not only did he introduce a new understanding of faith in God, he was the living example of looking at salvation through a distinct set of eyes. Everything about Christ spoke of innovation: how he treated others—especially the outcast; how he made clear God’s will for people’s lives; and how he reacted to criticism of his claims. There are reasons people from Henry David Thoreau to Ghandi to Martin Luther King Jr. have modeled their lives after Christ’s example.

Sir Ken Robinson, one of education's strongest advocates for creativity, claims that 21st Century education in America effectively drains innovative and creative thinking from its students. He suggests education prepares students for far too narrow a set of possibilities. If this is true, how far have we as educators—Christian and public—wandered from the example of Christ?

In our world today, our children have a pressing need for education that allows their natural creativity—yes, that includes innovative thinking—to blossom. Our children need a learning environment that challenges them to use the language and calculation skills they develop to impact their communities—in unanticipated ways, if necessary. If we in Christian education intend to raise up a generation of children committed—by choice—to following the example of Jesus, we must provide an environment that mirrors the one He modeled.

This year and beyond, this is precisely what Central Valley Christian School aims to do. Please help us as we begin this journey. Encourage curiosity for your child. Encourage them to explore their passions—as long as they’re healthy. And encourage your child to consider everything they learn as an avenue to serving others. It’ll help them to think innovatively.