Unification News for January 1999


by Jan Mendoza -- Clifton, NJ

The children enrolled at Jin-A kindergarten and Red Oak Academy used Christmas time to prepare a special program for their families and friends. We reserved time at our local Family Federation Church Center to present a Christmas program. Several reasons made this a special occasion for the children. First, it is Christmas, which is a favorite holiday and a special time of the year, and second, we planned a Christmas party for Saturday afternoon inviting family and friends to share in this festive time of the year with us at the church center. We also knew that a more formal program would need to be well thought out and to include in our academic schedule more practice and preparation time. In the past, we have held a smaller program in each classroom at school on the last day before Christmas vacation. This time we were preparing a performance on stage in a chapel. On performance day some of us came early to decorate the stage and chapel. There are many memories of holidays, and certainly decorating is top on the list of things we do for holidays.

We chose to provide three themes in our Christmas program: one, the traditional children’s Christmas of snowmen, Christmas trees, sleds and jingle bells; next, a more religious tone to tell the story of Jesus’ birth with "The Little Drummer Boy," "Silent Night," "Angels We Have Heard on High"; and last, present Jesus in relation to our True Parents on earth today, with "Joy to the World," "The Lord Has Come" and "We Love True Parents." It was a day filled with great talent exhibited in small skits, rounds, Christmas carols, solos and story-telling. As performances are prepared for, much practice is needed to feel confident for the big day. Children are natural thespians and this is a great opportunity for them to find joy in expressing themselves through music and the performing arts on stage and as a gift to others.

After the children’s performance, we asked parents to join with us in singing a couple of Christmas carols and toward the end of the program we offered a candlelight prayer service together with the families and frie -- ds present. The children remained on stage singing "Kumbaya" as lit candles were passed to the adults in the audience and church lights dimmed. Some children and adults participated one by one in sharing aloud a prayer about "what this season means for me—my hopes and dreams." The hour-long program was concluded with a light snack in the church basement. Families, friends, staff and children could all relax and share in one another’s company. It was a great day and wonderful experience for all of us, from the beginning of the planning stage to the day of the performance until we said our good-nights. It was a great way to celebrate the Christmas season.

Red Oak Academy is currently sharing space with Jin-A Child Care Center. Jin-A educates children from ages 2 to 6, including kindergarten. Red Oak Academy, at present, educates children ages 6 to 9 years old, which is grades 1-3 in the traditional school curriculum. We have plans for expansion of Red Oak to go up to sixth grade and have its own facility by Sept. 1999. Jin-A is accepting applications for all ages. Anyone in need of child care and/or wishing to enroll their children in our pre-K program may call to register children and/or inquire for more information. We are also accepting applications for Sept. 1999 Kindergarten. We accept transfers for Kindergarten to finish the 1998-1999 school term. Red Oak Academy is accepting applications for Sept. 1999. Please call Jin-A for more information and to have an application sent, or you may come to the school between 9am and 5pm, Mon.-Fri. Jin-A is located at 77 Jay St., Clifton, NJ 07110. Clifton is a very lovely town with a large church community including neighboring towns. It’s a wonderful place to raise children and we feel that Jin-A, Red Oak and the church community offer great activities and support for our children and families. We hope you can join us and our growing community.

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