Sept. 6 marked another start of the school year for Bethany K-8 School on Clark Street in Long Beach. For the returning students, it will be another year of those three special words that permeate each and every activity at Bethany: believe, achieve, and succeed.
The first and most important difference between Bethany and your average public school is, of course, their Christian roots. Everything starts with “believe.”
“We don’t teach ‘about’ religion here,” school principal Bill Cook explained. “Everything we teach is through the belief that Jesus Christ is God’s son and we are here to serve his purpose.”
In other words, Bethany School is here to teach and steep your child in Christian values, not just about Christian values.
You can see and feel the message of Christ when talking to the students. Eighth-grader Sydnie Stout speaks confidently about the school’s mission statement.
“Everything about this school is Christ-centered and that’s really cool to me because Jesus died to save us, so now we get to live out his commandments,” Sydnie said.
The “achieve” factor comes in many forms; however, principal Cook points out the level of academics.
“Though all student learning-levels are welcome here, we teach at a “gate” or advanced level in all our classes. That is the academic level we want our kids to be achieved at.”
Sydnie also talks about “developing good work habits and being prepared to grow more when they leave Bethany.” Sydnie plans to attend Millikan High School next year.
Her classmate, Isiah Dorsey, agrees about being prepared for next year. He plans to go to Los Alamitos High School next year and feels the workload has more than prepared him for high school.
“If we don’t understand something, the teachers always go out of their way to help us create a foundation in our knowledge.”
Both talked about their ideas of “success.” Bethany has taught them about the diverse opportunities in life to define success.
“It’s not about money or being famous,” Sydnie said. “It’s about trying hard at what you believe in. Even if others don’t think you succeed, if you tried your absolute hardest then that is succeeding.”
Principal Bill believes a lot of the “success” of Bethany students is displayed through their service. Students have multiple opportunities at each grade level to prove their ‘believe, achieve, succeed’ through service projects. Through helping the homeless, the poor, and the downtrodden, Bethany students learn from an early age that belief in God, hard work, and a passion for helping others, will always define success and happiness in life. That’s something we can all believe in.