Grays Harbor Makes the Most of Trying Times

July 06, 2021 | Education | Adria Hay

“And our prayer request is that we make it through the school year without having to go online.” That prayer was offered 178 in-person school days ago, and by God’s grace, our supplication has been answered.

Not only was this prayer request granted, Grays Harbor Adventist Christian School in Montesano, Washington, made the best of a year with many obstacles.

The school's square footage was more-than-adequate, allowing space for the required 6 feet between students to meet pandemic protocol. The gym was also a godsend, permitting students needed breaks, even though they still had to wear masks.

A row of rubber boots lined the gym so students could go out all year, no matter the weather. Lunches were eaten outside until the worst of winter came. An attempt to construct a makeshift outdoor cafeteria turned out to be only a team building activity as the first fall storm carried the “mess tent” over a 6-foot fence and smashed it.

Every holiday and birthday was well-celebrated. On Veterans’ Day staff and students ceremoniously took down the old flag outside and put up a new one. For Christmas they walked to a nearby trailer park to sing carols. Creative receptacles were made to collect Valentine’s Day cards. The 100th day of school and Dr. Seuss' birthday were also well-celebrated.

Then sometime in late winter, school members realized they could walk to a nearby park when it opened for spring. Around the same time, they no longer had to be 6 feet apart. It felt like a spring thaw after a long winter!

The local YMCA was willing to provide swim lessons to Grays Harbor under CDC guidelines. It was the high point of the year for students to leave the school, have lunch at the park and then enjoy swim lessons.

Yes, this was a challenging year, but God was clearly with this school community. Staff, students and families give Him all the glory for this year and look forward to His abundant blessings in the 2021–2022 school year.