At Valley Christian, we desire our students to engage within their community, their state, their country, and their world. As our world continues to shrink with global technology and communication advances, Christians must learn how to navigate and interact with people of differing backgrounds, cultures, and experiences.
ENGAGE gives students a transformative educational experience on a local, national, and global scale.
The ENGAGE program is designed to do exactly what it says: engage within our community, our state, our country, and the world. Each of these trips are completely optional for students. All local trips will allow opportunities for parents to accompany students and be a part of the trips as well. For national and international trips, Valley Christian faculty, staff, or appointed chaperones will accompany students.
VCS Spring Service Break
Beginning in the 2023-24 school year, Valley Christian Schools’ high school faculty and students will participate in a school-wide, two-week Spring Service Break.
While VCS has enjoyed a long-lasting Christian Service program and an expanding ENGAGE program, the vision for a two-week Spring Service Break is to create more opportunities for unforgettable God-moments for VCS faculty, staff, and families. We believe that a two-week Spring Service Break can fulfill this vision and have a deep, lasting positive impact on our community both near and far.
All official Christian Service at VCS will occur during two time periods. The first service experience will occur during the last day of the Spiritual Emphasis Conference which has a focus on serving the local church.
The second service experience will occur during the first week of Spring Service Break with a focus on serving people in need locally, nationally, and internationally. VCS Spring Service Break will be a two-week period divided into one week of opportunities to serve through ENGAGE Arizona (EAZ), ENGAGE U.S. (EUS), or ENGAGE Global (EGL), and one week of rest, recreation, and relaxation.
Past ENGAGE Experiences
When will Spring Break be for K-8?
Spring Break for VCS K-8 students will take place March 11th-15th, 2024. This will be during Week Two of Spring Service Break for the high school campus.
Are other schools doing this or something similar?
Yes! Scottsdale Christian Academy closes their high school campus for a week, and they complete all their local, national, and international trips during that week then they are all off the following week. There is a school in Colorado that does something similar in providing a practicum where students take trips or engage in a learning or serving opportunity over the course of two weeks.
Can all grades go on any ENGAGE trip?
All ENGAGE trips are available for any of our high school students. With that being said, most long-haul trips do not include Freshmen or most Sophomores. This is due primarily to 1) preference given to upperclassmen, 2) the need for spiritual and emotional maturity, and 3) parents not allowing their Freshman/Sophomore to apply.
Any student can apply for any of the trips, but our recommendation for Freshmen/Sophomores is to apply for trips they will have a strong chance of being approved for which would include any of our ENGAGE Arizona, ENGAGE U.S., and shorter (distance) ENGAGE Global trips (e.g. – Mexico, Dominican Republic, Honduras, or Nicaragua).
Does this count as school hours?
Yes! We will be counting EAZ, EUS, and EGL efforts/days as school days. We will not be adding days at the end of the school year because of these trips. For EAZ, we will be taking attendance, and students will be required to submit a brief summary of lessons learned throughout the week.
What are some examples of what EAZ would like?
We desperately need to show our students that being the hands and feet of Christ involves so much more than serving at a local rescue mission. For example, taking a number of students on a Fine Arts mini-tour to minister to schools around the Valley would be a great way to serve Arizona, or taking a group of students to one of our neighboring school districts to assist a school in reading or ESL opportunities, or picking a few local churches and finding out what needs they may have.
Can you further explain each of the opportunities?
- ENGAGE Arizona (EAZ) will focus on serving 3-4 hours per day (usually in the morning) during Week One of Spring Service Break. This will allow for students participating in Spring sports to attend practices and games in the afternoons/evenings. All EAZ participants can enjoy their Spring Break during Week Two!
- ENGAGE U.S. (EUS) and ENGAGE Global (EGL) will be opportunities for our students to travel around the country and world, serving others. These trips usually last 5-10 days and will occur anytime during Spring Service Break. Students will have a few days either on the front or back end of Spring Service Break to enjoy a much needed time of rest and relaxation!
Can my student do additional community service on their own?
Yes! We receive a number of requests throughout the year from non-profits, churches, and businesses that require assistance. We would love to have VCS students continue to serve their community throughout the year. However, these acts of service will not equate to receiving a grade, as they are not a requirement.
Does the school-wide Fall Initiative and Spring EAZ/EUS/EGL count for a grade?
Yes! Because we are no longer requiring students to perform 20 hours of Christian Service each year, the Fall Initiative and Spring EAZ/EUS/EGL will count for 5% of your student’s Bible grade for each semester.