The phrase “the best way to learn is to do” is put into action at Grand Haven Christian School (GHCS) for one week in January through a program known as Winterim. During this extended learning period, students in grades 6-8 select longer classes directed into things they enjoy as a way to try out careers and find new passions and talents.

Winterim is a time during the school year that offers variety and gives students a chance to learn outside of the standard school curriculum. It occurs between semesters allowing students to recharge after exams for the rest of the year.

“There are very few programs like this at the middle school level,” Tim Annema, former Winterim Director and current GHCS Director, says.

During this special week, students are able to explore careers along with their God-given talents, different hobbies, service opportunities, and learn more about their community. Winterim instructors are local business owners, employees, or relatives of GHCS students who come into the school to share their passions.

Grand Haven Department of Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke teaches a class on public services during Winterim affording students an opportunity to learn more about the job and day-to-day activities.

“Teaching a Winterim class not only provides the students with skills and a look into public safety professionals, but it allows us to form those relationships in the community which are extremely important for public safety work,” Chief Hawke says.

Former student Makaela said when she gets older she wants to be a police officer. “On TV they mainly show the action, but here we got to learn how to do fingerprints and stuff and I thought that was really cool,” she says.

Other classes include cooking, hunter safety, construction trades, magic, outdoor activities and more.

James says GHCS teaches to students hearts, minds, and their social well-being as which and that the Winterim program reflects that all.

Tim adds, “It amazing to see how many different connections there are even in a school with only 300 people. It’s incredible to see people share what they do and pique the interests of our students. We hope the service provided by others is something they’ll remember fondly for years to come and want to continue to do whether that’s in their homes or out in the community.”

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