Seventh-Day Adventist Church

So. California Conference of SDA Department of Education


CAES Service Day

Conejo Adventist Elementary School Launches First Ever Service Day to Honor Martin Luther King Jr.

On Friday, January 15, Conejo Adventist Elementary School students took time out of class to participate in a school-wide service day to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The students split into four groups by grade, each with a different project to complete.

 Friday morning, the kindergarteners, first graders, and second graders went to Mary Health of the Sick Home in Newbury Park. The children sang to a group of residents gathered in a recreation room and passed out handmade cards and flowers. Afterward, the students visited several private rooms of residents who were unable to see the performance.

Conejo Adventist Elementary School Principal, Jennifer Lew, accompanied the younger students to Mary Health of the Sick.

“The students were so happy to be helping others,” Principal Lew said. “One student told me: ‘This is the best day of my life!’”


Meanwhile, the third and fourth graders went to Belmont Village, an assisted living facility. There, students passed out flowers and cards they had made. Many of the women residents laughed and clapped along as the students sang Christian songs with various hand motions.

 The fifth and sixth grade classes travelled to Newbury Park Adventist Academy and picked up trash and piles of leaves. The Academy Pastor, Fernando Rossi, saw the CAES students working and brought them donuts to say thank you.

The seventh and eighth grade students went out into the Oxnard and Ventura area to pass out care packages they had made in preparation of service day. The whole school had conducted a donation drive to collect hats, mittens, snacks and gift cards. The junior high students compiled the donations and distributed them to the homeless.

During the care package brigade, several students approached a homeless man to give him a care package. He was shocked.

“This is for me?” he asked. “Really? I really needed this. This is just want I needed!” then he started to cry.


Some of the students asked to pray with the homeless after they had given them the care packages. Many of the homeless said yes.

After the service day concluded, students were left with a lasting impression.

“The best thing [about the service day] was actually helping the homeless,” said Elliot Park, an eighth grade student at CAES. “I love helping the community.”

Holly Neslund, a seventh grader at CAES, remembers how the homeless responded to the care packages. "It was fun seeing their reaction to getting the bags because they got all excited!"

This was the first official service day that CAES participated in for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but Principal Lew is sure it won’t be the last.

“I had many parents and students come up to me afterwards and told me that we need to this more often,” said Lew. “We want to do this more than once a year. We are planning to get more involved in the community, because that’s what it’s all about.”

 For more information about Conejo Adventist Elementary School, serving K-8th grade, check out their website at

Published Feb. 8, 2016
SCC Marketing Team