Follow Christ, Lead the Way
Night to Shine

By Amber Ginter

Ohio Christian University Teacher Education students and faculty participated in Tim Tebow Foundation’s Night to Shine in Circleville Vineyard Church in February.  The event gave opportunities to show love and support to those with disabilities. 

Night to Shine is a prom where everyone can participate, delivering fun, dancing, music, food, and normalcy.  Created to embrace those with exceptionalities so that they feel loved and special, the event enables participants to show kindness in the spirit of Christian faith.

“It was a Christian event. Yet, you need not be a Christian to attend.  Involving everyone in the community made a good mixture and gave all participants a dose of Jesus,” students Morgan Jenkins, Jenny Keppler, and Autumn Paugh explained in unison.

Participating OCU students not only blessed others, but they received blessings. “We may have served some here tonight.  Yet, they blessed us,” noted Karee Neff, who wants to earn a master’s degree in special education.

Serving as ‘buddies’ to disabled persons, Karee Neff and Autumn Paugh become friends with their peer partners and engaged them in a series of participation stations from hair and makeup, to food, pictures, and dancing down the red carpet.  It was not limousine rides or free food that made these students feel compassion to serve, it was their ministering. “Night to Shine matters because it builds awareness, and those with exceptionalities deserve to be treated well like anyone,” noted Jenny.

OCU Teacher Education Professor Valerie Jones explains that “Here you can learn everything about teaching.  Yet, if you do not develop empathy, then you miss out.  If Jesus and His mission inform your actions, then you become a teacher who can make a difference.  We show the disabled our love through Christ.  We become a blessing to others as they are to us.”

OCU’s Teacher Education program trains teachers to engage effectively with disabled students. From teaching to exceptionalities, to field experience and training, courses help students learn and teach differentiation, develop individual education plans, as well as accommodations and modifications in interacting. “It is woven into the entire program.  Most important is we teach that God created exceptional children and young adults for a purpose.  It is our job as teachers to help them achieve their purpose,” concludes Jones. 

Archived Articles of Interest

Ohio Christian Atlanta Site Students Honor Caregivers image

Ohio Christian Atlanta Site Students Honor Caregivers

Ohio Christian Atlanta Site Students Honor Caregivers image

Published: October 16, 2019

A group of three students at the Ohio Christian University Atlanta site, as part of a project management class, chose to plan and host their own event honoring caregivers. In the course of five weeks, the students developed a charter, raised community support, and organized a black and white dinner for over 40 caregivers and nurses in the Atlanta area. “For the way they started and the way they finished in that class time, I was just truly amazed,” their professor, Selena Buchanan, said. The class normally requires students to plan for a fictious event, however, class member LaShaeele
A group of three students at the Ohio Christian University Atlanta site, as part of a project management class, chose to plan and host their own event honoring caregivers. In the course of five weeks, the students developed a charter, raised community support, and organized a black and white dinner for over 40 caregivers and nurses in the Atlanta area. “For the way they started and the way
A group of three students at the Ohio Christian University Atlanta site, as part of a project management class, chose to plan and host their own event honoring caregivers. In the course of five
Ohio Christian Hosts Youth Explosion image

Ohio Christian Hosts Youth Explosion

Ohio Christian Hosts Youth Explosion image

Published: July 29, 2019

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Ohio Christian University was happy to host the Youth Explosion camp on July 25 through 28. The camp was organized by the Marion Christian Center’s Youth Ministry. The event was meant to provide the opportunity to experience God in a real and impactful way. “This year, the theme is that God made them special and how to discover their gifts and talents to glorify Him” said Marion Christian
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OCU Assisted with Summer Institute for Teachers image

OCU Assisted with Summer Institute for Teachers

OCU Assisted with Summer Institute for Teachers image

Published: June 14, 2019

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The 2019 Summer Institute took place on June 3-7. The Ohio Christian University Teacher Education Department partnered with Circleville City Schools, Pickaway County Board of Developmental
Kids on Campus Returns to OCU image

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Kids on Campus Returns to OCU image

Published: June 7, 2019

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Ohio Christian University welcomed Kids on Campus — a summer enrichment program for first through fourth graders that allows them to experience academic life on a college campus, while improving their math, science, art, and technology skills — for the 13th consecutive. The program is a partnership with Pickaway WORKS and Ohio Christian University with generous support from others as well.
Ohio Christian University welcomed Kids on Campus — a summer enrichment program for first through fourth graders that allows them to experience academic life on a college campus, while improving