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 University Hosts Epidemic of Hope Event image

Ohio Christian University Hosts Epidemic of Hope Event

Ohio Christian University Hosts Epidemic of Hope Event image

Published: February 27, 2018

Former Major League baseball great Darryl Strawberry and his wife Tracy joined Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine at Ohio Christian University in Circleville, Monday, February 26 in the new Ministry
Former Major League baseball great Darryl Strawberry and his wife Tracy joined Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine at Ohio Christian University in Circleville, Monday, February 26 in the new Ministry
Former Major League baseball great Darryl Strawberry and his wife Tracy joined Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine at Ohio Christian University in Circleville, Monday, February 26 in the new Ministry
Preparing Super Teachers for Tough-Love Challenges  image

Preparing Super Teachers for Tough-Love Challenges

Preparing Super Teachers for Tough-Love Challenges  image

Published: February 20, 2018

In 2018, OCU’s Teacher Education Department is participating in classroom management skills training that addresses student development deficits.  Focusing on issues that impact learning, such as effects of divorce, poverty, and substance abuse, requires equipping teachers with proven intervention skills. To enable Teacher Education majors to succeed in this challenge, OCU is hosting a training workshop on trauma-informed care led by Pickaway County Board of Disabilities on June 4th and 5th.  Mandated by the State of Ohio, this practicum is offered for any teacher in Ohio at no cost
In 2018, OCU’s Teacher Education Department is participating in classroom management skills training that addresses student development deficits.  Focusing on issues that impact learning, such as effects of divorce, poverty, and substance abuse, requires equipping teachers with proven intervention skills. To enable Teacher Education majors to succeed in this challenge, OCU is hosting a
In 2018, OCU’s Teacher Education Department is participating in classroom management skills training that addresses student development deficits.  Focusing on issues that impact learning, such as
Serving the Great Commission image

Serving the Great Commission

Serving the Great Commission image

Published: February 7, 2018

  The Great Commission is a directive that Ohio Christian University and World Gospel Mission take seriously. Through OCU’s Student Center in 2018, World Gospel Mission Student Involvement Director Natasha Grimmett will be leading three separate teams of OCU students around the world to join in the long-term work that God is doing. The first trip is schedule for March 2-9 to Choluteca, Honduras. A team of nine students will be serving alongside long-term missionaries there to complete a variety work projects and support the children’s ministry. The second team will be serving in
  The Great Commission is a directive that Ohio Christian University and World Gospel Mission take seriously. Through OCU’s Student Center in 2018, World Gospel Mission Student Involvement Director Natasha Grimmett will be leading three separate teams of OCU students around the world to join in the long-term work that God is doing. The first trip is schedule for March 2-9 to Choluteca,
  The Great Commission is a directive that Ohio Christian University and World Gospel Mission take seriously. Through OCU’s Student Center in 2018, World Gospel Mission Student Involvement
Student Profile:  AYA Math Teacher Ed Major Leads by Example  image

Student Profile: AYA Math Teacher Ed Major Leads by Example

Student Profile:  AYA Math Teacher Ed Major Leads by Example  image

Published: December 26, 2017

Clarissa Crowley, one of the first Adolescence to Young Adult Education (AYA) Mathematics majors at Ohio Christian University, set her sights high when she decided to major in STEM education to transform young lives. Serving as a ‘guinea pig’ for the new AYA curriculum with its advanced, yet enticing, and rigorous materials, Crowley’s goal for herself is not only propelling her into the future, but also enabling her to demonstrate faith-based leadership to her peers. Becoming a servant leader wasn’t always in the cards for Crowley.  Higher education seemed unobtainable to her until a
Clarissa Crowley, one of the first Adolescence to Young Adult Education (AYA) Mathematics majors at Ohio Christian University, set her sights high when she decided to major in STEM education to transform young lives. Serving as a ‘guinea pig’ for the new AYA curriculum with its advanced, yet enticing, and rigorous materials, Crowley’s goal for herself is not only propelling her into the
Clarissa Crowley, one of the first Adolescence to Young Adult Education (AYA) Mathematics majors at Ohio Christian University, set her sights high when she decided to major in STEM education to
Helping Hands in Puerto Rico image

Helping Hands in Puerto Rico

Helping Hands in Puerto Rico image

Published: December 8, 2017

by Chelsi Mason, OCU Junior, majoring in Emergency
by Chelsi Mason, OCU Junior, majoring in Emergency
by Chelsi Mason, OCU Junior, majoring in Emergency