Getting ready for school was always fun for me. I loved getting new clothes, a backpack and lunchbox to use on the first day of school. I could not wait to show my friends and see what they chose. One year the lunch box was a metal Strawberry Shortcake one and the next it was Holly Hobby. In middle school, it grew to a more sophisticated look with a solid color and a cooler feel. The special mechanical pencils were important to go into the right pencil case. Trapper keepers were also in style, which had the most pockets you could imagine in one folder!
This year, getting ready for school had a whole new meaning. As the director of Providence Academy, I was looking for some new clothes for me, but I was buying school supplies for over 90 students and making sure classrooms had all of the manipulatives and furniture they needed. We were looking at traffic flow for car rider lines since all of the students were car riders. We manipulated the hallway converted to a cafeteria and made it accommodate students for several lunch periods. We made sure that our student and staff files were up to the standards of the DOE.
Most importantly, we prayed over the classrooms one by one and every area that would be used in the school. I was reviewing a curriculum that had bible lessons included and imagined how that would change my students’ lives forever. In my 20 years in education, I have never had the freedom to discuss Jesus as freely and it feels amazing! As I am writing this, we have already scheduled our first baptism day at school - September 8th. We are going to baptize about 18 students and 1 staff member. It’s going to be an incredible experience!
God has taken Providence Academy to a level that I never expected to happen so soon. He is creating pathways we did not know existed. I am thankful to be on the journey watching it unfold.
I think of this verse, Zechariah 4:10 “For who has despised the day of small things? But these seven will be glad when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel—these are the eyes of the Lord which range to and fro throughout the earth.”
God is taking this small start with 91 students (update: now up to 97!) and making a statement about how we can educate our children. Not just academically, but spiritually. A well rounded, Christ follower, who can navigate the world through a biblical lens and have discernment for what is right and wrong in this world. That’s the future leaders that are sprouting in Providence Academy.
Think back on your educational experience and what do you remember most? How would your experience be different if your faith were an integral part of your education?