A group of interested residents attended an informational meeting Monday, Sept. 22, at the Evangelical Free Church to hear about a proposed Heritage Christian School.
Prior to the meeting, a feasibility study was sent to area pastors in Spicer, New London, Paynesville, Eden Valley, Cold Spring, Richmond, Atwater, and Grove City.
The study asked why people would want their child in a Christian school, how important do they consider an education to be for an individualís success in life, and to check off reasons for sending their child to a Christian school.
Among the reasons listed were: to be a good citizen, to learn about and try to understand changes in the world, to develop skills to enter a specific field of work, to learn to pray, to develop pride in work, to develop a feeling of self-worth, to acquire a sense of values, to develop self-discipline, to learn the skills of reading, writing and mathematics, to learn about the Bible, to learn to solve problems, to think independently, or to be in a better environment.
Dr. Ed Johnson, Rosemont, talked to the group of parents Monday about the Christian School of Rosemont, of which he is a director. He is also the pastor at the First Baptist Church in Rosemont. He explained the earliest schools in this country used the Bible as the basis for their curriculum. ďThose over 50 years of age, who attended public schools, read the Bible in the elementary school,Ē he said. ďToday there is a shift in values in the secular world. However, there is no shift in Christian education because the Bible doesnít shift.Ē
Dr. Johnson added the 1990s have brought a resurgence of Christian schools in the United States. In the preamble of the Rosemont school, it states: Parents are primarily responsible for educating their child.
The Rosemont school has 240 students enrolled in first through 12th grade and the classes average 25 students each. ďChildren are a heritage of the Lord and essentially, God gave the child to the parent, not to the state. Parents need to build on that. Train a child in the way he should go, and he wonít depart from it,Ē Dr. Johnson added.
Dr. Johnson listed 10 reasons or considerations a group needs to consider before building a Christian school:
1) Parents accountable to God for what their child is taught.
2) Christian schools can limit their enrollment.
3) Bible doesnít teach a child they should be exposed to all kinds of sin.
4) School has not cut itself off from the most important book to Christians ó the Bible.
5) Young people have better opportunity to witness in their society.
6) Subject matter taught from Christian context (science, math, English, etc.) as well as secular.
7) Support family as number one institution of society.
8) Concerned public school administratorsósupportive.
9) Be vehicle by which to maintain discipline on grounds.
10) Parent is primary educator of child.
Dr. Johnson stressed no public money is used to finance the schools. Christian schools are privately funded with donations and tuition. If there is enough interest, the Heritage Christian School could probably open in the fall of 1998. ďWe are still in the feasibility stage,Ē Joann Bouma said. ďWeíre still checking to see if there is enough interest to proceed further.Ē
A trip is being planned in October or November to visit the Rosemont Christian school. Anyone interested in joining the group is welcome. Contact JoAnn Bouma, 320-243-7799 or Deb Leverington, 320-243-7697 for more details.
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