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Project Turnaround

Yesterday, I blogged about New Hope’s work in Omaha. The days before Transformation Church, and Urban Breakthrough Ministries.

The work of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship is phenomenal. Even greater is there work with the National Church Adopt A School Initiative!

Here’s a quick overview of the work:

The school needed support to curb gang violence
The school needed an opportunity to provide parents with job training
The school needed mentors
The school needed partners to assist in a number of areas

OCBF stepped up in many ways (and continues to). Sure, there is a separation of church and state. However, this doesn’t mean that there has to be a separation of good works from taking place.

Do you see how your church could partner with local schools?

I see a common thread among the ministries engaged in community work. They are being deliberate about meeting the needs of their target community. As miniscule as this may seem, it isn’t. Too often, groups try to aid challenge areas with what they think the solution, as opposed to learning what the needs are that will be more of help and not a hurdle.

On a side note, another key element is the historical reference of the National Adopt A School Initiative to the establishment of the White House Faith-based Community Initiative.

What steps are you willing to take to learn more about meeting the needs of schools in your area?

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Virtual Schools Are Growing

Virtual schools ‘clicking’ for many students this school year (ARA) – A record number of students went back to school this year – without ever stepping foot inside a classroom. A growing number of virtual schools (also known as cyber schools or e-schools), combined with booming parent (and student) demand for high-quality virtual education, have more students than ever logging on, instead of boarding a school bus, this year. More than 2 million children in kindergarten through 12th grade are learning online, and their ranks are growing by almost 20 percent each year, according to research by Ambient Insight. Currently, 45 states have significant supplemental online learning programs, or full-time programs, in which students take most or all of their courses online.

“One reason families are turning to full-time virtual schools is that parents are seeking a more personalized education for their children, where students’ studies are tailored to their abilities and interests, and they can work at their own pace,” says Dr. Steven Guttentag, executive vice president and chief education officer for Connections Academy, a leading virtual school provider that offers both public and private virtual school programs. “Of course most importantly, they work. Students are achieving at high levels and matriculating into some of our nation’s best universities.” Many parents are drawn to the quality curriculum a virtual school can offer their student – and programs they might not have access to at the local brick-and-mortar school. The current economic climate has forced many neighborhood schools to eliminate programs like foreign language instruction, Advanced Placement (AP) courses and more. At the same time some virtual schools are adding courses like Mandarin Chinese and AP Chemistry. Continue Reading →

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