Providing career and college preparation, spiritual growth, and Christian leadership development.
Describe the need affecting community
While education is accessible to all children in the United States, quality education is not widespread in the rural mountain counties. There is a lack of encouragement from public school staff for children living in the remote corners of these rural counties. Coupled with distances students now must travel on treacherous, mountain roads, it is not uncommon that families do not encourage regular attendance. Discouraged students tend to drop out to be “home schooled” once they reach the high school years. The counties we serve are among the poorest in the United States, and a research based article published by the New York Times in 2014, “What’s the Matter with Eastern Kentucky?”, ranked all three counties our school serves in the bottom 30 for quality of life in the United States when six health, economic and educational statistics were applied to all 3,100 U.S. counties. Clay County, where Red Bird Christian School is located, was last in the country; Leslie County was in the bottom 10, and Bell County in the bottom 30. Leadership has not been encouraged due to the long history of domination of workers in the primary industry in the eastern Kentucky mountains, coal mining. That industry is in serious decline and provides fewer jobs each year for our local economies.
How will this Advance project help to address the need?
Red Bird Christian School exists to prepare students for post secondary education with a nurturing environment that causes students to reach for their full potential. Academics and spiritual formation flow within each classroom on a daily basis. Leadership formation has a higher focus now at our school but with the Christian aspect of servanthood. Red Bird’s impeccable record of encouraging students living in these remote mountains to seek higher education for the improvement of quality of life continues. Over the past several years, over two-thirds of our students have gone on to post secondary education. Spiritual nurture and formation is important in creating emotionally healthy students. Some students naturally follow a career in Christian service because of the witness of Christian staff.
Describe the primary goal of the project
Red Bird Christian School, guided by Jesus Christ, empowers individuals and advocates justice by providing exceptional education and college preparation, spiritual growth, and Christian leadership development in a safe environment.
Describe the change you would like to see in the community as a result of this Advance project
We would like to see all within our community possess an education that allows them to be gainfully employed in a position that provides adequately for their families. We would also like to see our alumni develop a new economy to complement the beautiful mountains where we live.