At New Life Academy, Kindergarten is like no other program in the surrounding area. Instilling values and a biblical foundation in children from an early age is an important part of their development, and teachers at NLA work side by side with parents to form a biblical foundation with their children and create an extension of what they may be learning at home.
Sending your child to a tuition-based school can be a sacrifice, but it’s an investment worth making. Having a teacher who shares the same faith as your children is invaluable, Brian Goodbar, elementary principal at New Life Academy, said. “You are not investing just in their academics; you are investing in their character development, spiritual development and behavioral education.” As Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
“It is so beneficial to the kids,” said Stacey Bouillon, one of the Kindergarten teachers at NLA. While some may believe they are trading out academic quality when sending their children to private school, Bouillon points out that Kindergarten academics at NLA are neck and neck with what is happening at other schools, and if anything, NLA is able to give students more individualized attention.
With two full-time aides, the adult-to-student ratio average is 10-1, something that sets NLA Kindergarten apart from any other school in the area. There are many different reasons that make this Kindergarten program something that is different, yet worth the investment. In Kindergarten classrooms, teachers are meeting each child at his or her individual learning level. Knowing what level each student is at helps these Kindergarten teachers better cater to what each student needs.
Teachers are also pouring into children’s spiritual lives.
“I set the tone of the day with a Bible story, a verse, and prayer,” said Becky Ressie, one of NLA’s Kindergarten teachers. She
explains that throughout the day, she finds it important to make sure that the children in her classroom understand the love of Christ and are seeing it through all aspects, even and especially in their academics.
One of the most valuable parts of NLA is the community. Kindergartners have 4th grade buddies this year, and Ressie and Bouillon explain that nothing beats the smile and excitement that beams from their Kindergartners as they pass an older student they know in the hallway.
For Kindergarten in particular, Bouillon and Ressie said they make it a priority to be in frequent communication with the parents of their students, whether that be through an email, a phone call, or a face-to-face chat in the carpool line. Ressie said that parents really appreciate the extra step the teachers are taking to invest in their child’s education and overall well-being.
“As a mom, I would bend over backwards to have my child here,” Ressie said. Ressie is not alone. Many other parents have recently expressed their satisfaction with the Kindergarten program, excited that their children love to come to school. Parents are expressing that their kids will continue to attend NLA through high school, which makes it evident that there is something special about the Kindergarten program here.