Football fans know that a team’s ‘time-of-possession’ is important. Instead of possessing a football though, Bridge Ministry of Acadiana has increased our “time of possession” with our children this past year. We intentionally increased this ‘time of possession’ by adding to our after-school program an all-day private school. Bridge’s school, “The Church Academy-Lafayette” (TCA-L), not only allows Bridge more time of possession with our children, but also builds closer relationships with our children’s parents, teachers, interns, volunteers, neighborhood and our community. In increasing our time of possession Bridge now has a stronger platform to grow from in our Christian neighborhood development and revitalization efforts.
The Church Academy-Lafayette, has finished its first school year! HOW DID OUR CHILDREN DO?...
To understand how our children did, we must first determine where they came from. Coming from public schools our children were tested during their first week with the Calgary Assessment Tests. This initial 2017 assessment discovered that 66% of our 3rd-5th Graders came to us 1-3 years below their Grade Level (GL)!They were tested again at the end of our 2017-2018 school year where half of the initial 66%ers that were below GL were brought up to GL!!! All of our scholars exhibited growth beyond just one year!Our 2017-2018 students averaged a 166% yearly growth rate (or, a 1.66 GL jump overall)!
A different assessment was done with our Kindergarteners thru 2nd graders. At the beginning of the year 60% of our First and Second Graders were at GL, while 40% were 1-2 years below GL. At the end of the year only 20% were below GL by only ½ year; 40% were now at grade level; and, 40% were actually above grade level! AND all of our Kindergarteners were on target at end of the 2017-2108 school year. Again, all improved by more than just one school year, or GL.
As to TCA-L’s 2017-2018 year-end LEAP Tests, our 3rd-5th Graders had a 718 average overall Math score and a 723 overall average English Language Art (ELA) score. With 725 being Basic (B) TCA over all is Approaching Basic (AB), while ultimately aiming all our children at Mastery and Advanced.
TCA-L’s LEAP Test Results
(At the end of the 2017-2018 School Year)
((A/Advanced (>790) – M/Mastery (789-750) – B/Basic (749-725) – AB/Approaching Basic (724-700) – U/Unsatisfactory (<700))
3rdGrade M - 757 ave.
4thGrade AB - 717 ave.
5thGrade AB - 703 ave.
AB - 718 Weighted Ave.
English Language Art
3rdGrade B - 741 ave.
4thGrade B - 730 ave.
5thGrade AB - 708 ave.
AB - 723 Weighted Ave.
NOTE, These LEAP Tests show an obvious progressive educational decline from our 3rd to 4th to 5th graders that began years before. Yet, TCA-L’s assessments taken at the beginning and at the ending of the school year clearly illustrate a reversal of this inherited downward trend. This reversal has been a TCA-L goal. Our scholars will now become progressively stronger, not weaker, the longer they are enrolled at TCA-L. (Refer to TCA-L’s 166% student growth reversal above). The tide of hope is surely turning in the lives of our children and their parents!
NOTE: These 2017-2018 results are remarkable in view that 66% of our 3rd-5th grade children came to us 1-3 years below GL, and now half of those have “caught-up” while the rest are “catching-up”)!!!!
How long does it take for a 3rd grade student to ‘catch-up’ who comes to TCA-L two years behind, yet grows at a 150% GL rate per year? The graph below shows that it will take four years!!! For our quick fix culture, this 4-year catch-up period maybe tough news for a child or parent. An increased ‘Time of Possession’ with much grace, faith, love and encouragement is needed to keep all in the ‘game’ for the long haul.
Bridge Ministry of Acadiana is a development organization, not relief. Human development is relational, intentional, slow and long term, as is love. Our 2017-2018 success at The Church Academy-Lafayette boils down to lovingly developing both hearts and minds that leads towards Christ-like Character development and destiny. Our children must first know they are loved by God their Father and ourselves. After knowing ‘The Love’ the teaching and growing of their hearts and minds truly begins. In developing both “hearts & minds”, TCA-L is growing the whole person, who is both “caring & capable”. By increasing God’s time of possession with us and each other we become more whole, both mentally and spiritually. Wholeness is the goal for our children, because whole people make up whole families, whole neighborhoods and whole commUnities.
This coming 2018-2019 school year we will double the number of our children, while keeping a close eye on maintaining the quality of our relationships. Maintaining relational quality as numbers increase is where caring and capable volunteers at all levels helps us edify and empower our under-resourced children and neighborhood (and grow our hearts). Over the years we have come to realize that more and more relational resources are needed than the vast majority of Americans have ever fathomed. With limited funds, volunteers are surely needed to ‘bridge’ the gaps.
Come join with us at Bridge Ministry of Acadiana. Be a part of the whole, while becoming whole with us. With God’s help and direction, we are creating a model for neighborhood-commUnity development. At Bridge there is always the need for volunteers to assist our great teachers, food service, information technology, coding, administration, lawn and building maintenance, cleaning, music, arts, physical and health education, etiquette training (social and workplace), adventure trips, professional role models, administration help, volunteer and donor relationships, parent and neighborhood relationships, intimate church-business-government relationships, etc., etc…. There is no silver bullet in building community. Community building is an intentional, multifaceted, faithful, loving, and committed long term endeavor that brings hope to all. We invite you to come meet and love your neighbor alongside us and grow. SHALOM!
“LOVE BUILDS UP” (1 Cor 8:1)
“From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Eph 4:16)
SUPPORT “THE CHURCH ACADEMY–LAFAYETTE” at NO ADDITIONAL COSTto your budget when you redirect your Louisiana Tax liability to Louisiana’s Tuition Donation Credit Program(TDC). The TDC program is operated through ARETE’ SCHOLARS (aretescholars.org) which in turn provides scholarships to The Church Academy-Lafayette. Under Louisiana’s TDC law, any company or individual that pays Louisiana income tax may receive a 95% tax credit for their re-directed tax donations to Arete’ Scholars. Arete’ Scholars qualifies and provides these School of Choice scholarships to our under-resourced students. You can designate a ‘Group’ of 2 or more schools in the State, if you desire. We do ask that you consider designating “The Bridge Group” as the recipient. Thank you.
(Contact Nelson Warner at 337-298-2277, or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.)