BAXTER -- Thanks to a $500,000 grant given by an anonymous donor, a tiny elementary school on Woida Road has large plans.
Principal and teacher Larry Andersen said as the demand for Christian education increases in the area, Family of Christ Lutheran School plans to accommodate the growth trend.
This plan was made feasible last January when a $500,000 grant was given to the school. The only stipulation to the grant is the $500,000 must be matched by April 2003 to receive the donation. So far, the school has raised $300,000 through individual gifts from local Lutheran churches.
"We're confident we will match and exceed our goal," Andersen said. "We're telling people what this school is about, what our needs are and letting the Holy Spirit work from there."
Once raised, the money will be used for a new school building. Plans have been drawn up for the school, to be located on the five-acre plot of land where the current school is located. Andersen said once the new school is built, the old building will be demolished. If all goes as planned, the new school will open January 2004.
The current school building is about 3,000 square feet, and has 71 preschool to sixth-grade children attending. Andersen hopes enrollment will double with the new 20,000-square-foot school, which will go through eighth grade.
Family of Christ Lutheran School is working to match a $500,000 grant it received. The money will be used to build a new school, a project that will total $1.7 million. (Dispatch Photos by Heidi Lake)
"As the population in this area continues to grow, so will we," Andersen said.
Currently, there are 12 to 15 children in each classroom. Andersen said the small class sizes result in close relationships between students.
Becky Edquist has two children at Family of Christ and prefers the small class sizes.
"I love the small classes, they're much more personalized," Edquist said. "My kindergartner can read already ... it's great."
Classes are taught in double grades, meaning first- and second-graders are taught in one room, by one teacher. Andersen said when the new school is built, classes will likely be split into single grades.
Andersen said Family of Christ Lutheran School teaches ethical and moral values based on faith in Jesus. Along with a daily devotional, each week students attend a chapel service, where they sing, worship and pray.
"When these kids go out in the real world they'll be able to bring their faith with them," Andersen said. "We're developing the future generation of leaders in our church and in our country."
Family of Christ Lutheran School is open to children of all denominations. If interested in enrollment or donating, call the school at 829-9020.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.