Parkway Christian Academy – Treasures of the Valley
Whether public school, private, or home schooling, all parents will agree that education for their children is important. It’s a choice parents are usually making by the time their little ones are born. Parents can debate over the reasons why they choose one over the other: whether it be for smaller classrooms, for religious reasons, safety concerns for an emphasis on art and music programs, etc. However, every parent should weigh the choices with what seems best for their own unique child.
For this particular issue of Growing Up in the Valley, our Treasures of the Valley feature is on Parkway Christian Academy (PCA). PCA was founded in 2002 when the leadership of Parkway House of Prayer saw the need to give their young people of the church a “Christian Worldview” as they felt 40 minutes each week in Sunday school was not enough. What exactly is a Christian Worldview? The core belief is that God exists and God is the center of all things. Add to that the following:
- God created the world and all that is in it. One cannot fully understand the created without some understanding of the Creator.
- God created mankind in His image. Every person has intrinsic value and a divine purpose in life.
- All morality comes from the nature of God and is revealed to us in the Bible. The Bible is the absolute standard of right and wrong.
- God loves every person and cares deeply for humanity.
- Man is responsible and will be held accountable for himself and his stewardship of all God’s creation.
- God has given every person a never-dying soul that will one day stand before God and receive its just reward.
These beliefs are in contrast to a Secular Humanism Worldview which consists of the following:
- God does not exist. Man is the center of all things.
- The universe and life came into existence through random chance. There is no designer.
- There is no ultimate purpose for man’s existence. We create our own destiny.
- Morality is relative and changes according to man’s needs and desires. There is no absolute standard of right and wrong.
- Human beings are on their own. Life is sustained by survival of the fittest. The strong live. The weak die.
- Man will not be held accountable by a higher power at the end of life.
- Death is simply the end of existence.
Any parent would agree the world is quite different today than it was decades ago. For a parent who wants to raise their child with Christian beliefs, it can be a daunting task with all of the views being impressed upon them from the culture we live in. Christian parents want to train up their children in the teachings of Jesus Christ to have love and compassion for others. Parkway Christian Academy sees their school as a place to train Christian young people but also as an outreach to un-churched families as well. They have grown from 37 students in that first year in 2002 to approximately 330 students as of the last school year (2012-2013). And with that growth comes excitement from the founders about what they believe God has raised up and feel blessed with their team of educators.
PCA states that they provide “a college preparatory and general academic program for elementary and high school students. In addition to academic excellence, PCA is passionate about teaching its students a biblical worldview and leading them into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This IS preparation for life.” The mission of the school is to “equip kids for College…Career…and Christ!”
As mentioned previously, parents can get in debates about public vs. private vs. homeschool education for their children. Parents need to weigh the pros and cons of each option. Sometimes the same option is not appropriate for all children. For parents struggling financially, they often feel that private school is not an option due to tuition expenses. However, financial aid is available at PCA and can be applied for online through their website at http://parkwaychristianacademy.org/.
Every loving parent wants the best education for his/her child and wants them to be successful in his/her academic career. PCA is dedicated to providing the best education they can to each of the students. They have a special program for advanced learners called M25. With any class a teacher will likely have a mixed environment in which some students are farther along than others with the particular skill being studied. M25 serves as a resource to extend beyond the regular curriculum. This allows those advanced students to continue being challenged in their studies. It also provides support to PCA staff through “whole class differentiated lessons.” M25 gets it’s name from the Biblical teaching in Matthew 25:14-28 in which Jesus tells the parable of the talents.
Research on PCA will allow a parent to find the many activities available for enrolled students. Education begins at the preschool level and continues all the way through 12th grade concluding with graduation. There are also many ways in which parents can be involved. And if you ask any teacher, s/he will tell you that a student excels most with parental involvement in education. So whether it be through the Parent Teacher Fellowship, through volunteering on the campus, through prayer or through shopping at Kroger, there are many ways in which parents can be supportive of their children’s education.
Parkway Christian Academy is currently accredited by AdvancED/SACS and by ACSI. So if you are interested in a private, Christian education for your child, be sure to call Parkway Christian Academy at 540.982.2400. You can visit their campus located at 3230 King St NE Roanoke, VA 24012 or find them on the web at: http://parkwaychristianacademy.org/
other supporting information source: http://renewanation.org