Monday, June 29, 2009

Public School Closer to a Reality

I first wrote a post on our thoughts regarding public education in Memphis around a year and a half ago. Since that time we've continued the conversation with so many others about what it would look like for more people from our neighborhood to send our kids to our neighborhood elementary school (Peabody Elementary School).

It's hard to believe that Adam will be starting Pre-K next year. A few months ago we decided that we would like for Adam to go to Peabody's Pre-K program. We realized that we met the income requirements, so we began pursuing it. Last week we found out that 29 students tested lower than him, which means that he is 9th on the waiting list. We were a little disappointed, but knew that if God had other plans for Adam, that was what we wanted. So we began looking for Plan B. Mandy called several private pre-k programs. A few still had available slots.

We then found out that the principal at Peabody was referring familes who didn't get into the their Pre-K to Red Robin Academy, which is located in First Congregational Church here in Cooper-Young. So this morning Mandy and I met with Robin Mayweather, the founder and director of the academy. Right before pulling up, Mandy made the comment that we were going to have to figure out how much we could spend for Adam's education this year (part of the draw to public education is that it's free).

We went on a tour, then talked with Mrs. Mayweather in her office. We asked several questions, and then Mandy asked her for a tuition schedule. She looked at us a little strange, then said that the Pre-K program is the same as the one at Peabody. Both are a part of Memphis City Schools. That is, they're both free! We just kind of looked at each other.

It looked a door had been closed; one that, at the time seemed like a real "God thing." And now a new door opens, one which has all of the same goals and values behind it. There are still some things that we are a little concerned about, but for the most part, it seems like God is in this. I love the idea of walking Adam to school and of being involved with the families of the school. It just seems to fit so much of what we are trying to do here in Cooper-Young.

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