By Michael Larson
The Ohio Department of Education recently released the report cards for Ohio schools. We are excited to report that Harambee students not only outperformed local public schools and higher performing charter schools, but also achieved a higher performance index than Reynoldsburg, Hilliard and Westerville school districts.
This is a remarkable achievement since 85% of Harambee students are from low-income households.
More than an education
We are grateful to see Harambee students thriving academically, but we also know that test scores only show one piece of a much larger picture. Many caring staff and volunteers of faith view it as their privilege to not only educate our students but also impact them for Christ. Our prayer is that students thrive in every way - academically, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Our vision is that these young people become a new generation of leaders for our community and the local church.
Seeing students grow as servant leaders is a highlight for many at Harambee and part of what makes their academic success so sweet. Middle School Math teacher, Michael Harvin, observes this regularly in and out of the classroom: "I am always impressed with the eagerness students have to pray for each other in the 7th & 8th grades. It is not uncommon when I ask for one or two student volunteers to pray that almost the entire class will pray. Their prayers are thoughtful, compassionate and others focused." We will be compassionate servant leaders following the example of Jesus, reads the Harambee Student Declaration.
Former Harambee teacher and current Staff Development Coordinator, Cheryl Hunter, who also helps lead the Renegade29 Bible study, notes the profound impact attending Harambee has had on students she's invested in over many years at Ren29: "One of the most beautiful things I have noticed is their increased knowledge of the Bible since starting at Harambee. They are confident in sharing God's word and what He has taught them with their friends at Ren29. It has been a blessing to watch them grow academically AND spiritually."
Character counts, and the impact of incorporating the timeless teachings of Scripture in the classroom is helping students develop not just as scholars but as compassionate citizens, advocates, allies, and leaders.
The Fantastic 50
Because we are concerned with the whole student, our goal is to help raise up 50 young people who have graduated high school, who are pursuing college or career, and who are participating in discipleship in the local church.
This is a big undertaking but one we believe is possible thanks to God's unlimited resources and power. In order to reach this goal, our students are going to need a network of healthy relationships and influence. Teachers, mentors, Bible study leaders, tutors, prayer partners, and donors all play a role in reaching and empowering the whole student. What role has he given you?
Has God given you a heart to serve & support Columbus inner city youth? Help us reach the Fantastic 50. Contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how you can get involved.