Aberdeen Christian launches sustainability drive to help with tuition costs | Education

When Tony and Sharon Jones returned to the U.S. from a mission trip in Muldovia, they knew the best atmosphere for their son, who was transitioning from a home-school setting, was a smaller campus, so they looked into sending him to Aberdeen Christian School.

They didn’t know that application, made four years ago, would eventually give them the opportunity to send all three of their kids — now 16, 14 and 11 — to the school.

“They really blessed us that first year,” Sharon said.

Each year, the family works to contribute more toward tuition. And, while that first year was a tough transition for their son, Sharon said Aberdeen Christian has now become “our school.”

The Joneses are just one family that’s benefitted from a tuition assistance program. And the school has just launched a sustainability program to secure monthly financial commitments that would cover tuition assistance grants made to about 60 percent of the families that enroll their children.

Aberdeen Christian School formed in 2006 when First Baptist Christian and the Christian high school consolidated to form a K-12 school that now offers full-day and half-day preschool five days a week.

Superintendent Eric Kline said $340,000 in tuition assistance is now granted and covered through fundraising and donations. The goal of the sustainability program, he said, is to secure monthly commitments of $30,000 to $40,000.

At $30,000, the school’s current tuition assistance would be covered, Kline said. So far, monthly commitments of $8,000 have been made.

Kline said tuition assistance varies for each family and is based on a financial application reviewed by a third-party company. That company, he said, reviews finances to determine a family’s ability to pay.

“We’re coming alongside the families who want to have that education,” he said. “We understand private education is expensive. We want to make it affordable.”

Tuition costs aren’t public, he said. That’s because assistance is available, and the school doesn’t want families to immediately think they can’t afford to send their kids to Christian.

Kline said the sustainability drive, which is seeking commitments from people who want to become part of what’s called the Knight’s Circle, was the next logical step.

In the past five years, the school has secured a new building at 1500 N. U.S. Highway 281, renovated the space, built a new gym and upgraded technology. Some of those improvements were made with a $1 million anonymous gift to the school.

“When we received that $1 million anonymous gift, that brought stability to school needs,” Kline said.

Now, he said, it’s time for the sustainability program.

“I love thinking about the word sustainability,” Kline said. “We want it to be something that lasts. … It’s a good thing for our community.”

Follow @ElisaSand_AAN on Twitter.

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