WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO OPEN A SCHOOL? Time, Money, Support …
This is the question Woodbury resident, Alfrieda Baldwin, asked herself several years ago. She had practiced law for 32 years, and in her eighth year of retirement she was called to pursue something even greater. She recognized the growing need in her Twin Cities community for Christian Education, and this last Fall she opened a K-8 micro-school on the East side of Saint Paul : LAUREL COMMUNITY SCHOOL. The curriculum is inspired by the philosophies of Marva Collins and Charlotte Mason.
At a time when many parents feel stuck and are seeking alternative education options for their children, Laurel Community School is the answer. Their enrollment options range from Full-time to Part-time participation, offering kids from all backgrounds a place to belong. Two-day and Three-day per week tuition gives first-time homeschoolers a structure they can feel comfortable with and offers them a network of support. Even for the well-seasoned homeschool parent, Laurel’s part-time program offers balance and peer connection. Kids in their full-time program weave in and out of learning with the part-time kids, and they get to experience the changing energy that goes along with that.
“We’ve got this wonderful little community of families and kids . . . I feel so blessed every day to go to a place where we educate children, and we can talk about God. We can tell them about the power of God and that Jesus loves them and has saved them.”Laurel’s founder, Alfrieda Baldwin
This February, Alfreda was awarded “High-Impact Leader of the Year” in the non-profit sector, along with Woodbury Lutheran Church, who received the “High-Impact Church of the Year” award.
Great things are happening in our Twin Cities neighborhoods, and Alfrieda Baldwin’s “Laurel Community School” is one of them. What inspires me beyond measure are the people just like you and like me and like Alfrieda, who are rolling up their sleeves and getting involved! They aren’t letting fear guide their decisions. There are people who never dreamed of being leaders, who are now stepping out of their comfort zone and leading with passion and focus and a humble spirit!
LAUREL SCHOOL IS NOT JUST ONE SCHOOL, BUT A MOVEMENT OF SCHOOLS. If you are a teacher looking for a rewarding challenge, reach out to Alfrieda to find out how you can be a part of the Laurel School movement. Watch minute 10:15 of the video below.
Alfrieda has such great insight throughout this video. Coupled with wit and humor, her story is well worth listening to, and I highly encourage you to watch the whole thing from start to finish. However, if you can only watch 5 minutes, watch from minute 11:45 to the end.
QUESTIONS TO ALFRIEDA BALDWIN BY WOODBURY LUTHERAN CHURCH’S SENIOR PASTOR, TOM PFOTENHAUER:
- 0:05 Give us some of the basics about where you grew up and your family.
- 5:05 What did you do for a career?
- 6:15 So 32 years doing the law thing, working hard, volunteering, raising kids, and then it’s time to retire, right?
- 7:08 You shared a couple scriptures with me that are important to you. You could maybe share them, and how has that guided you into this new stage in your life?
- 9:40 Around here we talk about listening to Jesus and following him. How has that played out in your life?
- 10:15 Tell us more about that, because, (jokingly) “Yeah I just opened a school.”
- 11:45 What’s at the heart of the school and the dream behind it and what you desire to happen in these kids’ lives.
- 13:30 So we’ve got all kinds of students in here today from all kinds of schools. If there was one thing you could say to them, you get to look at them and say, how do they continue to follow Jesus even in an environment where maybe it’s frowned upon or pushed back against, and how maybe in that environment can they make a difference?
“It turns out there is no such thing as neutrality in education. You are either an institution that has a Biblical worldview, or you have the world view of the prince of this world.”Laurel’s founder, Alfrieda Baldwin (minute 12:35)
I found this statement to be incredibly profound. Wow. Thank you to Alfrieda for all the good work she is doing in our community!
WHAT IS A MICRO-SCHOOL, YOU ASK? LAUREL DEFINES IT ON THEIR WEBSITE.
If you are a parent interested in learning more about A TYPICAL DAY at Laurel School, visit their website to learn more.
If YOU have a story to share about a school or teacher causing positive change, reach out to me. I LOVE focusing on people who are making a positive impact on our children and their futures! And I LOVE visiting new schools !
It truly takes all types. I am a strong advocate for community schools and local level choice. THERE IS MORE THAN ONE KIND OF CHILD. THERE IS MORE THAN ONE WAY TO LEARN.