Editor’s Note: On the first Thursday of each month, the eNews feature article showcases one of our mission partners. In August we’re focusing on Education of Children and the good work happening at Logos Academy Harrisburg.

Kirk Hallet, founder of the Joshua Group, often said that education is the best anti-poverty program. Statistics bear that out. A study by the American Educational Research Association found that a student who can’t read on grade level by third grade is four times less likely to graduate by age 19 than a child who reads proficiently by that time. Without a high school diploma, a student is twice as likely to be in poverty as one with a high school diploma and more than five times as likely as one with a college degree, according to a recent UC Davis study.

Derry Church’s partnership with Logos Academy Harrisburg enables us to provide a quality and compassionate education in a Christ-centered environment, thus addressing poverty and equipping tomorrow’s leaders. With 43% of our students (Pre-K to third in 2022-23) in poverty and another 22% near poverty, we are seeing the impact. Grayson has grown from a struggling student in first grade to excelling in second grade, far exceeding his growth and stretch goals. He has become such a good reader that his grandmother says she has to hide her phone, because he “reads over my shoulder.” Further, she adds, “he has come out of his shell.”  She credits his school for this growth. She is rightfully proud of his academic growth but equally proud of his growth in character. That is the goal of true education, according to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Logos Academy Harrisburg’s math and reading test scores are good and helpful indicators, but this is not the only important or even the most important priority in education as a predictor of future success, according to Ross Wiener of the Aspen Institute (USA Today.) Being creative and critical thinkers with a high degree of integrity and character is a much better indicator of long-term success in life. 

The education model of Logos Academy Harrisburg is designed so that every student grows. As with many other schools, our students are at varying levels of academic proficiency and social/emotional development. Our individualized approach allows all students to experience success. “Elaine” is several grade levels behind. Math is challenging; reading is challenging; but she is growing. Testing her simply for grade-level proficiency would be discouraging, at best. However, testing her for growth is motivating, because she is growing. She is succeeding because she is meeting her growth goals. The result? “Elaine” is learning to love learning.

We are thankful for our partnership with Derry Church, whose investment in our students is already paying dividends and will continue to do so for these young learners for years to come.