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Reaching out to the community

Renewanation program offers scholarships for students to attend Grace Academy

August 16, 2010|By JANET HEIM

Jack Appleby, head master of Grace Academy, thinks what's missing in today's society is core values. He hopes to change that one child at a time, through a Christian education strong in academics.

"We have to start cooperating, working together. We all have the same goal," said Appleby, a 34-year veteran of public schools in Pennsylvania.

That led him to a fledgling program called Renewanation, founded by Parkway Christian Academy in Roanoke, Va., with a tagline "Offering every child a Christian world view."

The basic idea of the program is "to offer a high quality, tuition-free Christian education to every child whose parents choose this alternative to secular education," according to the Grace Academy website.

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"I want to be involved with Renewanation because it's a bold, audacious goal ... It takes kids, gets value in them. I just think we have nothing to lose," Appleby said.

Appleby contacted the Renewanation group, who sent a team to visit Grace Academy.

Upon approval as the first affiliate of the program, Renewanation provided a marketing and fundraising team to get the program started.

The kickoff was a fundraising banquet April 29 at Hager Hall, with the proceeds seeding an endowment fund that will hopefully grow and provide scholarship money to help pay partial or full cost of attending Grace Academy.

More than 300 guests attended to celebrate the partnership between Grace Academy and Renewanation.

Appleby said Grace Academy had never before sponsored such a large benefit and hopes to get more schools involved next year. He added that it was a valuable learning experience for all involved.

Tuition at Grace Academy is $4,950 for the school year per student, ages 3 through 12th grade, for a five-day school week.

Grace Academy is a Christian, nondenominational school that offers academic and spiritual programming for prekindergarten through 12th grade. It has more than 300 students.

"It is a very worthy vision. It's a huge vision that only with God's help we'll be able to achieve," Appleby said.

The program also benefits graduates of Renewanation schools. Graduates might be eligible for $1,000 scholarships per semester to attend Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., for a total of $8,000 in four years.

"I want every Grace graduate to go into the community and thrive and grow in whatever vocation they choose," Appleby said.

Grace Academy is situated on a 35-acre campus west of Hagerstown on Cearfoss Pike. For more information, call the school office at 301-733-2033. For more information about Renewanation, go to http://www.renewanation.org.

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