Binghampton Christian Academy:
A School with Heart and Soul
By Lesley Harris Colvett Photo Courtesy of BCA
August is synonymous with back to school, and while Memphis has many excellent educational options for children, Binghampton Christian Academy (BCA) is one school in particular where staff, supporters and the community strive each school year to enrich the children who attend the school as well as the Binghampton neighborhood.
Located at 175 Tillman Street, BCA is a private, Christian day school that began in 1993 with the goal to provide a private, Christian school option for families in the Binghampton neighborhood who otherwise would not have the financial resources to send their child to a Christian based, private school.
BCA’s mission is to promote spiritual and academic excellence and encourage students to become productive, Godly leaders. “We seek to accomplish this mission with a holistic approach to education that focuses on supporting the academic, spiritual, and emotional needs of each student. Our dedicated staff approaches their roles in terms of a ministry and go above and beyond to help each student be successful” says Shelley Alley, Development Director at BCA.
“Our school is unique in that even though we offer a private school education, families do not pay a private school price. Our families pay only $200 a year no matter the number of students enrolled. The actually cost per student is just over $7,000 so the remaining tuition is provided by the generous support of the community,” Shelley adds.
BCA enrolls students in pre-kindergarten through the 8th grade, and the nurturing, family-like environment offers a safe place where students can thrive both academically and spiritually. They pray together daily and engage students in academic challenges such as Bible Bowls, Living Museums, Project-Based Learning, and Accelerated Reader. Small class sizes, averaging 15 students, allows for hands-on and individualized learning opportunities, which is extremely beneficial because for many of the students, English is their second language.
In addition, BCA has the only boarding school in the region with 30 of their highest-needs students living on campus Monday through Friday during the school year.
“We are expecting an exciting year at BCA. We have added a dedicated computer instructor who will hold classes three days a week. We found that even though our students have access to cell phones and electronic devices, many do not have regular access to computers, and the instructor will focus on helping students develop the necessary keyboarding basics that are important skills as they move on to high school, college and later into their careers,” Shelley says. Also, the 8th grade students will have a Serving Learning class period two days a week that will focus on teaching leadership skills. The class will have a class project that they will decide on as a group and will work toward all year long. The students will also have opportunities for field trips and special guest speakers during the school year. BCA’s National Honor Society will increase their outreach efforts this year and have already planned to serve a Thanksgiving meal to a nursing home this November.
BCA exists mainly because of the wonderful volunteers from all over the city. More than 300 people volunteer at BCA each year in a variety of ways including serving meals to the residential students, tutoring and mentoring the middle and lower school students, helping with campus cleaning and beautification projects and so much more. “The positive experience those volunteers have with our students create a story about this community that isn’t often seen in the news. BCA’s story is one of hope, love and friendship that is created across racial, social and economic lines,” Shelley says.
“We need individuals and the faith community to come alongside to make sure they can continue to provide this special environment for the students. More than 70% of our donations come from individuals, so we are always looking to increase our donor base with people who see the value in Christian education,” Shelley says. BCA needs individuals, businesses, churches and private organizations to support us through in-kind support such as donations of meals, healthy snacks, student incentives, cleaning and household supplies.
The school is celebrating its 26th year. “BCA is a hidden gem that should no longer be hidden! We want more community involvement and welcome those who want to learn more to come for a tour. We welcome volunteers with open arms, and I strongly encourage you to stop by for a tour of our facilities. Our door is always open to you,” Shelley says.
How can you help?
You may sign up to provide dinner for the 15 boys and 15 girls in the Residential Program and the seven staff members living on campus Monday-Thursday. Home cooked meals, frozen meals, and ordered meals are all welcome; donate school supplies or books; or you may support BCA through the programs offered at Target, Kroger, Office Depot, or Amazon Smile (Smile.Amazon.com). Contact the Development Office at 901-341-2153 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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