Bethany Christian Schools in Goshen announces plans to build a new elementary wing on campus. This brings Bethany another step closer to manifesting the school’s strategic plan to become a complete school serving students from kindergarten through high school graduation.
The school is raising funds for the elementary wing as part of their newly announced comprehensive “Bright Future Campaign.” The Bright Future Campaign will provide the resources to continue Bethany’s student programs while creating space for the school to grow and transform.
In its silent phase throughout 2022, the Bright Future Campaign raised $4 million towards its anticipated $7.5 million construction budget, while also meeting goals for student program fundraising.
The new elementary wing’s architecture will mirror the school’s community-based learning practices, with gathering areas for classes to cook, give presentations and create together. The newly formed elementary school will provide an educational model that does not focus on standardized testing, but instead on developing skills that lead to creativity and understanding. Bethany’s curriculum weaves together a holistic approach to learning that incorporates lots of hand-on learning, movement, outdoor activities, and faith development throughout the curriculum
“I am so excited about what a state-of-the-art facility like this will mean for our youngest students,” said Lower School Principal Juanita Hershberger. “The new spaces will be flexible and allow us to do education how we want to, even for our youngest students. The architects built spaces for students to collaborate, cook together, and even store their muddy boots and rain pants!”
Kindergarten and first grade classrooms will open directly onto their enclosed playgrounds, allowing young children to play safely and frequently outdoors.
“Young children need plenty of time outside every day, and time to work on things with their hands, like gardening and art projects,” said Principal Hershberger. “We love to see them helping in the garden or playing in the sand on campus– we aren’t afraid to let students get messy here at Bethany!”
By becoming a comprehensive K-12 school, Bethany is responding to a growing desire for elementary education alternatives in the local area. Marketing research in advance of the campaign revealed a demand that Bethany is ready to meet.
Bethany parent and PTO Chair Heidi Birky Sawatzky said this rings true for her, “As a parent of young children, I was looking for a different sort of learning environment–one not focused so much on test prep and ipads. While students at Bethany of course do some of that, the feeling each day is more hands-on. I know my kids never spend most of their day doing worksheets.”
Students at Bethany experience a uniquely valuable opportunity to be known and loved–intellectually, socially and emotionally. Everywhere Bethany students go during their school day, people greet them by name and value them individually. Each child at Bethany is understood as a child of God with unique gifts and needs.
Bethany started down the path towards holistic education some time ago, implementing projects such as the school’s thriving farm-to-school program. Bethany’s cafeteria serves students a diverse array of delicious vegetables, often with contributions grown on campus by students during the warm months or in the school’s hoop house when it’s cold.
“What’s happening at Bethany is wonderful, and we just want to be able to share that with more families, and their young children,” said Head of School Tim Lehman. “We are so excited to expand the opportunities young children have here -- to be known and loved, to grow at their own pace, and learn the skills that prepare them for life. These are valuable experiences we can offer our community’s children, and it’s our privilege to do this work.”
Bethany Christian Schools is a not-for-profit 501C3 organization which accepts students of all faiths and welcomes students of diverse cultural and economic backgrounds. School Choice Scholarships and generous financial aid make Bethany accessible to more students than ever before. Tuition costs are based on a sliding scale, tailored to each family’s circumstance. Bethany is currently enrolling in all grades 1-12. Contact the admissions office to learn more and schedule a visit at [email protected], bethanycs.net, or 574-534-2567.