It was pouring—one of those bottom-falling-out rains that come in the middle of a drought and give you a little bit of hope, followed by some apprehension because it has been so long since you drove in the rain. Tara Collier had just gotten back on the road after pulling over twice because she couldn’t see to go on safely. Then, she heard something from the backseat. She looked in the rearview to see her daughter Charley, 4, talking.
“What are you doing?” Tara asked.
“I’m praying that we get there safely,” Charley answered.
She is only 4 years old, but Charley already has a grasp on key lessons and stories from the Bible—something Tara credits heavily to her teachers at Little Valley Academy. LVA is the daycare and preschool portion of Valley Fellowship Christian Academy, one of Huntsville’s fastest growing Christian schools. The school offers programs from infant daycare through preschool up to 4 years old, programs that transfer into Valley Fellowship’s kindergarten.
The Collier family calls Charley their little preacher because she often comes home and relays the day’s Bible lessons to her family. Tara said this is the work of her awesome teacher who works with the preschoolers to get them to understand more advanced topics.
“She really engages them in Bible stories, and it’s amazing how they come home and tell us word-for-word about different Bible characters,” Tara said. “She’s getting her point across.”
What Sets Little Valley Academy Apart
There are many daycare centers in Huntsville, but sometimes finding quality, Christian care from a place you can afford and trust can be frustrating. In addition to immense safety precautions taken at LVA, the teachers infuse each lesson with biblical principles.
Sarah Annerton’s 4-year-old daughter Faith goes to LVA, while her older daughter Grace, 7, has moved on to Valley Fellowship Christian Academy. Sarah has repeatedly seen her daughters test beyond their ages—something she attributes to the advanced academic instruction at LVA—but that’s not her top priority.
“The number one reason for having my daughters at Valley Fellowship Christian Academy is first and foremost the spiritual training that they receive,” Sarah said. “They’re getting not only a quality academic experience with physical education, art, music and library activities, but beyond that, they are getting quality spiritual training that is not offered in public school…My children can receive straight As, they can go into a variety of different vocations, but if their character is not solid, and if their spiritual foundation is not solid, then no amount of academics is going to be enough to support them throughout their adult life.”
Sarah has seen Faith use this spiritual training in her everyday life. She has watched her preschool daughter resolve conflict with the neighborhood children by using a principle she has learned: Let’s put the other person first.
Preschoolers get an hour of Bible classes each day with a special chapel service once a week that includes a worship service and a sermon from the pastor.
Along with those straightforward Bible study classes, LVA incorporates these biblical themes into their academic classes.
Sarah gets the to see two sides of the equation—both from a teacher perspective and a parent perspective—because she teaches photography at the high school.
How do the teachers manage to relay biblical principles in something like math class? Teachers integrate the Bible into every topic, relating subject matter back to biblical principles with a spiritual emphasis. For example, math classes can revolve around tithing and what the Bible says about money management.
Diversity For The Future
Tara and Sarah both stressed the importance of spiritual and academic education, but there is one more thing that sets LVA apart from the other preschools in Huntsville—a commitment to diversity.
When children head into LVA, they are surrounded by children and families from different ethnicities, cultures, socio-economic backgrounds and various life experiences. LVA has a heart for all kids and families who love God. Tara said the exposure to many different people groups and backgrounds will add to their success as adults.
“It’s extremely diverse,” Tara said. “In our culture nowadays we need that. We need our kids to grow up with other nationalities and races.”
Because the school is growing, they’ve opened up new daycare slots and are currently still open for enrollment for parents who want to give their children the spiritual, academic and social education they need in life. For more information, check out their website.