(KMOV) – News 4’s Sharon Reed stopped by a Metro-East school who made it their mission to give children of their community a place to learn without fear.
Micah Moore, nearly six-years-old, shares the same excitement for attending school as he will on his pending birthday.
His morning route takes him past some of the despair that’s become so common in East St. Louis.
"We were more concerned about him getting into an environment that was not only safe, but that we knew and heard about,” said grandparent Alice Moore.
She called Unity Lutheran Christian Elementary School the best thing that’s ever happened for their family.
For ten years, the Unity Lutheran Christian Elementary School has worked with students, kindergarten through eighth grade, to address negativity before it happens. They also work to prevent it by providing a positive and safe workplace for its students to grow.
"We have high expectations also... so we're not gonna let things slide. We’re gonna try and teach the kids that it does take work if you wanna achieve something, you've got to work for it,” said Paul Miller, Director of Development.
Parents have total involvement in the education of their children. They’re held accountable through conferences, meetings, paying tuition and volunteering at least 40 hours every year at the school.
"They’re always volunteering for us, grading papers, even sitting in when we go to the bathroom sometimes,” said Lillie Hardieway, a fifth- grade teacher at Unity. “I always tell the parents your kids need to see you here. Your presence tells the kid this is important.”
It’s something Moore argues is the difference between what goes on too often on the streets of East St. Louis and the great hope that emerges inside these walls.
One key factor that makes this model unique is the role religion plays in the school’s curriculum,
For information on how to send future students to the Unity Christian School, click here.