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Covenant Christian School in Aurora is seeking community help to stay open

There’s a reason I’ve written many stories about Covenant Christian School in Aurora over the years.

Some people, some places, some missions have a way of touching the heart.

And this little private school, now in its 45th year, seems to do that quite often, reminding me not only how precious our children are, but also what’s important in life.

First of all, the school is not only faith-based, but also has a deep-rooted place in society.

You may recall that in 2017, two men waging a hot and close campaign to become Aurora’s next mayor were, rather surprisingly, summoned to the West Aurora High School auditorium stage where Covenant Christian was holding its annual concert fundraiser. singing a little Louis Armstrong song together.

This spontaneous duet shook the house… and the two candidates came together for a big hug.

A few years later, at the same annual fundraiser, the Aurora Police Department was recognized for its heroic response to the mass shooting at Henry Pratt by awarding tuition scholarships to his children.

Let’s also not forget that it was the artwork of Covenant Christian students that was displayed across the country after the late Greg Zanis added messages of hope to the white crosses he erected at the sites of many other mass shootings.

Although this school has fewer than 100 students, it has a strong focus on cultural arts—even participating in well-known symphonies—largely thanks to Board President Huntley Brown, an international Christian recording artist with deep ties. Judson University in Elgin.

Covenant also has strong academics; This is evident from the many alumni testimonials, including TV and radio star Cisco Cotto and Pete Carlson, president of BW Integrated Systems.

But what makes this school, located at the First Christian Church on Randall Road, even more special is that it intentionally reaches out to our community’s vulnerable families and offers a high-quality Bible-based education to children from all socioeconomic backgrounds at a greatly reduced cost.

According to Covenant officials, 62% of its students are receiving tuition assistance this year. And the school promises that no child will be turned away for failure to pay.

Unfortunately, this noble mission is difficult to sustain in the economic times we are in. And right now, the school is waiting on the generosity of the community, if not a miracle, to keep its doors open even through the rest of this year.

The board set a crowdfunding goal of $300,000 by March 11; Brown says this will not only replenish operating funds to meet current monthly obligations, but also provide a solid financial foundation for the 2024-25 school year and also allocate funds. for next year’s tuition assistance program.

Although the situation is hardly unique, it is dire.

As you probably know, many private schools are in trouble these days.

Elgin Academy, which has a history of approximately 185 years, announced last November that it would close its doors at the end of this academic year, citing the small number of parents who could afford private education.

A few years ago, the Diocese of Rockford consolidated several elementary schools in Aurora, and just last week the Archdiocese of Chicago announced the closing of two Catholic schools; That’s largely because Springfield voted to end the Invest in Kids scholarship program that made private education possible. There are many low-income families.

The problem is not just finding the funds to keep Covenant Christian open for the next few months, or even a year or two, but also ensuring sustainability, Brown notes.

To this end, the board is implementing a system that will help prevent future challenging moments. It includes a person responsible for student recruitment; a development team seeking grants; associations for alumni, parents, pastors, and even grandparents; and an increase in tuition fees, which are currently said to be 40% below other private schools.

Not to sugarcoat the situation. Covenant Christian knows he needs a miracle.

This is often synonymous with community.

Just last month, the Archdiocese of Chicago was preparing to close St. Paul’s Church in Ingleside. The Bede School raised $400,000 from a desperate but successful GoFundMe that brought in donations large and small.

Those wishing to donate to Covenant Christian’s crowdfunding effort can do so by going to the school’s website at covenantchristianaurora.org.

“I know Aurora and Aurora are strong,” Brown says. “I know the people of this community will rally around the Covenant… and the next 45 years will be greater than the last 45 years.

“From my lips to God’s ears.”

dcrosby@tribpub.com

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