The Little School Who Could

August 01, 2008 | Earl Brockman

Starting with just three students two years ago, the Dayton Community Adventist School now has nine students in grades one through seven. This steady growth has caused the church building committee to look at either adding an addition to the church or setting up a modular building so the church's multi-purpose room can be used again. That is where the school has been meeting.

The school started when former public school teacher Renae Young, a stay-at-home mom who was homeschooling her three young children, decided to start the school. It was her and other visionaries who researched and worked on all the necessary requirements for such an undertaking.

Kristin Brooks did the graphics for their school logo; a handbook was developed; and Young worked on all the paperwork to obtain Washington state approval. Since Dayton has the highest illiteracy rate in the county, Young goes to a curriculum fair in Puyallup, Wash., each year to handpick appropriate materials. Each day of their four-day school week begins with Leland Hawes, lay pastor, conducting worship and teaching Bible classes to the upper grades. Harriet Evans volunteered her services, cooking hot lunch every day for two years. As an outreach ministry, the tuition is minimal, daily hot lunch is free, and Young is a volunteer teacher. Doug Venn chairs the school board.

This school year concluded with a social studies/science field trip to the Washington coast for a week. They enjoyed Pacific Science Center, the Seattle Aquarium, the state capitol building, the beach and Mt. St. Helens. They stayed at Sunset Lake and other stops—even staying in yurts.