The Free Christian School is small. It was founded about 30 years ago in the small town of Edgerton, Minnesota, which has a population of about 1000. The society is made up of almost all the members of the local Protestant Reformed Church. Although only 12 families have children in school, the society is made up of 25 families. The budget of the school is set up so that one-half of it is brought up through tuition, and the remainder has to be brought up through church collections and donations. The people of the Edgerton Protestant Reformed Church support the school long after their last child has graduated. Without this support the school would have closed years ago.
Our teachers are Mr. P. Brummel who has been our principal and teacher of grades 5-9 since 1972, and Miss B. Hoekstra who has taught grades K-4 since 1976. Both of these teachers are qualified and able to teach in schools much larger than ours and receive much higher salaries. We are fortunate to have them stay with us so long.
The unity and strength of our school society shows itself in the active interest everyone has in the operation and advancement of our school. In addition to the usual fixing up and maintenance, we have been involved in several projects in the last few years. We have laid a piece of concrete near the school for a basketball court and for other activities. We have also re-landscaped the area around the school. We removed much of the old gravel from the back and added black, dirt and grass, put new gravel in the front, and installed posts to keep traffic from going around school. Much of this was done with volunteer labor.
This year we lowered all the ceilings and added insulation above the new lowered ceilings. We also added new lights for both classrooms. The society did this also with almost all volunteer labor and is paying for materials through fund-raising drives through the society. We look at this project as an effort to save money, hoping that it will more than pay for itself in fuel savings over a few years. Also it has done much for the beauty and acoustics of the classrooms!
Last year one of the church members donated a number of little evergreens to replace the ones lost in a recent drought, and volunteered to keep them watered through the summer months.
The women of the congregation also take an active interest in the running of the school. Over the years we have always had a “school cleaning” every summer, with different groups assigned to cleaning different parts of the school. Men and women work together doing everything from stripping and waxing the floors to washing window blinds and varnishing desks.
Recently a Women’s Circle was formed by the ladies of the church. They keep in constant contact with the principal and the board and see to things that are usually overlooked by the board and the staff; Even though only a couple of years old, the Circle has already bought the school numerous things with money raised through various means. They also conduct craft classes at school once a month for grades 5-9. Various individuals take turns teaching the students some craft with which they are familiar. They have taught macramé, cake decorating, string art, latch hook, plaster molds, and others. In the very near future they plan to have a series of art instruction classes to give the students a better ability in drawing and a greater appreciation of it.
The Free Christian School is small. The principal is our Education Committee and the teachers are the janitors. Through the years; our size has been a problem. We have never had many students, never had enough money, and sometimes had trouble finding teachers. We were always so busy trying to keep the holes in the boat plugged and the boat floating that we rarely had time to row or look ahead. However, the Free Christian School has been growing in the last few years. Grades 5-9 have nine students and grades K-4 have 19 students. Many of the younger students are the oldest children of young families. Our growth is such that the board has been looking toward getting a separate kindergarten teacher next year. This increase in students and young families has generated a positive attitude concerning growth and expansion. We hope this trend will continue.
We are grateful that we have had many years of distinctive Protestant Reformed education available for our children. We now are constantly striving to keep this heritage which has been given us and also continue to glorify our Heavenly Father in all that is done in this school.
We thank God for the 30 years of Covenantal Education with which we have been blessed and pray that our children may be trained in the fear of His name in this school for many more years.