Karen Harris, Parent

What can I say?  We love CLA!

The Hunt

When it came time to find a school for our oldest child, my sister and I visited schools together.  We both had a child starting “K” and we wanted them to go to school together.  So we researched, analyzed and visited many schools and we kind of held CLA to the end of the list because it was so far from the area of BR where we lived.  She had friends whose children had attended CLA and had spoken very highly of the school, but it definitely wasn’t my first choice because I didn’t want to drive that far to school every day.  I really wanted a school closer to where we lived.  But it made the list and we felt we should at least visit because her friends had spoken so highly of the school.  Then the day came and we visited.  We were hooked.  I remember leaving the school after our visit and going to a restaurant in that little shopping center on Perkins and “Anselmo”.  And she asked “Well, what did you think?”  And I remember saying, “Well, unfortunately, I liked it.  I really really liked it.  I didn’t want to like it.  In fact, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to like it.  But I did.”  That was in December 2000. And even today, nine years later, every time I pass that shopping center I look and think about that day when we visited CLA and how I knew that this was where God had led us for our children’s education.

The Short Hunt List

Three big items on our short list were:

1) Spirtual. First and foremost was we wanted a Christian school.

2) Education.  But we also wanted it to come with an excellent education.  I’m sorry, if I’m going to spend that much money for an education I want my money’s worth.  Their education is an investment in our children’s future and I wanted to make sure that the education they received would prepare them for college and prepare them for life and I would feel like it was money well spent.

3) Sports.
  Sports program was not the #1 one the short list, but it was up there with the top three.   We are not sports fanatics, (ok, some friends and family may think we are with tournament baseball)!  But I have to be honest a good sports program was important to us.  Our sons and daughter all enjoy a variety of sports.  So a school with a good sports program was important to us.  Christian Life has a good program and has won several titles and even some state championships.  So what that said to us is that they are big enough to compete.  But what we have learned from being here is that they are also small enough that if you want to play a sport and have the ability and desire to work hard you can have an opportunity to play.  We like the fact that CLA was big enough to be in the game, and our kids could be part of the game and not watching from the sidelines because there were so many players that they might sit the bench until maybe their Junior or Senior year.  If they had the ability; they have the opportunity. 

The Longer Found List

The things on our “Short Hunt List” were some of the things we were looking for, but the longer list of what we found after coming to CLA and some of the “in-tangibles” is much longer.  To our delight we found:

  • Spiritual Depth
  • Excellence in Academics (awards for AP classes, ACT scores)
  • Good Competitive Sports Program
  • Firm Discipline Standards, but Administered with God’s Love, Grace & Forgiveness
     - administered with God’s love and teachable consequences
     - when a student makes a mistake, CLA demonstrates in a tangible way what God’s love looks like.
  • Heart for Kids
     - teachers and administration daily display a heart for the kids for their academic growth and their spiritual growth.
  • Christ Love
     - How He loved us is how CLA models that love everyday to the kids in their daily walk.  They not only see Christ love in their chapel service, but in daily life.  It is woven into a way of life at Christian Life.

The Conclusion

Many things drew us to CLA.  And many things keep us at CLA.  The scripture you will find on the CLA field trip shirts reads,

“This is how you know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” 1 John 3:16.

CLA tries to demonstrate that scripture as they walk through life with their students so that our children will know what Christ love is.

Is CLA perfect?  No.  Is any school perfect?  No. I don’t think there could be a perfect school.  As with most things in life, there is no absolute perfect, Only Christ.  But what you will find at CLA is a great school and a great environment for kids.

We love the school and the school loves the Lord.  CLA is growing children in academics and they are growing children in their relationship with Christ.  The school encourages excellence from our children in all aspects and teaches them that God expects excellence from them in all areas of their lives.


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