At South Arbor Charter Academy, teachers and staff start their day before sunrise. By 7:30, five hundred cars begin filing along curbside as administrators and parents help children with their oversized backpacks into the building. In the gym, students and teachers recite the South Arbor Creed:
I am a South Arbor student.
I can make a difference by doing my personal best.
I will work hard, and practice good manners.
My heart believes it; my actions will show it!
Throughout the workday, lessons have a dual focus of academics and “global virtues” like integrity, perseverance, compassion, wisdom, and self-control. In classrooms, older students serve as “reading buddies” to younger children. Parents flip flashcards and put up bulletin boards. Hallways are dotted with posters advertising penny drives, book fairs, and a seasonal “giving tree.”
At South Arbor, charity begins at home . . . and it continues in the classroom. This generosity is modeled by faculty and staff; last summer several South Arbor teachers went to Zimbabwe to train local teachers. During the school year, Principle Tim DiLaura mentors two other charter schools in addition to working at South Arbor full time.
This year, we are having to work harder than ever just to make ends meet. While traditional public schools in Michigan lost $213 per student in state funding, South Arbor Academy lost $700 per student – a half-million dollars – in state funding. This despite the fact that our students scored much higher on national testing than students in traditional public schools (86% of our students scored at or above grade level, a rate much higher than that of traditional public school students).
The South Arbor Booster Club, a 501(c)3 organization that raises funds to provide cultural and academic opportunities for the students of South Arbor – science and writing fairs, spelling bees, drug awareness programs, special assemblies, classroom and field trip allowances, and other extra-curricular enrichment activities. Our goal is $50,000 – one-tenth of the money lost from state budget cuts. With this kind of money, we can buy learning much-needed resources and books, and add appreciably to other needs identified by teachers and parents alike.
On February 27, we are holding our annual Spring Auction. We are seeking a variety of donations – autographed books, educational and recreational products, and financial contributions – for this purpose. All contributions are fully tax-deductible.
Won’t you help us meeting our target? Thanks in advance for your help!