A school designed to break the cycle of incarceration officially opened on Saturday. A ribbon cutting was held at the Little Light Christian School in northeast Oklahoma City.
The school has operated out of a small space inside a church for years but now the school has 22,000 square feet of building on more than nine acres of land to reach even more kids dealing with a parent in prison.
“They have the shame factor,” said Principal Robin Khoury. "They're dealing with a lot of trauma. The one thing that happens when children's parents go to prison is that they generally never recover academically.”
The free and private school opened in 2012 with six students and now has 32 enrolled. The new campus located at 3301 N. Martin Luther King Avenue was purchased for $1.6 million through a gift from the JASCO Giving Hope Foundation.
“This is in their community so they're excited to have this place close to home. They don't have to drive a long ways to get here."
The building holds six classrooms for pre-k through middle school and a space for after school activities. The students also received music lessons and an art program on site as well as counseling services.
“We cover each student with love,” she said. "(T)he major theme that runs through Little Light Christian School is the love that we have for every student."
The grounds give them opportunities for a garden and other activities.
“There's plenty of wilderness area out here for them to do some nature study and wilderness camping.”
The school provides uniforms and shoes as well as two meals and three snacks a day.
“Our goal is that none of our students will ever go into a jail or prison except to visit someone.”
The school operates solely on donations and hope to receive more to renovate a space for a library and build a fine art auditorium. The school also needs volunteers. If you would like to donate or volunteer, click here.