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Emmaus focuses on community service next month

After 34 years, school happy with growth, particularly at middle level

If the small classes don't catch your attention, the focus on community service probably will.

Those are two hallmarks of the educational program at Emmaus Christian School in Cornelius, a private nonprofit that turns 34 years old in 2012.

Serving students from preschool through eighth grade, Emmaus offers classes in the basic core subjects of reading, writing and math, as well as electives such as logic, choir, worship band, PE, drama, computer skills, photography, Spanish and Japanese.

School officials love to tout Emmaus' staying power when it comes to its teaching staff.

'We have quite a few teachers who have been here 20-plus years,' noted Jennifer Turvey, admissions director and development director.

Most classes enroll about 20 students, Turvey said, and if they exceed that number they're likely to augment the teaching staff with a classroom aide.

Academics are a priority at Emmaus as well, said David Glass, lead teacher in the middle school level, which has increased enrollment over the past several years. 'Emmaus students consistently score 20 to 30 percent above national norms,' he said. At the same time, Glass added, 'academic excellence also necessitates support for 'late bloomers,' bringing them along at a speed that facilitates their understanding.'

Besides its regular class schedule, Emmaus offers opportunities for homeschoolers to take part in individual core and elective classes.

On Feb. 14, Emmaus students will share Valentine's Day love in two different ways, Turvey said. Students in preschool through fourth grade will visit area nursing homes to sing songs and give valentines to residents. Pupils in grades six through eight will work with the Washington County Sheriff's Office graffiti task force to remove graffiti from buildings around the Cornelius community.



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