By Jennifer Lamey
There are exciting things happening in Wolcott, NY! In this small town of just over 4,000 people, the congregation of Path Light Community Fellowship has a big vision. Under the leadership of Pastor Joel Allen the church is striving to be a light in their region and show the love of Christ by meeting practical needs of their community members. “This year we’ve gone through restructuring. God gave me a vision for our community” Pastor Allen explained. This led them to start Path Light Academy Christian School. “We wanted to do it for a number of years. This year we had the right people in place” said Pastor Allen. There were a number of home school families that wanted to collaborate with one another to give their children a well-rounded education. After prayerful planning they developed the school model and opened enrollment in summer of 2018. “It was one of those things that was either going to work or it wasn’t,” Pastor Allen said remembering the summer before school started when they were waiting “to get approval from the state, getting the classrooms done, and creating a buzz in the community. It was God lead. We need this in our area, there is no other alternative. Opening the school is the most impactful thing we can do.” Pastor Allen explained.
Path Light Academy Christian School (PLACS) offers students from kindergarten to 12th grade an alternative education with an emphasis on establishing a Biblical and academic foundation. The school year started with nine students and has grown to 23 as the second semester starts. “All of the staff are volunteers right now. Homeschool moms have become teachers. We’ve already built three new classrooms” Pastor Allen said.
In a short amount of time they have created a unique educational institute. The first class of the day is Bible taught by Pastor Allen. Students can also learn Biblical Hebrew in their Bible study. In English, Science, History, Geography, and Social Sciences PLACS uses Bob Jones University Press curriculum. However, they decided to take a new approach in Mathematics by using Growth Mindset Mathematics, Financial Peace University, and Eureka Math (a common core curriculum) for their academic year. In addition to these fundamental classes PLACS offers Spanish as a foreign language.
One of the main things that sets Path Light Academy apart from other schools is that students are encouraged to activate their creativity through the arts. In the Visual and Performing Arts courses students are exposed to different styles of dance including ballet and Irish dance, they are also involved in drama club, and music. Each student is learning an instrument and how to play together as a group. The students loved performing at their first winter concert. “For many of the students from a home schooling background being on stage and performing in front of a crowd was a new experience” Pastor Allen said.
As they ease into the second semester, Pastor Allen reflects on the past few months and looks forward to the future. “We’re excited! We don’t know how we’ll get there, but God is faithful. We need to dream God’s type of dreams.”
In addition to their Christian school ministry Path Light Community Fellowship has services every Saturday and Sunday at 10am with children and youth ministries. To learn more about Path Light Community Fellowship and Path Light Academy Christian School please visit them online at www.PathLightFellowship.com and www.PathLightAcademy.com.