It’s Easy to be a Logos Champion (#LogosChampion)

Our vibrant learning community is robust with stories about lives being changed through connections at Logos Academy. We are an urban, Kingdom school grounded in the love of Christ, educating for excellence, offering opportunity, and cultivating hope in our community.

To our students, we offer an excellent education through a classical model which encompasses Greek, Latin, literature, humanities, philosophy, and rhetoric.

To our families, we offer opportunity to break cycles and connect with others in an environment grounded in the love of Christ. Our culturally diverse community is celebrated and seeds of understanding are planted.

To our community, we bring hope. Hope is brought to Logos in many ways: A caring friend, a donor who provides much-needed scholarships or school supplies, a community mentor that engages a student in an opportunity to expand his or her learning, a teacher who takes time to build a relationship with a student who is struggling, a staff member who listens to the struggles of a parent and connects them with resources. These are our Logos Champions.

Are you already a Logos Champion? We thank you for your love and support. You are steadfast and diligent in your commitment to Logos’ mission.

We need Logos Champions to continue to bring hope to our vibrant learning community! Join us. It’s easy!

The Aroma of Life

Aaron AndersonThe aroma of death hangs in the air of our nation. Black, brown, and blue lie bullet ridden in our streets; the blood of God’s image bearers pouring onto soil that promises life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The blood-soaked soil is groaning for Heaven’s courtroom to be called into session.

The mothers and fathers of young men, whose skin pigmentation yields beautiful black and brown tones, fear for the lives of their sons. This fear churns in the hearts of African-American families, but also stirs in the bellies of Mexicans, Haitians, Puerto Ricans, and Malaysians as well.

I am privileged to serve as Head of School at Logos Academy, an urban school in York, PA. The parents of black and brown young men have vulnerably shared their fears with me. Their precious sons make up a large percentage of our student population.

The spouses, children, and family members of our nation’s police officers are terrified as well, fearing their loved ones may not make it home from the evening’s shift. My own gentle, compassionate brother serves his community as a police officer.

I have often wondered what it must have felt like during the Civil War era for families to be torn apart; brother fighting against brother, friend pitted against friend, ideology usurping its right over the bonds of blood and camaraderie.

Our nation’s educational institutions have a crucial role to play in healing our nation’s divide. I have been pondering how the Old Testament prophets, those great beacons of justice, might speak to the leaders who shape educational policy and practice today.

He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)

Is our nation’s education system acting justly toward students of color? Test scores across the country reveal a widening achievement gap. This reality is screaming at us right here in York County, PA, as students of color continue to be herded into that life-stealing achievement gap.

Our nation’s schools are badly segregated. Urban school districts are overflowing with students of color living in poverty. The graduation rates and SAT scores of these students are far lower than their mostly white, suburban counterparts.

Failure to change the educational status quo for students of color is to continue to walk the well-worn path of our nation’s injustice against them.

Every school needs to provide a safe and vibrant place where children can learn, opportunity to learn to think critically about our nation’s problems, a chance to dialogue with a diverse, integrated student body, a faculty who loves them unconditionally.  

The nation’s future leaders, citizens, police officers, and cafeteria workers are sitting in community schools waiting to be molded. Education holds the power to lift us all, especially students of color.

This nation can make a serious dent in crime statistics, but not if school dropout rates in urban communities do not budge. We can break the cycle of generational poverty, but not if our kids lack the education needed to secure jobs that pay a livable wage.

Our streets will continue to be a bloody landscape, unnecessarily littered with the lives of the black, brown, and blue, unless all students are equipped with the power to think, critique, dialogue, and are taught the humility to recognize and change their narrow biases.

Education represents the opportunity to shape young lives, to shatter stereotypes, to break the cycles that bind us, to end the school-to-prison pipeline. Imagine a future where black, brown, and blue welcome each other as brothers and sisters made in the image of God, where they greet one another, and play and dance in the streets together.

If we want our communities to overflow with justice, mercy, and the humility that comes from walking with God, we must start with our nation’s schools.

Of the 250 students at Logos Academy, roughly 200 live in York City. These students represent a tiny number of York City’s school population of 6,000 students. We pray for the peace and prosperity of all of York City’s students, and for wisdom for our brothers and sisters who serve as administrators, teachers, and staff members in the City’s public and charter schools.

Our little flock of 250 kids is precious to us. These lives are important and have great value not only to their families, but to us, and to the God who made them. Our hope is that these children have the opportunity to breathe the aroma of life, and not of death.

I refuse for one second to believe that this vision is utopian and naive. I have witnessed the transformational power of an education centered on the pursuit of justice, the practice of mercy, and the humility of walking with God. If transformation can happen for Logos Academy students, it can happen for all of our students.

May the peace of Christ fill the halls of our nation’s schools, and the streets of our nation’s communities, so that everyone has a fair chance to draw deeply from the aroma of life.

On behalf of the faculty and staff of Logos Academy and with hope in Christ,

Rev. Aaron J. Anderson, CEO/Head of School

Step Into The Gap

StepIntoTheGapLogo-Yellow&TransparentThe unfortunate reality is that a great education can become a seemingly unattainable dream for low income families. They enter school behind and struggle to catch up. However, for almost 20 years Logos Academy has been Stepping Into the Gap for students like these to deliver proven results built on classical education, small class sizes and strong parent partnerships, making it affordable to all. Our community is culturally diverse and grounded in the love of Christ.

Right now, due to the damage caused by the political gridlock from the PA budget impasse, significant funding that would normally have supported these students’ scholarships through business tax credits, has disappeared.

Starting on March 23rd we have 100 days to make up this gap, so we are asking YOU to Step Into the Gap for our students.

It only takes $45 to fund a day for a Logos student who relies on a scholarship. Every day in the classroom builds toward a hope filled future.

You can make that difference. Visit our page to learn how to Step Into The Gap

Logos Academy deals with wreckage of budget impasse

Rev. Aaron J. Anderson, Head of School and CEO

Rev. Aaron J. Anderson Head of School and CEO

The nearly 270-day Pennsylvania budget impasse has now ended. Governor Wolf relented, and though he did not sign the budget, he will allow it to stand. It appears that both the Governor and lawmakers realize there are future issues that must be addressed now.

Before we cast our gaze to the future, I propose we survey the wreckage this unfortunate impasse has created.

Our Commonwealth went 270 days without a state budget. For 270 days, schools, nonprofits, and numerous community organizations fretted over funding. For 270 days, organizations were forced to borrow money or make cuts to maintain operations. For 270 days, lines of credit were tapped, creating significant interest expenditures that were not budgeted. For 270 days, the minds of executives and staff members were preoccupied with solving funding issues. For 270 days, teachers and staff members struggled to focus on mission instead of worry.

The 270 days have passed and the political game of chicken is now over. Across PA, many are breathing a sigh of relief. Public schools will finally receive their allotted funding.

Yet, others are left cleaning up the wreckage left by this tornado of reckless irresponsibility. A great degree of damage has been caused that will not be remedied by the passage of a State budget.

Pennsylvania’s two educational tax credit programs, EITC and OSTC, provide a poignant example. These programs provide educational scholarships that make access to high quality educational programs accessible for people who otherwise could not afford them. In the 2014-15 fiscal year, Logos Academy collected and distributed $1,500,000 in scholarships to students in need through this program. Due to the 270-day budget impasse, Logos received only half of last year’s total, roughly $750,000. Half of our anticipated scholarship dollars are gone.

Though our legislators have taken steps to undo the damage, the damage is done. The tax credit program had timelines that needed to be kept. Businesses had deadlines for paying their taxes. Business owners and executives became exasperated by the ‘wait and see’ news we kept hearing out of Harrisburg and opted out of the program. We can only hope they will return next year.

And so, this week, at Logos Academy, we formally launched a 100-day effort to raise $800,000 to fill the financial gap. We granted substantial scholarships to students at the beginning of the year, with the full expectation that funding would be there to fulfill those scholarships. Logos had ten years of history on our side to substantiate this assumption.

The Logos Academy fiscal year closes in less than 100 days on June 30, 2016. In the midst of the impasse, our political leaders have talked at length about students being held hostage. While the damage has been done, we refuse to allow our children to be hurt due to the abject failure of Pennsylvania’s political leaders.

Choices have consequences, sometimes devastating ones. Though this 270-day budget impasse has victimized so many throughout our Commonwealth, we refuse to play the victim role at Logos Academy. We are looking to the faithfulness of God and the generosity of our donor community to step into the financial gap.

Logos Academy is gaining significant momentum. Students are excelling, we will graduate our second class of seniors in May, our growth is both prudent and measured, and we are cautiously considering the expansion needed to house an academic program that is showing great promise.

We will continue to fix our gaze toward securing a bright and hopeful future for our students, but in the next 100 days, we must clean up the mess created by these unfortunate 270 days.

Classical Education Can Transform Urban Communities

Guest Blogger – Nancy Snyder, K-12 Student Support Services Coordinator

A beautiful little girl, only seven years old, sat in my office weeping. A beloved family friend had just been killed. One more young man gunned down in our city. One more family with a bullet hole in their family picture. One more neighborhood in mourning. One more city rent by violence. One more little girl weeping.

After we talked and prayed, I asked this child if she knew why Logos was founded. Through her tears, she said, “So people would respect each other, instead of…“ Her voice trailed off.

At our Christ-centered school, one of the things our Vibrant Learning Community practices is respect for each person made in the image of God. In partnership with the Holy Spirit, teachers and students labor to work out problems in ways that make and maintain peace. Even a second grader can see this is what our city needs.

Because our second grade curriculum opens with ancient Egypt, even before this death caused her tears, my young friend understood the contrast between the land of the living lit by the eastern sky and the city of the dead spilling into the underworld. She understood the difference between Narmer, who united Upper and Lower Egypt to rule a great country, and Abraham, who waited for God to provide a better country (Hebrews 11:16). She saw Christ as a better treasure than the glittering gold of King Tutankhamen. A class discussion, about the God who prepares a home for His people, in contrast with the Egyptian practice of stockpiling possessions for life after death, provided the framework and foundation for our hard but healing discussion of her grief.

Soon, my young friend was ready to return to class, where she is now studying ancient Greece. This little girl and her classmates are learning that God is a better poet than Homer, and he is making each of them His poiéma (Ephesians 2:10). She is seeing that Christ is better than Greek military heroes because He has conquered our greatest enemies: sin, Satan, and death. Through our classical curriculum, children of our city are being shaped to love a different kind of courage. Not an angry bravado that shoots down, but a hope-filled bravery that loves.

Soon, as they study ancient Rome together, these second graders will learn that God is building a city far greater than Rome—a truly eternal city (Hebrews 11:10). Fueled by that hope, may these children spread the shalom of God in our city.

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Drawings by the student to her friendphoto1 (2)

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