“What is a bully, Grandma?” His 6 year old eyebrows knitted in concern. “That’s someone who is so sad on the inside that they are mean to others.” He thought for a moment and said “Well, Fr. Matthew would give them a yellow card and if they didn’t stop he would give them a blue card [after an orange, red, and purple card] and they would have to leave and not be able to come back… ever.” He paused again and said with some finality, “Besides, St. Basil is a holy school.”
Our patron Saint Basil
Yes, it is; which is the most important thing of all. It teaches humility and obedience, preserves innocence, and provides an exceptional education in an atmosphere of love. He knows nothing of bullies, but lots about other things. He loves science class, religion and medieval studies; math and reading not so much. The overall test scores have proven the academy yet again. Sadly, every year is a battle, really a financial war. The board rightly wants to include every Orthodox child regardless of ability to pay, yet the money to run the school and pay the staff has to come from somewhere. The state gives no assistance whatsoever, which is true of most private grants as well – good news, bad news. No money, no strings; for us that allows our curriculum to be constructed in the fashion we choose. Interestingly, that yields an average test result almost two grades higher than state-funded schools for around 40% what the state spends per student. But, as I said, the money has to come from somewhere. Our tuitions cover a portion of the cost, yet we must supplement it with a continual search for grant money where our Orthodox affiliation is not an immediate disqualifier and with fund-raising activities. We have achieved greater suc-cess, each year our fundraising efforts yield a better result. Our January Annual Silent Auction is drawing bigger crowds and netting bigger money. Our spring mailing yielded some good results, though not as much as we hoped for. We just held the first annual Walla Walla Roastery coffee sale, which brought in more than $1,000. In association with some other commercial incentive programs (Boxtops for Education, Staples Rewards, Safeway club, Albertsons club) we net another $1500 or so. Next is the upcoming Annual Benefit Yard Sale – June 15th and 16th which, God willing, will bring in enough to fund about one and one-half tuitions ($5,000).
We all read the reports every year about the sad state of education and feel helpless to do anything about it. We watch as they try everything – more money, fewer students per teacher, new methods, old methods, less supervision, more latitude, less latitude. Every administration tries a new tack and yet the results spiral relentlessly downward with few exceptions. The St. Basil Academy of Classical Studies works. It works! Now, today it works. You are not helpless to do anything about it. You can give a donation to this little gem of a school and help it grow. “Besides, St. Basil is a holy school.” Out of the mouths of babes and infants Thou hast perfected praise – Matt 21:16
Visit St. Basil Academy website http://saintbasilacademy.netthen make a tax-deductible donation on the website or send a check by mail to St. Basil Academy, 2346 S. Wilbur Rd., Walla Walla, WA 99362. Grandma thanks you in advance for your generosity.