Mike and Katie Morford knew a couple of months into the school year that something needed to change.The school experience for both Cole (6th grade) and Jesse (5th grade) was missing something. Academically there were holes, (which were to be expected due to the comprehensive online learning program that was being offered by their schools because of the pandemic), but it was more than that. They were struggling socially and emotionally with the lack of interaction that comes with an online-only platform, and that prompted Katie to reach out to Central Christian.
Initially, there was only an opening for Cole, but when an opportunity arose for Jesse to attend in person as well, the Morford’s jumped at the chance to be part of the CCS community. Mike shared, “I think what we were excited about initially, is that they would be invited into some academic rigor. But now that we’ve been here for a few months, it seems like the culture of faith that’s here is a sense of caring for the students completely. We were really drawn to that completeness: spiritually, emotionally, and academically. That came through in the parent teacher conferences. There was not a sense of legalism but of genuine love for the Lord. It really felt like it was right where the Lord was leading all of us, which is discipline in love, and that was super appealing. It also came through within the first week of the boys being in the school. It was like the light switched on. There was some real enthusiasm and joy. You could tell that they were cared for and there was academic rigor. To us, we felt like we had won the lottery.”
“We saw a transformation literally overnight. Their entire demeanor changed along with their attitude toward school. They were happy and were coming home and sharing how they were meeting kids that were like-minded,” Katie shared. “Community is so important to us, and they got that back and started thriving academically, socially, and spiritually. They also embraced the challenges of going back into the classroom and the rigor that came along with it, and they have been 100% willing to do the work. She added, “The curriculum they are learning is really meaningful and rich.”
Katie continued, “The teachers are also amazing. They have been incredibly supportive and communicative throughout the transition.” She also shared about how their boys kept using the word “kind” when they first started at
CCS, reiterating that everyone was so kind, including the teachers, staff, and kids. “It is a word that we continue to hear over and over,” Katie remarked. “That’s huge for us.”
Mike added, “When children know that they are loved and are given boundaries at the same time, and then they are challenged by their peers, that combination gives an opportunity for real growth and fruit. All the right conditions are in play that can really make a difference. We were elated that they got in, but then to see them come to life in a really short period of time, that’s given us a real sense of peace for them to be at the school. There’s biblical grounding that is rooted in love, and that’s rare. They are safe, they are loved, and they are being challenged, and that combination is a huge gift from the Lord.”