Progress 2024: Clanton’s private school paving the way for future generations

Published 1:42 pm Friday, May 17, 2024

This story was originally featured in Progress 2024.

Story and photos by Elisabeth Altamirano-Smith

Liberty Christian Academy (LCA) is reimagining the classroom for the next generation. The conception of the school began when local resident, Thomas Mims, was looking for an innovative private school within Clanton for his children and there was not one. In 2021, LCA opened its doors with the goal of adding a grade level each year they are open. This fall semester the school will enroll students ages 4 through the 2nd Grade.

“There is so much good that is going on,” said board member Debbie Jones. “One of the best things is seeing kids enjoy learning. It is not just sitting at a desk with a pencil, it is hands on. They are not only learning—they are having fun.”

The academy strives to provide students with diverse tools and resources that can fuel the children’s academic ability. By using unique and creative teaching techniques, LCA hopes to remove academic barriers that hinder students from choosing career paths that drive passion and spark imagination. One of the integrated teaching techniques that LCA uses is called “Step Up to Learn.” Step Up to Learn is a learning readiness program that links gross motor skills with activities to develop fluency in literacy, math and handwriting.

“’Step Up to Learn’ is a hands-on, movement and crossing activity,” Denise Eiland,board member and Pre-K Director, said. “Children start with a stool, then must listen and follow directions. They step up on the stool and must keep in-time with what they are learning; sometimes drawing letters with their finger in the air. This technique helps students use both sides of the brain at the same time. It is multi-sensory learning. After stepping up, students are able to sit down and write the letter or complete the math problem on their own.”

In addition to creative teaching techniques, the school offers Spanish classes taught by native-Spanish speaker and teacher Nancy Montes, music with choral and handbells taught by Lindsey Deason, Chapel, Bible curriculum and physical education facilitated by Cornerstone Fitness. Students also participate in seasonal field trips to optimize learning opportunities and growth.

LCA also offers professional development to teachers. Each teacher and administrator are thoroughly background checked and drug-tested, and LCA is a state approved school. Clanton Police and Fire Departments have made and passed inspections for safety evaluations at the school.

LCA is located inside New Life Church at 1014 Lay Dam Road, Clanton, however, the school is not attached to the church and is independent from any denomination. LCA is a non-profit organization and solely funded through tuition and donations. Future plans for the private school include securing a long-term location central to Clanton with room to build and grow. A fundraising event is being planned for early-summer with the date to be announced at a later time.

“These children are learning their foundation in the Gospel every day,” said Jones. “We have the freedom to learn things we used to learn in schools. This is a dream we get to build. We took a step of faith, and God is paving the way and said ‘follow me.’”

Enrollment is currently open for the fall semester at LCA. Registration and enrollment fees are available online via Facebook at Liberty Christian Academy. Financial aid is available.

For more information contact 205-294-2433.