CORNELIUS BROWN:“So many kids in the community don’t have the opportunity to advance, so by us being one of the lucky few and taking advantage of the opportunity to have that choice, and to have our son come to this school, makes all the difference in the world.”
My name is Cornelius Brown, Sr. and I’m the father of Isaiah Brown. This is his first year attending Mountain View Christian School. He’s enjoying it so far. We didn’t know much about the Opportunity Scholarship program at first, however, we have a relative, a niece, who has been attending the school and receiving the scholarship for the last three years. This is the first time we have been able to take advantage of the scholarship.
We found out about MVCS because we were looking for a change. Our niece who attends the school is so well mannered and close to her faith and she’s only seven years old. We wanted to spark that same change, that faith-based inspiration in our son as well. So we were anxious to transfer him to MVCS from public school.
In my son’s public school, he wasn’t performing well and I can’t pinpoint exactly why because there were so many factors, such as teachers not paying attention to the kids and there were 45 kids in the classroom. He couldn’t get the attention, instruction, and understanding he needed. The kids were mean and my son was coming home with bad habits that we don’t allow in our home. Enough was enough and we decided we had to make a change. We prayed for it. Talked to our relatives. We stepped out on faith, filled out the necessary paperwork, and we were successful in getting him to MVCS.
“So many kids in the community don’t have the opportunity to advance, so by us being one of the lucky few and taking advantage of the opportunity to have that choice, and to have our son come to this school, makes all the difference in the world.”
Recently, we were listening to a Christian podcast and they were talking about the old and new Covenant. My son said they learned about that in school and I was like, ‘wow!’ The only covenant I knew about at his age was the candy store covenant! His study habits and the work he is given is challenging him and pushing his mind to the point where I have to Google things sometimes to help him. Academically, he is being pushed and challenged far beyond what we saw in public school. It is just simply amazing. We thought he was already ahead of his time, but at MVCS, all the kids are on the same level. They are learning academically together. The school is just phenomenal for him. He’s not struggling. He finally gets the chance to open up his mind. He’s curious. He’s not stuck by the overcrowding, the retiring teachers, and the lack of tutoring in public school.
I recommend providing families with school choice, simply because it is choice, an opportunity. So many kids in the community don’t have the opportunity to advance, so by us being one of the lucky few and taking advantage of the opportunity to have that choice, and to have our son come to this school, makes all the difference in the world.
We have already seen a difference in just a couple of weeks. He is more eager to learn, more loving, more caring. The school and classes are smaller and he gets more attention. All these things that he was not afforded in public school, he was missing out. I’m looking forward to his growth process, his learning process and his faith process. I’m excited! I’m hopeful!
I know that there are a lot of variations that go into making decisions, but if I could talk to lawmakers, I would tell them you can’t put a price tag on quality, on proper care. You can’t cut the simple foundations of decent, quality learning. If you had a choice in the matter and you had some resources and a little help to provide a better life for your child, you would do it.
They say children are the future. We need to invest in that! You can’t put a price tag on that investment. If you invest in a property, you’re going to buy the property, keep up the property, take care of it, but you’re not going to invest in a property that’s sinking in the ground. I don’t want the lawmakers to feel like they’re investing in a lost cause.
These kids need nurturing, guidance, proper education, proper choices, funding, so they can become the next lawmakers, the next presidents, the next council members and so forth, that can make a difference and keep that funding flowing because they are living testimony to what was provided to them as a child. So if you’re removing that hope, that funding, the kids may not realize it at the time, but as they get older, they will realize that.
As parents, we have to advocate for our kids so if there’s anything I can do, a message or letter or phone call that I can make to increase funding or open up that flow, I will do it wholeheartedly. If I have to volunteer, I will volunteer. I’ll do whatever I can because there are a lot of other families who weren’t as fortunate as my family was, to take advantage of the program and to be given the chance to help their kids succeed.
For me, in order to receive the Opportunity Scholarship, it was required that we volunteer in the school. We volunteer several hours per week. We try to volunteer above and beyond that because we are just so thankful we are able to take advantage of the program, so yes I was one of the very lucky ones that could taken advantage of it, but we are giving back and volunteering our time. We’re just doing things that we do at home, you’re supervising, helping, cleaning up, providing love, encourage words to the kids. It’s not hard to do that. It’s easy. We are thankful. We’re not looking for freebies or handouts. We are thankful and doing our part by volunteering.
School choice is a really big deal and it means everything to our family. We were so distraught about sending our son back to his public school. It really bothered us and when we got the letter saying we have to do our part, we said yes, what do we need to do? Just tell me what I need to do! Because it’s worth it.
My son has a plan. We have a plan for our child. We’ll do whatever we have to do, volunteering, sweeping, whatever it takes is what we’re willing to do. I’m sure those other thousands of families not afforded the opportunity, if they were given the chance to volunteer at the schools to take advantage of that, I guarantee the parents would do it. This is important.