We are so excited about starting another year of school! The end of last semester placed tremendous challenges on our teachers and staff, but it was especially tough on the children. We scrambled, adapted, and made the best of a bad situation; but always with the determination to provide the best spiritual, emotional, and academic support to our students.
In a poll of parents and students, we were pleased to learn that over 95% of students wanted to return to campus! It was clear that we weren't the only ones who missed the fellowship, friendship, and special bond that exists while at school.
Each year, preparing the children in the Home for school typically involves backpacks, new clothes, and all the necessary school supplies. In addition, this year the safety and security of every child, parent, teacher, staff member, and visitor to our campus was a primary focus.
Working within the guidelines laid out by federal and state agencies, we have worked tirelessly to address the health and safety needs of our staff and students. A few of the more significant changes made over the summer include:
There were also issues of classroom and cafeteria seating arrangements, traffic and sidewalk flow patterns, sanitation stations, digital thermometers, and more.
- The addition of two full-time nurses to handle all health and wellness issues and to avoid any potential outbreaks
- The installation of plexiglass safety shields in all seated areas like classrooms, the cafeteria, and media center
- Professionally disinfecting the campus every night
Meeting these requirements has placed a significant financial burden on the Home and Academy. Tens of thousands of dollars were spent to make sure we could provide a safe return for our students and staff, and many of these projects still need financial support.
As we begin our 75th year at Mount Dora Children's Home and Christian Academy, it is with our eye on the future. In spite of all the adjustments that had to be made, we are moving forward with vision and optimism - but we need your help as we continue to serve children and families for the next several generations.
Your gift of $500, $100, $50 or more will go a long way to ensure that the next 75 years of service are as meaningful and fulfilling as the first.
We are so grateful for all you have done to date and pray that God grants you continued health, safety, and service as we embark on a new era of hope and promise for the children and families we serve.
For the Children,
Dr. Brian Mast
P.S. The cost for 700 safety shields for the classrooms and cafeteria was just over $30,000, so you can see the challenge we are facing. With so many special needs this year, your continued support is needed now more than ever!