Melina Albano remembers her two years as a student at Maranatha Christian Academy as some of the best of her schooling, and she’s hoping her own children will have a similar experience as they now attend the same school.
“I’m excited for them to experience what I experienced,” Albano tells OACS News. She has warm memories of her tight-knit Grade 7 and 8 class, attending praise and worship services and the Grade 8 class trip.
Albano and her husband Sal enrolled the oldest of their four children at the Windsor school last fall, both feeling a great sense of peace after they had made their decision, says Albano.
She adds she was very excited as they left the school after confirming with the principal.
“I think I had the biggest smile on my face, walking out of the school that day,” she says.
Her two greatest hopes for her children are that they receive strong spiritual nurturing that prepares them well for life, as well as solid academics, and she’s confident that’s what they’ll receive at Maranatha.
Albano says through conversations with parents, teachers and staff she understands the school has an excellent academic foundation to offer.
“You hear stories of how children are graduating with honours and Governor General awards,” she says, adding already she’s seeing an increase in the expectations and workloads for her children, compared to the school they attended formerly.
Beyond academics, though, Albano says she is most excited to see her children have the opportunity to receive a strong spiritual foundation through both the teaching they receive and from being surrounded by teachers and peers who hold similar beliefs.
“I think being taught faith in a more in-depth way, the Bible, the foundation of why they believe what they believe, … being encouraged and supported spiritually every day with those around them and the teachers, I think that will prepare them spiritually for the days to come as an adult, to face many different things in life, any challenges they may have,” she says.
Albano notes parental involvement at Maranatha is a given, in light of the school’s smaller size and governance model, and this is important to her as well.
She sees value in parents helping out where they can, whether that’s in promoting the school, fundraising or helping the teachers with their work.
“Just to be able to walk through the school and even help out with little things, like hot lunches, and see your children at school, they see you, I think that’s important, that’s a good thing.”
Looking ahead to her children’s graduation from Maranatha, Albano anticipates both parents and children feeling a great sense of accomplishment, pride and most of all joy, especially in knowing they’ve had the spiritual nurturing she anticipates they will receive, says Albano.
“We’re really blessed to have this opportunity to bring them here,” the mom adds.