Friday, March 20, 2009

Many thanks to NewsChannel5+ for its great generosity; for the children of Tennessee no one wants, their blessed day of deliverance is coming

After the despair last week over the treatment of poor African-American children at Legislative Plaza, some very good things have happened outside of the political arena.

In the months to come, we the blessed few at Project Reflect and the Smithson Craighead Academy -- the first charter PUBLIC SCHOOL in Tennessee -- will have some important announcements that will affect young lives across the nation and the world.

That is how remarkable God has been to us following that terrible day at Legislative Plaza. He is just and never forgets.

Yesterday, Brian Bates -- who directs NewsChannel 5+ -- provided important studio time for our founder, Sister Sandra Smithson, to tell her story to the nation and the world.

NewsChannel 5+ is such a gift to Middle Tennessee in the programming it provides for people like Sister and organizations such as Project Reflect to tell their story.

It is sad to see its producer, Cherilyn Crowe, leave for a larger mission in Washington, D.C. She'll be there with an organization protecting religious liberties in this nation. She goes with our prayers for her success, which will make this nation stronger.

You'll be able to see the fruits of yesterday's taping soon on the Project Reflect website and on a different one for the Smithson Craighead Academy. Project Reflect sponsors the public school academy.

The terrible day on Capitol Hill did not keep us down, it only made us more determined. And now God has blessed us with some incredible opportunities we'll soon be able to tell you about.

Project Reflect -- quite simply -- represents the children society does not want and fears. They have been written off in public policy and in traditional public schools. Special ed classes and suspension and expulsions are all that has been left for these children.

These babies are mostly black and urban. And poor. And whites and blacks who have made it up the economic ladder don't want them around, particularly in the same classrooms as their children.

Neither do many of the Catholic and Christian schools. Go figure. Who knew Jesus drove a Lexus?

So where are they to go? To Project Reflect's Smithson Craighead Academy, where the model of their education and success has been perfected. And most of all, the child knows that he or she is wanted.

And consider this important fact: in five years of its existence, this charter PUBLIC SCHOOL has not expelled or suspended one child.

So Chief Serpas, you can't blame us for the problem of all the Metro school children on the streets and no one in the traditional schools knowing where they are.

When I was at the academy a couple of weeks ago, I came across a third grader made to stand in the corner in the hallway outside of his classroom. And you would have thought he had the entire world on his shoulders. The remorse on his face -- to be separated from his class -- was undeniable. I patted him on the shoulders and told him things would be all right. That's how sad the child looked.

And that is one of the wonderful things about Smithson Craighead Academy. Sister and the wonderful staff there know how to rescue these children and make them into achievers.

As Sister Sandra so eloquently said yesterday, society is not going to be able to build strong enough gated communities to keep children out when they become teens and have not been educated to have a future like the rest of us.

Society is not going to be able to build enough prisons. Already, overcrowding and tough budget times now are leading many states to decriminalize some offenses.

Society will have to continue shipping in engineers from overseas, instead of educating these children here for these higher-paying, high-tech jobs. These babies are more than smart enough.

I've been in their classes and taught writing. They have caught on faster than any traditional public school classroom I've been before. We have four children at Smithson Craighead who have been invited to a science and leadership summer program at Wake Forest. The cure for cancer is within their minds.

Thanks to NewsChannel5+, we are going to be able to spread more of this truth on our web sites with Sister Sandra providing the grace-filled vision and leadership and words. We who follow her are humbled.

And for all the babies who society has chosen to abandon, we will do everything in our power for you -- for your better futures and that of our nation.

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