All kids learn differently. For at-risk students, school can be an even bigger struggle. That's why the Mountain Mission School in Grundy, Virginia is going high-tech. The results have the students and teachers excited about being in the classroom and they have the grades to prove it.
The Mountain Mission School may sound like any other school, but if you look closely, paper and pencil have made room for Ipads and computers. Students can access that information on their own Ipads, at their own pace. Studies show at-risk students benefit from digital learning. Students can highlight text, communicate with their teacher privately or with each other for group support. And it's that support kids here need.
Most of the 200 or so kids at the mountain mission school come from poverty or unsafe situations. The Christian-based school started with the simple goal of helping those in need. It has grown and expanded and now is using technology to challenge each student for life's next chapter.
Chris Slone, School President, says, "Our job is to prepare them to succeed in the 21st century whether that is college or something else."
With the focus on education and one-on-one learning, nearly 96 percent of the kids who attend mountain mission graduate from college.
Ike Ndulue, senior student, says, "I have found I am learning new things all day and am more aware of what is going on around me."
The learning doesn't stop when the kids are traveling for sports or other activities. their assignments go with them on the road.
Ndulue says, "I can have all of my textbooks on one device and the teachers are so reachable. No matter where I am, they send me my assignments and I have no excuses."
Digital learning removes some of the geographic barriers of the school, literally bringing the world to Grundy, Virginia.
Rachel Hood, Mountain Mission Teacher, says, "It's hard to go on a field trip, but we can bring a place here and we can read primary source documents."
It's that discovery that is providing opportunities and a future far beyond what these students dreamed.
Nearly 90-percent of the students don't pay to attend Mountain Mission. The school is funded almost entirely by private donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and churches.
To get in to the school, students must apply. Contact Jayne Duehring, Director of Advancement. Mountain Mission School at 276-645-1457 for more information about the application process. Learn more about Mountain Mission School.