CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — The Achieving the Vision capital campaign for Tabernacle Christian School will receive a welcome endorsement during its May 19 kick-off event. Nationally recognized educator, Marva Collins, will be in attendance to add her support for the community-led initiative to raise $2 million for the school’s new building. The event, which is open to the public, will begin at 5 p.m. at 301 Market Street in Clarksville, the 30-acre parcel of land that is both the current and future site of the school.
A long-time friend of Tabernacle Christian School founders, Rev. Jimmy Terry and Servella Terry, Collins has praised the school’s teaching methodology as similar to her own. High praise, indeed, considering Collins credentials and successes.
Marva Collins founded Chicago’s inner-city Westside Preparatory School in 1975 after a 16 year public teaching career in Alabama and Chicago. Year one, she took in learning disabled, problem children and one child who had been labeled borderline retarded by Chicago school authorities. At the end of her school’s first year, every child scored at least five grades higher, proving that previous labels placed on them had been misguided. Her remarkable achievements in education lead to the filming of the 1982 made-for-TV movie titled, The Marva Collins Story, starring Cicely Tyson, Morgan Freeman and Ed Asner.
In 1980, President Ronal Reagan offered Collins the post of Secretary of Education. Later, President George H. W. Bush would do the same. She turned down both offers, preferring to teach and continue her school.
Throughout her career, Collins has been featured on Good Morning America, 20/20 and Fox News. The CBS Show, 60-Minutes, visited Collins’ school twice. On their second visit, the show documented a former Collins student who graduated college Summa Cum Laude in 1976 — the same girl who had been labeled borderline retarded by Chicago public schools.
Collins has received many prestigious accolades, including the Jefferson Award for Benefiting the Disadvantaged, the Humanitarian Award for Excellence, the Legendary Women of the World Award and the prestigious National Humanities Medal, awarded in 2004 by President George W. Bush.
Collins immediately accepted the school’s invitation to come to Clarksville, adding a larger and more functional school building would not only help Tabernacle Christian School reach a greater number of students, but further enrich their educational achievements. TCS currently operates out of a series of portable classrooms.
Directions to event: At the intersection of Riverside Drive / Second Street and Kraft Street, head north on Providence Blvd. for .6 miles. Turn right onto Market Street. Event is located .1 mile on right next to Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church.
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