Outlook good for Warrior Academy

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 15, 2005

EUTAW-With a little help, things are looking up for Warrior Academy. The school, which has suffered through recent struggles and rumors of closure, has rebounded with help from the Friends of Hale County and the Mountain Brook Community Church and appears to be on the upswing.

Enrollment is up and most importantly, enthusiasm is at an all time high.

Law Lamar, who is a key player with the Friends of Hale County said their aid began with the most important resource a school can have, more students. The group also armed them with the tools they would need for a solid Christian education.

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“The organization paid the tuition for several students and provided them with dictionaries, Bibles and a few other things,” Lamar said. “One of our goals with the school is to provide them with a good Christian environment and we felt this was the best place to do that.”

Mountain Brook Community Church donated school supplies as part of a Sunday School project such as paper, a copier and a color printer. Lamar said these donations are crucial for a school that relies on tuition for funding and greatly appreciated.

“Things like that were great gifts for the school,” Lamar said. “We talked to Mr. Santoro and he said it had really helped out with their capability for offering teachers the equipment for a heavier volume of stuff.”

The school also gained a total of 22 computers last year with two more on the way during the upcoming session. More students should also be on their way to put the equipment to use. Twenty-seven scholarship students attended Warrior last year and 35 were expected this year.

Unlike many schools, scholarship students do not simply arrive the first day of school and go from there. There is an interview process and some required reading. Lamar said the purpose for the reading is to show them there are no limits to their potential.

“We had them read the story of Helen Keller and George Washington Carver because these were two people that had less opportunity than anyone who has ever lived in Greene County,” Lamar said. “We also had them read about Thomas Edison, Davey Crockett and Harriet Tubman to get the kids to understand that they can do it.”

Warrior Academy has been in existence since the 1960’s. Last year it was home to 87 students from Eutaw to Tuscaloosa. This year they hope to grow even more. Lamar said the first priority was the welfare of the students. Lamar said they want the students to understand that great things begin with a good education.

“If they go to school and learn from the books and learn to work with other people there is nothing they can’t do,” Lamar said. “They can go to college and get a good Christian background and they can accomplish great things.”

Warrior plans to offer more than just the core classes this school year. A new teacher will be on hand to teach classes on leadership, Southern manners, ethics and music. These classes can give students so much more than focusing only on the four core classes.

The Friends of Hale have also proposed a building to use as a thrift store in which scholarship parents could work. The store would be a good source of revenue for very little operating costs. The goal would be to generate $15,000 the first year and $25,000 the next.

A reward system will also be in place for honor students. Lamar said for those who go above and beyond in the classroom a special trip to a special show will be offered.

“Next year we would like to take the honor students to a presentation of the Lion King in Birmingham” Lamar said. “We have 100 tickets and 24 of them are for Linden Elementary students. We would like to take some of the Warrior students as well.”

During the trip students would go to the botanical gardens, enjoy lunch and the show.

The Friends of Hale County and Warrior are off to a booming start for the 2005-2006 school year. There are much higher goals on the horizon. A goal of $20,000 in tuition money has been set for the organization this year. The Friends of Hale County asks anyone who wishes to contribute to make donations to:

Friends of Hale County Foundation

700 27th Place South

Birmingham, Al 35233