NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A Christian school in Newport News is weeks away from closing and now parents are fighting to keep it open.
School officials said there’s just not enough money to move forward.
Warwick River Christian School has been around for 76 years, so the community doesn’t want to see it go.
However this isn’t the first time this has happened in Newport News.
St. Andrews Episcopal school closed in April 2018 and parents worry it’s becoming an unfortunate trend.
For decades, Warwick River Christian School has been serving the Newport News community.
“A lot of children have flourished after they’ve left here,” said Danni Clark, the school board chairman.
However, that legacy will soon come to a close at the end of the month.
“Last year when we started checking our budget, looking at it for the coming year, it became very obvious that we were not going to have enough students to meet our anticipated budget,” Clark said.
Clark told 10 On Your Side the board tried to raise funds in the fall, but they didn’t get what they needed.
After a lot of meetings and prayer, the decision was made to close the school at the end of this school year.
Clark said dwindling enrollment forced the pending closure. We’re told in years past, the school had 340 students but now enrollment sits at just 83 students.
“When we got the news, we were kind of devastated,” Susan Yungbluth said. “There are teachers, people in the office who have been here 30, 35, 36 years.”
Parents like Yungbluth worry Christian schools will eventually be a thing of the past in Newport News if this school closes.
“They learn integrity and honesty, and to be a good person and to help people that are less fortunate. There are life lessons besides reading, writing and arithmetic,” Yungbluth said.
The school needs $500,000 by the end of the month to stay open for another year. Parents are seeking out donors while others are trying to organize car washes and bake sales.
It’s a big goal to reach, but the Warwick River community is staying optimistic.
“The board hasn’t given up. The teachers haven’t given up. They’re still positive. It will take a miracle but God makes miracle happen,” Clark said.
If you’re interested in helping, you can do so by:
mailing checks or money orders directly to the school – WRCS, 252 Lucas Creek Rd, Newport News, VA 23602 give through PayPal on the school website (the fee charged will be deducted from refunds). at GoFundMe (the fee charged will be deducted from refunds) :https://www.gofundme.com/save-warwick-river-christian-school