Journey School kicks off new campaign

Published 7:19pm Monday, March 11, 2013

The Journey School recently kicked off a campaign for sustainability — a campaign that will hopefully encourage donations and raise awareness for the school, Renee Alsobrook, director of the Journey School said.

“The goal is to help create and generate more income for the school so that we are not as dependent on the [Blue Jean Ball],” Alsobrook said. “The Blue Jean Ball has been the only major fundraiser for the school, but it is no longer enough to keep us going.  That is why this campaign is critical to the future of the Journey School.”

The Journey School is a non-profit organization that does not receive any government funding and relies solely on donations. It is a unique, inclusive preschool that benefits children with special needs and typically developing children in an educationally filled classroom, Alsobrook said, that is deeply dependent upon the major fundraiser and donations.

“The mission of the Journey School is to be able to provide an inclusive preschool in the Dallas County and Selma community. We want to be able to provide a preschool for special needs children as well as typically developing children in one classroom,” she said. “Typically developing children can serve as peer models to the children with special needs.  The children can gain life experiences to develop leadership, compassion and acceptance.”

Currently, Alsobrook said tuition for the Journey School doesn’t even cover one fourth of the school’s monthly expenses.

“That’s one reason why we rely so much on donations,” she said. “We want to be able to keep our tuition affordable for parents. We feel that that’s one thing that we can offer to them, is to try to keep our tuition low and affordable.”

Parent’s like Mallory Snider.

Snider sends her three-year-old daughter Ava to the Journey School, and said the experience her daughter has there is unlike anything else in Dallas County.

“I just think it’s really grown her and opened her eyes to accept people that are different than her,” Snider said of her daughter. “She loves to go there, and I really think it’s just such a great thing for the community of Selma because there’s not many places like it.”

Snider said that by having the mixture of typically developing children and children with special needs together in the classroom has given her daughter experience with accepting children who otherwise wouldn’t meet until they got into elementary school.

“It’s such a unique and great place for children to go just because they do experience different things,” Snider said. “Because the classroom is mixed with special needs and typical children the teachers go about approaching the educational ways that they learn in a totally different way. It’s a drastic change, that I’ve seen, from any other place that she’s gone.”

Alsobrook said the money raised from the sustaining campaign will go towards operating expenses of the school and any supplies and equipment needed for the children. Anyone interested in making a contribution to the Journey School can send checks to P.O. Box 473, Selma, AL 36702. All donations are tax-deductible.

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