CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (August 3, 2021) — Local nonprofit Bible in the Schools presented Hamilton County Schools (HCS) with their annual community gift of almost $1.8 million as reimbursement for the 2020-2021 countywide Bible History elective program. Bible in the Schools Board Chairman Mr. Tom Glenn and President Mrs. Cathy Scott presented Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson with the $1.8 million gift. Also present was Bible in the Schools board member Mr. Mike Harrell.
Dr. Bryan Johnson stated: “It is an honor to once again accept the gift of Bible History on behalf of Hamilton County Schools. This gift sponsors the education of thousands of public school students in our district. The countywide Bible History elective program encourages students in grades 6-12 to recognize the rich cultural connections between an ancient text and our modern world. Hamilton County seeks to graduate students who are future-ready and prepared for success in college and career. By thinking critically and engaging in historically rich conversations, HCS is preparing students to become global thinkers and responsible citizens.”
Founded in 1922, Bible in the Schools provides Bible History elective courses for public school students in Hamilton County. Entering its 100th year, Bible in the Schools now reaches 29 public schools and over 4,600 students in grades 6-12. Demand for Bible History continues to grow, as 2021 recorded the highest Bible History enrollment numbers yet. HCS data reveals that, of the 19,006 students in the county who had access to Bible History elective courses in 2020-2021, one in four students completed a Bible course for graduation credit.
Bible History courses are funded entirely by the generous supporters of Bible in the Schools. Board Chairman Mr. Tom Glenn stated: “As we approach our 100th school year, it is an honor to present this gift to our public schools, as it represents the heart behind so many donors in this community. Such generosity makes the gift of Bible History available to so many young lives.” Because of the generosity of the community, Bible in the Schools provided the largest community partner donation to Hamilton County Schools given in the 2020-2021 academic year.
President Mrs. Cathy Scott stated: “The Hamilton County public school Bible History program has been a daily dispenser of hope in this community and reflects the generosity of so many committed partners. Studying Bible History in our public schools helps ground and awaken students to the rich cultural footprint that the Bible has had on history, while offering students hope, values, and life lessons relevant to the tough issues they wrestle with daily. We believe that a knowledge of the Bible is a key component to a well-rounded education that encourages students to not just be passive observers of society, but active contributors in a global world. Thank you to all who have donated generously to enrich Hamilton County Schools with a text that crosses all cultural, socioeconomic, and racial barriers, while still touching lives each day.”
Bible History classes follow guidelines established by a 1980 federal court ruling, which affirmed that the teaching of for-credit Bible History elective classes in Hamilton County’s public middle and high schools is constitutionally permissible. The Bible History curricular framework is court-approved and aligns with the Tennessee Department of Education’s state academic standards. The Hamilton County-based program also leads the nation with the largest concentration of public school students in any one school district studying the Bible. The program is entering its 100th year.
More information regarding participating schools and courses offered is available at www.bibleintheschools.com.
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Photo Credit: Rachel Douglass