• 57°

New academy to operate ‘By Faith’

A new faith-based school opening in Brookhaven will provide a home-school environment and dyslexia therapy for students who could otherwise be left behind.

By Faith Christian Academy will hold an open house with pre-registration on June 1 at Church of the Way at Brookhaven. The open house starts at 10 a.m. at 1577 West Industrial Road Northeast, just east of the Lincoln County Health Department.

Monica Bland, academic instructor and dyslexia therapist, is a Lincoln County native who said she had longed to return to the area and raise her family here. She and her husband have lived in several Mississippi cities and near Memphis.

Her husband Joey, an associate minister for 21 years, will guide students through chapel and Bible studies when the school starts its 2019-2020 school year.

The school will focus on success for students of all ages, meeting each of them at their own levels, Bland said.

The dyslexia therapy program will help students with dyslexia — a disorder that makes it hard to learn to read or to interpret words, letters and other symbols. Dyslexia doesn’t affect intelligence, but it can make learning difficult.

The Blands personally became aware of the struggles of children with dyslexia while Monica Bland was teaching reading and language arts at Loyd Star Attendance Center. The couple discovered two of their four children have dyslexia.

Monica Bland returned to William Carey University, where she and her husband had graduated from college, and she earned a degree in dyslexia therapy.

“It is difficult for a struggling learner to keep up with his or her peers, and without appropriate supports, they often fall behind,” she said.

Bland is in her fifth year as a teacher at Loyd Star and is getting the By Faith classrooms ready over the summer.

“After piecing together the problems my two children were having with dyslexia,” she said, “it dawned on me that I’m seeing the same pattern with my students with dyslexia over and over.”

“As a mother, I guess the biggest struggle was seeing the constant defeat in my children. They couldn’t keep up with their peers in the classroom. They were A, B and C students, but for the efforts they were putting in, we weren’t getting the results.”

Bland said she hopes the academy will provide a less stressful environment for students with dyslexia. 

“It’s not only a stressful situation for the children, but the family also struggles,” she said.

And she hopes the home-school environment will help all the students receive individual attention while working at their own levels, and help them master their studies.

Bland said the curriculum for high school students will focus on getting them ready, “for college and beyond.

“I believe all children can learn and grow developmentally, and it is my hope to foster an environment that promotes that ideology,” she said.

The curriculum will also have lessons in principles from the Bible.

“The main thing the Lord put on my heart in starting this school is I am spending eight to 10 hours a day teaching children how to read and not devoting as much time to teaching God’s word,” Bland said.

“The Lord put it on my heart that there needs to be a balance there.”

Bland hopes to have 25 to 30 students in the academy’s first year. Since there’s limited space available, the open house will give interested parents a chance to sign up early, she said.

The Blands have been married for 17 years. They have four children: Lily, 12; Amelia, 11: Isla, 9; and Leo, 5.

For questions about the academy, call 601-695-3816.

The school will be at the church, which bought the building from a different church in March. The Rev. David Fortenberry is pastor of Church of the Way and Joey Bland is associate pastor.

 

Story by Robin Eyman