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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.


Please direct any inquiries to info@bibleintheschools.com.


Photo Credit: Rachel Douglass



Posted by Cathy Scott, President | Topic: Press

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (August 4, 2020) — Local nonprofit Bible in the Schools presented Hamilton County Schools (HCS) with their annual community gift of over $1.7 million as reimbursement for the 2019-2020 Bible History elective program. Mrs. Cathy Scott, President, along with Mr. Tom Glenn, incoming Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Board Member of Bible in the Schools Mr. Mike Harrell presented the community gift to Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson. Also present to receive the gift was School Board Chairman, Mr. Joe Wingate.

 

Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson stated: “Our district’s goal is to graduate students who are future-ready and prepared for success in college and career. The Bible History Program, available for students as an elective in grades 6-12, equips students to recognize the many cultural connections between an ancient text and our modern world. The Hamilton County Schools leadership team is grateful for its strong community partnership with Bible in the Schools, especially for the continued financial support from the greater Chattanooga community, whose generosity has funded the program and enriched the lives of thousands of students.”

Attendance in Bible History courses increased despite the broad array of challenges that students in Hamilton County faced this year. In spite of the difficult academic year due to the coronavirus, the economic downturn, and the tornado that impacted thousands of homes across Hamilton County, Bible History enrollment continued to climb. Data from 26 participating Hamilton County public and charter schools reported that 4,579 students (61% of whom are classified by the state as Title 1 or come from low-income families) persevered despite these challenges and completed a Bible History elective course in the 2019-2020 academic year. Of the 20,000 students in the county who had access to Bible History, 24% took and completed a course.

Board Chairman Mr. Tom Glenn stated: “For 99 years, Bible in the Schools has provided public school students with the free gift of Bible History elective courses at no cost to taxpayers. It is an honor to present this gift to our public schools, as it represents the generosity of so many people’s hearts across Hamilton County. We are excited about the upcoming school year as we add Bible programs at Tyner Middle Academy and East Hamilton Middle School. For the 2020-2021 academic year, Bible History courses will be offered in 28 participating schools throughout Hamilton County. Our goal is to give every middle and high school student the opportunity to study the Bible at school if they so choose.” 

President Mrs. Cathy Scott said, “This community gift for Bible History elective courses, given through Bible in the Schools, represents a generous community that understands the enduring value that studying the Bible can have in the lives of students in our public schools. We believe Bible History is a critical component to a well-rounded education. It awakens students to the rich, cultural footprint the Bible has left in global history while offering the hope, values, and life lessons relevant to the tough issues youth face today.

The Hamilton County Schools’ program continues to lead our nation with the largest concentration of public school students in any one school district studying the Bible in 28 schools. We are grateful to provide a text that enriches students with wisdom and knowledge--one that crosses all cultural, socioeconomic, and racial barriers, while still touching lives each day.” 

 These courses are an opportunity for students to have a viewpoint neutral, foundational study of one of the cornerstone texts of world history. Students who study the Bible from a historical and literary perspective become more culturally literate and better equipped to thrive and contribute to a global world. 

 

Entering this 99th year, Bible History courses will be offered in 28 schools and will be taught by 26 highly credentialed teachers in the 2020-2021 academic year. Bible History teachers are hired by school principals and led by a full-time Bible History Program Coordinator. The organization fully funds all taxes, teacher salaries and benefits, year-round costs of teacher professional development, legal training, classroom materials, and Bible textbooks for the courses.

Bible History classes follow guidelines established by a 1980 federal court ruling, which affirmed that the teaching of for-credit Bible History electives in Hamilton County’s public middle and high schools is constitutionally permissible. The Hamilton County Bible History curricular framework is court approved and aligns with the Tennessee Department of Education’s state academic standards.

More information regarding participating schools and courses offered is available at www.bibleintheschools.com.

Please direct any inquiries to info@bibleintheschools.com.

Posted by Cathy Scott, President | Topic: Press

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (July 31, 2019) — Entering its 98th year, local non-profit Bible in the Schools presented Hamilton County Schools and two participating charter schools with a collective community gift of over $1.5 million as reimbursement for the complete cost of the 2018-2019 county-wide public school Bible History elective course program.

Presenting the gift to Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson were Dr. Gary Phillips, vice chairman of the board of directors of Bible in the Schools, Mike Harrell, member of the board, and Ms. Cathy Scott, the organization’s president.

“We are a district invested in holistically preparing students for a successful future,” said Dr. Johnson. “Biblical literacy is one avenue for developing critical thinking, literacy, and cultural awareness for the students participating in this elective program. This gift—which was the largest philanthropic gift received by Hamilton County public schools during the 2018-2019 school year through community partnerships — empowered Hamilton County Schools to hire 23 qualified and certified Bible History teachers, including a full-time Bible History Program Coordinator, for this past academic year.”

Enrollment data from 25 participating Hamilton County public schools reported 4,536 public school students in grades 6-12 completed Bible History elective courses during the 2018-2019 academic year — a record enrollment and a 12 percent increase over the previous academic year.

Board Chairman Chris Maclellan said, “Bible in the Schools’ commitment to providing Hamilton County Schools with the free gift of Bible History elective courses has remained strong for nearly 100 years. It is our privilege to deliver this gift that represents thousands of generous people who understand the importance of exposing young people to the Bible. Every year, there is evidence that Bible History provides a unique benefit to public school students, at no cost to taxpayers, and has a lasting impact on students’ lives. We look forward to having 26 participating schools for 2019-2020, as Orchard Knob Middle School adds a new Bible History program for this coming academic year. Our board is greatly encouraged to have seen county-wide student access to Bible History increase from 67% to 85% in the past 36 months. Currently, courses are available as electives to the vast majority of all public middle and high school students in Hamilton County, and our hope is to see every middle and high school student have the opportunity to study Bible History if they so choose.”

Mrs. Scott said, “Bible in the Schools is honored to be the conduit through which the community makes this elective possible for youth in our public schools. We believe the Bible is essential to a well-rounded education and to the overall character development of youth. While Bible History is a robust academic subject, the byproduct of these courses reaches beyond mere academic gains as students are exposed to the hope, values, and life lessons found in the Bible, many of which are universally relevant today. Students often report that the Bible provides a perspective that encourages them to make healthier choices, and to give more thought to their actions, particularly related to conduct, relationships, and self-care. It is with deep honor that we present this 2019 Community Gift that we trust will continue to enrich public school youth with the hope, wisdom, and knowledge of what is still the world’s most influential book.”

Bible History courses will expand to 26 schools this fall and will be taught by 24 highly credentialed teachers, led by a full-time Bible History Program Coordinator, all of whom are employed by the school system and are fully funded through charitable donations to Bible in the Schools. In addition to gifting teacher salaries and benefits, Bible in the Schools fully funds all taxes, costs of regular teacher professional development and legal training, classroom materials, and Bible textbooks for the courses.

Bible History classes follow guidelines established by a 1980 federal court ruling, which affirmed teaching of Bible History for-credit electives in Hamilton County’s public middle and high schools as constitutionally permissible, with the Bible to be used as the textbook. The Hamilton County Bible History curricular framework is court approved and aligns to the Tennessee Department of Education’s state academic standards.

Officials said, "Bible History elective classes in the public schools are an opportunity for students to have a viewpoint neutral, foundational study – at no cost to taxpayers – of one of the cornerstone texts of world history, which helps students become culturally literate and better equipped to thrive and contribute to a global world."

More information regarding participating schools and courses offered is available at www.bibleintheschools.com.

Posted by Cathy Scott, President | Topic: Press