Liberty Youth Academy, passionately educating the individual child

Students at Liberty Youth Academy participate in a school lesson. St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Liberty Youth Academy, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — In today’s education world where core curriculum and standardized tests dominate the landscape it can sometimes feel like public schools are pushing out a product rather than teaching a child.

Liberty Youth Academy, a private, leadership academy based on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints faith, with its small class sizes and emphasis on virtue, offers an alternative to public education which teaches the whole child from mind to soul – from kindergarten through eighth grade.

Students at Liberty Youth Academy participate in a school lesson. St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Liberty Youth Academy, St. George News
Students at Liberty Youth Academy participate in a school lesson. St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Liberty Youth Academy, St. George News

Through her experience as a teacher and as a mother, Stephanie Dale, administrator and teacher at Liberty Youth Academy, came to learn that education is not a “one size fits all” thing, she said.

Dale cited personal experience with one of her own children who struggled with dyslexia as an example of how important it is to be able to teach to the individual.

“I was a teacher and I had done all my tricks that I knew to teach a kid to read and it was not working,” Dale said. “I just needed to find his way of learning.”

To that end, Liberty Youth Academy was founded nine years ago on the idea that each child has unique gifts, talents and abilities and that those gifts are instilled in them to help fulfill their mission and purpose on earth.

While Dale stressed that academic rigor is a key component of the school’s mission, it is the teachers’ ability to allow students to be individuals that truly sets them apart from public, charter and other private schools.

“I think that might be the thing about this school that is the most different,” Dale said, “that we can really take a class and tailor things to them individually.”

Because of the academy’s small class sizes and a hands-on approach to learning, Dale said, they can really help find and develop their students’ passions.

Instead of placing them all in a box which measures their abilities by a strict set of standards, children are given the opportunity to truly experience learning.

“Kids love to learn then,” Dale said. “Kids are programmed to enjoy learning.”

We can talk about God

While Dale said that the advantages of a faith-based education might not be quantifiable in terms of hard data, what she sees as an educator is that students and their parents can feel a sense of calm when they enter Liberty Youth Academy.

“For one thing, we can talk about God,” Dale said, adding that students are able to let go of anxieties they may have had in public school and be more themselves.

As part of the faith-based curriculum, students are taught different virtues that often coincide with their school lessons. Some of the virtues they teach at Liberty Youth Academy are:

  • Honesty
  • Kindness
  • Persistence
  • Integrity
  • Patriotism
  • Cheerfulness
  • Dependable
  • Virtuous
  • Compassion

School days begin with devotionals which emphasize the weekly virtue through stories and bring the school together in an environment that teaches individual worth, purpose, leadership and allow students to find their passions.

Liberty Youth Academy is now enrolling for its summer “I Love America Camp” and for the 2016-17 school year. For more information visit their website or call 435-668-4804

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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