Leaders at a Kentucky school will stop at nothing to keep Christian education affordable – even enduring a chilly overnight stay on the rooftops of school buildings.
“We have a considerable tuition gap,” said North Hardin Christian Classical School administrator Josh Hardin, adding his school faces the challenge of raising funds while asking for tuition. “Our competition gets government funding.”
To help close that gap, Hardin and incoming athletic director Josh Elmore committed to staying on the roof from 1 p.m. May 17 to 1 p.m. May 18 if students could meet their $105,000 fundraising goal.
“We decided to keep the goal at $105,000 since the price of eggs is about the same as the price of gold,” Hardin joked.
This year the students easily surpassed that goal by raising $135,000 – a 25% increase from last year’s $108,000.
“We have organized a Champions group the past three years,” Hardin said. “It’s highly incentivized. We ask families to invest in what a Christian Classical School offers. We tithe our first fruits, giving back 10 percent or more.”
The men brought pop-up tents and folding chairs for their overnight stay, which was about 20 feet off the ground. The vigil began well enough, with Hardin able to see students in the playground below and occasionally waving to them.
“We were having a great night, saying how chill this is and watching the sun go down,” he said.
The evening soon deteriorated, however, with the temperature dropping to 30 degrees overnight, Hardin said.
“My air mattress was completely deflated, and I was on pebbles and gravel and a deflated air mattress,” he said. “We made it. We roughed it out.”
Money from the fundraiser will help pay for several needs, such as $20,000 for scholarships, $30,000 for fine arts, as well as security measures and landscaping.
The school is affiliated with a local baptist Church and serves 500 students and from kindergarten through 12th grade, according to its website.
Students have many opportunities to give back to the community, including a workday where they put together 20,000 meals for an orphanage in Haiti.
“We are starting to tell our families they’re not just going to a school and becoming a part of a family,” Hardin said, “but joining a movement with wisdom and virtue.”