From Good to Great: Project 25 at Maranatha

Academics is a major pillar of emphasis for us because Maranatha is committed to a disciplined and excellent educational environment. The latest in our efforts towards academic excellence is Project 25, an initiative designed to take our ACT college entrance exam achievements to new heights.

Nationally, the average ACT composite score for the Class of 2017 graduating seniors was 21, with the Kansas average ACT composite at 21.7. The Maranatha average composite score was 23.4 — a commendable achievement that puts MCA students in the top 7.4% in the state.

MCA’s Project 25 aims to shift the average higher, up to 25. “We are going to reach new heights with our Project 25 program,” says Janet Fogh, Maranatha Head of School. “This is a significant goal! Last year, just four school districts in Kansas scored a composite 25 or higher, and we aim to join those schools.”

Maranatha Christian Academy - Project 25 - ACT Exam

The comprehensive Project 25 plan carries MCA through May 2022, examining every grade level and element of curriculum, aligning our Scope and Sequence vertically, to ensure a top-tier ACT score when students reach high school, strengthening the core mastery and helping to prevent gaps in knowledge. The plan began with research, identifying a unified set of standards for curriculum alignment. We’ve selected Kansas’ College and Career Readiness Standards for our curriculum alignment at Maranatha.

Next, we identified the national assessment to use for benchmark data. The ACT ASPIRE Test has testing components available for grades 3 through 12 — which will provide data on the learning progress our students are making as they relate to the same standards they will later be evaluated by when they are competing for university admissions and scholarships. “Our desire is to ensure our students are on track for the future they are dreaming of and preparing for,” says Mrs. Janet Fogh.

Our plan continues with identifying “power standards” for each grade level, working through a curriculum adoption process and enhancing test preparation strategies. But we can’t take our scores to new heights alone. We need the help of the community to make it happen. We invite you to prayerfully consider making a meaningful gift in support of our Project 25 initiative.

We need your help to offset the expenses involved in raising this academic bar. Your donations will allow us to purchase ASPIRE tests and testing resources, complete our curriculum scope and sequence, equip our teachers to develop lessons based on the new standards, acquire supplementary resources and so much more.

Project 25 is just the latest in Maranatha’s pursuit of academic excellence. “In the last few years, we’ve been blessed to be able to add an Intervention Specialist to the Elementary School to work with students who have learning differences or need additional assistance,” Mrs. Fogh says. “In the Secondary school, the Dual Enrollment program has grown to include the opportunity for students to earn 26 college semester hours of credit while still in high school. Students who take advantage of this program have the opportunity to begin their college careers perhaps as a sophomore, saving valuable monies and time, or allowing students to work towards a double major within the standard four-year timeframe. This school year, we have added a MCA Honors Graduation opportunity that aligns with the Kansas Regents Scholars’ program which opens scholarship opportunity doors.”

“In the 43-year history of our school, we’ve seen great strides in the academic pillar of Maranatha, and we launch Project 25 to propel our academics from good to great!” Mrs. Fogh smiles. “With an increase in our average ACT composite score over the years ahead, it will enhance the university scholarship opportunities for our students and continue to open doors of admission to some of our nation’s most competitive universities.”

To make a gift in support of Project 25, please contact our Main Office at 913-631-0637. Thank you for coming alongside us in this meaningful endeavor.

Maranatha Matters Fall Edition

Maranatha Matters
Project 25

How faith is at the heart of our Cinderella production

Everything we do starts with scripture. Faith is woven throughout Maranatha, from the classroom to the field. Christ is the center of our upcoming Cinderella musical.

Rehearsals started in September, with the show debuting November 9, 10 and 11. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or by contacting the Maranatha office. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students. Family pricing is also available.

“We’re pretty excited about the play,” says Ted Hanlon, teacher at Maranatha. Among many duties, Mr. Hanlon teaches a study skills class, coordinates bus transportation and directs high school shows.

Cinderella musical - Maranatha Christian Academy - Faith is the focus of our theatre program

Cinderella is unique in how the whole school is involved. High school and junior high school students play key roles, like the typical shows. “But of course in Cinderella you have the mice, a dove and a cat, which lends itself to a cast including elementary kids. It’s exciting to involve the whole school,” Mr. Hanlon says.

“The performing arts gives students an outlet to get involved,” Mr. Hanlon says. He points to the edge that the smaller Maranatha environment gives students. “It’s really an advantage to our smaller school — kids have plenty of chances to get plugged in. Students can do drama and play football at the same time, or play their favorite sport and participate in the band. Kids aren’t divided into groups, and that’s a real advantage for our kids.”

Mr. Hanlon has the support of a team in his directorial efforts. Betsy Morken, Maranatha history teacher, is the Cinderella assistant director. Mindy Moritz — not only a professional dancer and actress, but an MCA alum as well — is the Cinderella choreographer.

Cinderella is just one of several productions at MCA throughout the year. Previous productions have included classical plays, junior high spotlights, one-act plays and more.

Serving God over serving self can be a challenge for all of us — but through performing arts, students learn the joy of glorifying Christ. “God endows us with different gifts and talents, and as they return those talents through their performance, students give God the glory,” Mr. Hanlon says.

“When you step onto that stage, or into an audition, you leave your ego at the door,” Mr. Hanlon says. “Scripture says, do all things as unto the Lord. We emphasize that and the kids realize that. The focus is not on being the star and having the spotlight, but on the talent that God has given you.”

Corporate Partners: Family Tree Nursery

Our Corporate Partners are a critical part of our Maranatha community. These generous Corporate Partners provide financial scholarships for students whose families otherwise would be unable to afford a quality Christian education. Eric and Lorrie Nelson, owners of Family Tree Nursery, share why they became Corporate Partners and how they support MCA through the annual poinsettia sale fundraiser.

Family Tree Nursery, with locations in Overland Park, Shawnee and Liberty, is a full line garden center and nursery. “We offer products to make any homeowner a successful gardener and plant lover,” Lorrie says. “We also offer tools, lawn care products and home decor along with our annual, perennial, seasonal plans and nursery stock.”

Family Tree Nursery - Corporate Partner - Maranatha Christian Academy - Shawnee KS

More than 100 passionate horticulturists are part of the Family Tree Nursery team. “We don’t just sell plants — we know how to grow them!” says Eric Nelson, grower and owner of Family Tree Nursery.

Eric and Lorrie Nelson first became familiar with Maranatha Christian Academy as members of the onsite congregation at Maranatha. They’re proud MCA parents. “We believe in the mission and philosophy of MCA and know from experience that kids benefit from a Christian environment at home, at church and and school,” Lorrie says.

“MCA is more than an educational facility,” Lorrie continues. “It’s a caring community that goes beyond the walls of the classroom. It all has to do with the Spriting and heart of the people who follow after God with all their hearts.”

Poinsettias - Poinsettia fundraiser Kansas City Maranatha Christian Academy

In addition to their commitment as Corporate Partners, Family Tree Nursery also partners with Maranatha as the provider of poinsettias for the annual poinsettia sale fundraiser. A portion of the proceeds from purchases of the festive and beautiful Christmas plants goes right back to support Maranatha Christian Academy, ensuring we can continue to educate, nurture and train students for Godliness and excellence, so they’re equipped to transform their world for Jesus Christ.

Don’t wait to order your poinsettias! Sales run from October 31 through November 16. To purchase your poinsettias from Family Tree Nursery in support of Maranatha Christian Academy, order online or by calling the Maranatha main office.