The Crossing is an alternative school for students who are struggling in public schools. It is a faith-based school started by Rob Staley in December of 2003. They started with only 8 students and have now grown by leaps and bounds since it first opened. Now over 3,000 students have attended the Crossing. Forty-six employees operate out of nine facilities in and around Elkhart County with 450 students in attendance.
The students that attend the Crossing are either on the brink of failure or are they have just been released from the Department of Corrections as well as some that are just experiencing discipline problems in public school. Staley welcomes all students back. He knows that their only alternatives are either jail or death. The success rate for the students at the Crossing is remarkable. The public schools help fund the academic programs at the Crossing but does not fund any of the faith-based activities. Students that finish at the Crossing receive an accredited high school diploma. Seventy percent of the students who graduate from the Crossing continue on with secondary education.
Rob Staley took a leap of faith when he left as an Administrator for Concord High School. He served Concord and Fairfield schools for over 20 years. Rob has a passion for kids and education. He is a very religious and spiritual man. I don’t agree with everything that he says or does, but there is no doubt that what he has done for children and for education is absolutely amazing. He spoke at the Lions Club a couple of years ago and stressed how important it is to teach kids to give to others through community service or in other ways of serving people.
He said that we have spent too much time trying to find ways to entertain kids when it is more important to teach them to help others. We do not need another way to occupy our kids time with fun activities. It is more important to teach them about helping others. It is also important that they see how much more fortunate that they are than many others in other places in the world. It is much more valuable to a child’s self-esteem to do things for others than it is to entertain them. God wants us to serve others not to just be entertained. Kids become bored and spoiled if they are only entertained. We all need a purpose in life and helping others is what is important. I am paraphrasing what Staley said.
Public schools cannot be expected to deal with the struggles that many students are dealing with. Teachers are to educate. When they have 125 students to deal with per day it is impractical to expect them to deal with children who are poverty-stricken and on drugs or involved in gangs. When a child has just witnessed their mother being beaten or other such horrendous situations it is impossible for them to come to school and to try to concentrate on their studies. Their issues are a lot more serious than doing well in school.
The Crossing not only helps kids with their studies with a teacher dealing with approximately 6 students instead of 30 at a time; they also devote about a half an hour to family time each day. They are able to discuss issues that are going on at home and how they can deal with those problems. They also discuss how they feel about God and are helped with spiritual issues and beliefs.
Rob Staley believes that it is important to educate these children for $6,000 today instead of having to pay $40,000 to incarcerate them in the future. I agree with him whole-heartedly. God bless Rob Staley and all of those who have a passion for at risk children.
If you know or have an at risk child you can find help at the Crossing. You can also help by donating money to fund the school. I have personally known and helped some of these students and there is nothing anymore rewarding than to help a child.