Evangel Partners With CoxHealth for School Care Program

by Paul Logsdon

Evangel University is partnering with CoxHealth for the coming school year, in support of its newly launched School Care Program.

The School Care Program is a response to the back-to-school plan announced recently by the Springfield Public School System, which will find employee families needing help with childcare and education options for three to five days per week.

According to the CoxHealth program website, the coordinated effort is aimed at “providing dedicated childcare resources in a structured environment for students attending virtual classes.”

CoxHealth is the largest employer in Southwest Missouri. Classroom space is being established at its Meyer Fitness Center and in the Primrose Building. Additional space may be opened as needed.

The innovative program is open to employees of CoxHealth, Evangel, Drury and OTC.

Community teamwork

“A project of this size in such a tight timeframe requires coordination and commitment. Most importantly, it requires teamwork. It’s an honor to collaborate with Evangel, whose educational excellence provides the final linkage for our kids to succeed academically this year,” said Andrew Hedgepeth, vice president of Human Resources for CoxHealth.

“This partnership gives our healthcare employees the assurance they need to come to work daily to treat our patients without fear of leaving their kids home alone. This is the essence of a community-based mission,” he said.

All SPS classrooms will be divided alphabetically this fall, with half of the students in class on Monday and Tuesday, and the other half on Thursday and Friday. All schools are closed on Wednesdays.

Practicum students and student teachers from Evangel University, as well as Drury University and OTC, will provide tutoring support for K-6 students, to help them remain on their educational development path, according to the CoxHealth site.

“I am really in awe of what a ground-breaking, innovative, and impactful initiative this is,” said Dr. Shonna Crawford, chair of the Department of Education at Evangel.

“The School Care Program will truly make a difference in the lives of many, many families in our community. It will make it possible for families to keep working. It will provide an affordable option for parents and a safe place for kids,” said Crawford.

The partnership plan utilizing student teachers has the approval of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

CoxHealth has provided a link to sign up: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5757054/School-Care-Pre-Registration-2020

Teacher preparation at Evangel

The Department of Education at Evangel is guided by their theme, “caring, committed, competent educators shape the future.”

The department offers 15 undergraduate majors, three master’s degree programs, and the popular Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction.

Evangel University, which includes AGTS, is a comprehensive Christian university committed to excellence in educating and equipping students to serve the church and society globally. Evangel serves more than 2,300 students from all 50 states and numerous foreign countries, offering 70 undergraduate majors and 19 master’s and doctoral degrees.

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