Two Christian Reformed women in Longmont, Colo., received the Mayor’s Positive Impact Award for their efforts in faith-based education.
Barb Bulthuis and Connie Nourse, both members of The Journey CRC, received the award because of their attention to at-risk youths in Longmont.
Bulthuis and Nourse recently helped to open a faith-based school for students in grades 6-8 who have experienced academic and/or behavioral struggles in traditional schools. Crossroads School just finished its first year with eight students.
“There was nothing for the kids who don’t fit the mold,” Nourse said. That’s why she and Bulthuis, along with a team of people, helped to start the school last fall.
From left, Konni Keuter, Joanna Topham, Connie Nourse, and Barb Bulthuis at Crossroads’ ribbon cutting.
The mayor and others have recognized their efforts. “They saw a need where kids were slipping through the school system, and they started this school to meet that need,” said Longmont Mayor Bryan Baum. “They’re trying to give them a different focus on their life. The parents are telling us it’s working, and the kids are telling us it’s working.”
Bulthuis feels called to provide this type of school in her community. “I realize that [the local Christian school] meets a particular need and can't serve every child and every family, but I also believe that the Christian community has a responsibility to serve every child and every family” she said. “If Christian education has value, then I believe it has even more value for those children who struggle or are at-risk for one reason or another. And those are the very kids who were unable to access Christian education.”
The school has been heavily supported by the local Christian Reformed church. The Journey provided fiscal sponsorship until the school’s nonprofit status was approved, as well as a location for the school to meet.
About the Author
Sarah Boonstra is the Banner's regional news correspondent for classes Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone.