The idea for Calvary Academy was conceived by three families sitting around a kitchen table on Easter evening in 1993. The concept was one they’d discussed previously: it would be a boarding school with a preventive program in that the referrals would be made by parents and guardians with the help of relatives, teachers and pastors rather than through the public court system. Students would be surrounded by the Lord’s love and word with a staff of caring Christians as their role models. The educational program would be taught by called teachers from the Wisconsin Ev. Lutheran Synod and have a goal of helping each student “make up” lost credits and gain academic success. A “level system” would take each student from a very structured behavior program to a much less restrictive program during the 12 to 15 months of their attendance in order for each to return to his/her family and be ready to live in a God-pleasing way in the home, school and community.
Three more families helped to form a Steering Committee. A newsletter was sent. Prayer support, financial support and letters of encouragement kept them going for the next four years, and Calvary Academy opened in 1997 in a former Lutheran grade school in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In 2007 Calvary Academy moved to a larger campus located on 40 acres near Mulberry, Florida, where we are able to work with a greater number of students needing the Lord’s help.
The children who come to Calvary Academy generally range in age from 11 to 17 years old and are struggling with life, wrestling with emotional problems and failing to serve Jesus. Their parents have exhausted their resources for help. The children may be experimenting with one or more of the following:
Drug and Alcohol Abuse: Too often today drugs and alcohol are part of a child’s life. Therefore, the child must be separated from his/her source while Christian counseling and a drug and alcohol free environment work together to help them regain self-control.
Truancy: Many times children cannot seem to resist peer pressure that leads them into truancy thus starting a vicious cycle resulting in academic failure and other destructive behaviors.
Delinquency: Calvary Academy will address the behaviors that lead to shoplifting and other minor brushes with the law.
Sexual Promiscuity: Recent polls have stated that 70% of the public high school seniors in the United States are sexually active. Calvary Academy will reinforce that premarital sex and sexual promiscuity are contrary to God’s law and will help students to understand God’s plan for sexual purity.
Disrespect Authority: Lying to and refusing to follow training from parents, teachers and other authority figures and not accepting the authority of the Holy Scriptures results in anti-social behaviors which need to be addressed.
As it states in Hebrew 12:1 NIV, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
Our student body is small and widely diverse in economic, cultural, racial, and religious backgrounds. What they do have in common is that all have experienced emotional and/or behavioral problems in the home, school, and/or community.
Calvary’s program includes spiritual, educational and behavioral management services. All students attend daily chapel services, devotions, Bible classes and group prayers in order to develop a personal relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Students are accepted throughout the school year, and efforts are made to bring each child up to date with credits and courses needed for graduation.
Calvary’s program provides highly structured Christian character training. Designed to manage behavior, the program includes progressive discipline, natural/logical consequences, and a level system. After school, evenings and weekends, students participate in a variety of activities ranging from chores and crafts to outdoor activities and structured leisure time.
As it says in Proverbs 22:6 (NIV), “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”