Back to School
photos by Emily Andrews
It was a bittersweet morning for me. Today, I woke my five youngest children up with “Good morning . . . time to get up. It’s the first day of school.” My two sons share a room. For the older, this is his last “first day” at The Oaks Academy. For my baby, it’s his first. Last night, we carefully laid out both boys’ uniform shorts, dress shirts, plaid ties and sweaters. And as I tucked them in, I reminded them again of what a beautiful privilege they have to go to this sweet school. They will be steeped in great ideas, learning from timeless books and stories, so well prepared for high school that they will be recruited by great schools throughout the city. They will be exposed to rich truth and beauty on a daily basis. But, most importantly, they will be known and loved.
At the evening open house this week, I watched as both boys ran around outside. My older son played with his friends, but stopped to give a big high five to one friend’s third grade brother. So many older kids stopped to greet my four-year old by name that he was a little overwhelmed. Already, he is known.
I knew I would be writing this article today, and yesterday one of our summer interns asked me if I would like her to come with me to take the photographs you see here. Of course I accepted her offer, and she asked, “what should I try to capture?” Surprisingly, my eyes welled up and I couldn’t even answer her question. I finally pushed out, “It’s just a really special place.” This little school in the heart of the Fall Creek Place neighborhood began as the dream of a group of men and women from Tabernacle Presbyterian Church (34th and Central) who wondered what they could do to help Indianapolis become a better place. They looked at what was, in the mid 90’s, a decaying urban core and they had hope. They picked one of the darkest areas of the city -- a neighborhood of abandoned homes with one of the highest crime rates in the city -- and they set about building a place for the city’s children to grow and thrive right in the middle of it. And for 16 years, now, they have. And now the neighborhood thrives, as well. A second location opened in the Brookside neighborhood 2 years ago. You can read more about the Oaks story here.
We are thankful that downtown Indianapolis has so many amazing educational opportunities. If you’re considering a move downtown, please check out our schools. We are proud of our Indianapolis Public Schools as well as the many great charter and private options in our city.
Come see us at the City Gallery for more information. And check out our newest billboard at 22nd and College -- it’s our “Welcome Back to School” for all of our city’s kids. We hope you have a wonderful year!