Christian Academy of Lawrenceburg to House New School Library

Principal Sandra Bowman

Seeing a great need coming for this school year, the Christian Academy of Lawrenceburg is attributing the incredibly fast development of the private school’s new library to divine intervention.  The school’s new library quickly came about within three months from start to its current state of construction at 126 North Main Street.

With the temporary closing of the county’s public library for expansion, which is located next door to the Christian Academy, Academy Principal Sandra Bowman knew something would need to be done quickly to provide her students with access to a library that would meet their needs.  The only quick solution appeared to be an in-house library.

Principal Bowman realized establishing a library within the school would be a huge undertaking, and she was not sure how to begin getting the library ready for the 2016-2017 academic year.  With the beginning of a new school year fast approaching on August 17th, she knew it was going to take a higher power to bring everything together.  Principal Bowman relates that, “I began praying and asking the Lord for guidance on how best to get the school’s library going.”

Meanwhile, a CAL student’s grandmother, Mrs. Glenlyn Conley, contacted Principal Bowman to ask if she could help start an in-house library at the school.  Mrs. Conley is a retired school teacher from Maysville, Kentucky, and had helped another Christian Academy in Texas with its new in-house library.

Principal Bowman explains that, “The Lord answers our prayers quickly sometimes.”  In the Christian Academy’s situation with needing a library quickly for its students, those answers did indeed get answered quickly.  There was a classroom upstairs that had been previously used as a weight room from which student volunteers helped move work-out equipment to another location.  One school family donated new shelving for the library, while a second family donated paint, and another family is donating their time to prepare the room walls for painting and will be doing the painting to get the new in-house library ready for service when school begins this academic year.

With availability of the internet for schools to learning resources for students, one would think there would not be a great need for a school library.  But the principal at CAL does not agree with that assumption.  She believes every student at CAL must be provided with the opportunity to experience learning via a library.

Principal Bowman explains, “There is just something special about holding a book in your hands.  The scent of a new book, beautiful illustrations that help stories come to life, and being able to go back and re-read a passage easily are just a few advantages of print books.”  She further explained, “We want our students to experience digital media as well as print.”

Plans have already been made for expanding the Academy’s brand new library.  “We hope to be able to provide special story hours for our preschool and elementary students.  CAL serves students in 2 year old preschool through the 12th grade,” Principal Bowman said.

Also in the planning stage for the library expansion is the development of a collection of Christian classics and family movies that the CAL family can borrow.  “We also want our students to learn more about our great state.  We plan to have a Kentucky authors section [in the new library] and hope to invite various authors to visit our school and share their experiences with our students,” Principal Bowman explained.

At CAL everyone from students, teachers, parents, grandparents, staff, to administrators work together as one big family in getting work done to meet the needs of the school and its students.  Since there will not be a full-time librarian employed at the new in-house library, volunteers from within the CAL family are currently cataloging books and setting up the library.  Teachers will help students check out books and family volunteers will be working in the library during the week to reshelf books and perform all maintenance work to keep the library in excellent condition for students.

Excitement about the Christian Academy’s first library is spilling over into the community as the school is soliciting the assistance of everyone with their collecting of books from within Anderson County during a book drive that runs from now until August 10. There is a need for gently used and new books for preschool through high school reading levels.  Amazon gift cards for purchasing books are also being accepted by CAL for help in establishing its library.

Book donations can be made by dropping them off at Christian Academy of Lawrenceburg on Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. or in the evenings by appointment.  All donations for helping the library are tax deductible.

There are other ways the community can assist CAL with its new library.  The school has a wish list for items needed to make it more comfortable and welcoming for students.  There is a need for book carts, window blinds, window air conditioner, comfortable reading chairs, side tables, lamps, carpeting and rugs, and a rocking chair.  To make any of these donations to CAL, contact should be made with Sandra Bowman, CAL Principal, at sandra@calonmain.org or by calling her at the school at (502) 839-9992.

The Christian Academy of Lawrenceburg, with 147 students currently enrolled, was created in 1995 and the school moved into its current location in August 2012. Sandra Bowman began with the Academy in 2006 as a technology and Spanish teacher and became the school’s principal in 2008.

-Written by Donna Crain Drury

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