By Thomas Sellers Jr.
It seems the best of Clyde Nolen and Sara Nolen has emerged in Millington and the Memphis area.
Clyde, a native Memphian, build his ministry in Ashland, Miss., with the support of his wife Sara. Meanwhile she was an educator teaching youth in the area. Now their son David has opened the Alpha Church and School at 4655 Navy Road.
David Nolen is the pastor/principal. And classes started back in November with the first church services taking place a couple of months later.
Hosting a Sweetheart Banquet Benefit on Feb. 14 from 6 to 11 p.m. in the George Harvell Civic Center’s Banquet Hall, most of the proceeds will go to benefit the school and 20 percent of the proceeds will go toward the relief efforts in the Philippines after Super Typhoon Haiyan struck in November.
Nolen said Alpha’s mission is to instill old-fashion values back into education making it fun and rewarding.
“I chose the name for the school before I decided to adopt it over to the church,” Nolen said. “Alpha School is a Classical Christian School. We use Classical curriculum in our classes.
“We want to take it back to what worked in our schools and what still works in many of our Classical Schools across our country,” he added.
Nolen’s educational background is in traditional Baptist Theology. After graduating from Ashland High School in 1990, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Tennessee Temple University in Chattonooga. He is currently earning his doctorine with Liberty University.
Understanding the value of education, Nolen researched what made the United States the best in math and reading years ago.
Nolen graviated toward using materials like McGuffey Readers, Eclectic Speller, Noah Blue Back Spellers, Harvey Grammar and the New England Primer. The New England Primer was the first reading primer designed for the American Colonies. It became the most successful educational textbook published in 18th century.
“We’ve made advances in sciences and of course history as advanced,” Nolen noted. “But all your basic skills that are hurting in our schools today, none of them have changed. It seems like the further they’ve gotten away from these curriculums, the harder it has been to teach our kids.”
Coming in the fall Alpha will offer a full-time class for fifth graders. At this moment only limited homeschool classes are available.
Right now Alpha is focusing on adult classes and language learner programs.
“We’re keeping our cost for tuition as low as possible,” Nolen said. “Eventually, we want to pattern ourselves after some of the other schools in the greater Memphis area that have only token tuitions.”
Nolen is seeking accrediation through the Association of Classical Christian Schools out of Texas, known for its standardized test scores being some of the best nationally.
With his wife Yolanda by his side, Nolen said he will take the lessons from his parents, teachers and past educators to reach today’s generation.
“We’ve gotten so further away from the way that we went to school that the more they try to focus on test scores, the worst it gets,” he concluded. “They’ve taken all the joy of going to school. I want to put the joy back in going to school. I want to put the joy back in the classroom. One of my mottos is, ‘Where Christ is the standard it’s a joy to attend.’”
Sponsorship opportunities for the Sweetheart Banquet are available. For more information, call 489-9622.