Ten years ago my husband and I moved our then 15 month old daughter from Georgia to Kentucky. We bought a house, had a son, and watched them both grow quickly to elementary age children. When it came time to enroll our daughter in kindergarten we were surprised by the process and decided it wouldn’t be the right fit for our family. While playing on a realty website by husband stumbled upon land in Borden, Indiana. Not only was the land the right price, it was breathtakingly beautiful. My husband and I were both born in Indiana, our families live in the Indianapolis area, and it would always feel like “home”.
Over the next 2 years we purchased the property and began the process of building a home in Borden. Weeks before our home was completed I scheduled a tour of Borden Elementary with the principal, Lisa Hawkins. As soon as I walked in the building and met Lisa I knew in my heart “all would be well”. Lisa was kind, informative, patient with my long list of questions,and didn’t run when I cried from relief and excitement. Once you walk the halls of BES you can feel the love that is present. The art work, projects, and writing proudly displayed on the walls, the welcoming decorations and organization of the classrooms, the teachers still hard at work long after the students are gone, the library run by 2 amazing women, and the cafeteria that is spotless and smells of home cooked food. I was instantly put to ease when I was introduced to the teachers who would be the first friends my kids had in a new town, a new school, and new home. Both of them answered my questions and without asking offered to meet me and my children by the front door the first day so they wouldn’t be alone even for a minute.
Our children were attending a school in JCPS as a second grader and kindergartner and we were lucky enough to move them to our new home and their new school when the kids returned from Fall Break. As promised their teachers were waiting for them with smiles and love. When I picked them up that first day I prayed that they felt as home in BES as I did and the ABSOLUTELY did! There were no tears, no worries, and no fears going back for their second day and 4 years later they still love it!
I decided to become a teacher’s assistant in the elementary school and spend 2.5 years working with the teachers, staff, and students. Having the experience as an employee and parent I can honestly say each child is getting a “private school education at a community school”. Students that need extra help are given it with open arms before they ever ask for help. Students who are mastering the material are pushed to go above and beyond. The small class sizes do not make this a country school with low attendance but instead a place where each child can get one-on-one attention and focus. Our teachers are constantly collaborating and learning ways to be better. They spend hours before school and after making sure they are ready to educate our children. I’ve watched teachers have lunch with kids just for fun, hold hands and tie shoes, wipe tears and apply bandages, share with parent’s their child’s struggles and accomplishments, play dodgeball and kickball at recess, purchase new wardrobes and school supplies for kids who need them, cry while they read aloud a story to their class (it was a really sad part), play basketball and be cheerleaders on the sidelines, they are at after school sporting events cheering on their students, the list goes on and on. My absolute favorite is watching the teachers and staff waive goodbye to the buses full of students on the last day of school as the pull away.
Now, as my daughter is in the last year of elementary school, heading on to junior high next year I have the normal worries any parent has but I am not concerned about the education she will receive. I know that through this new transition she will be cared for, pushed to do her best, and leave prepared for the next steps of her life.
However, Borden is just not a school on the side of the road. Borden is a community of hard working, passionate, caring people. We truly have a village of people who are helping to raise our children and support my husband and me. When a child was diagnosed with cancer the entire community supported him and his family whether they knew him or not. The local coffee shop and ice cream stand are always welcoming and willing to donate items. When our school needed a new playground it was purchased with donations from the community. Blessings in a Backpack is organized and fundraised for by a mom who can’t stand for a child to be hungry. The youth baseball and soccer leagues are all run by volunteers and parents.
Borden has changed quite a bit in our 4 years in the community and many big things are to come. We’ve made many decisions in our life and by far one of the best decisions we’ve ever made is moving our family to Borden. It is #soworththedrive and I couldn’t be more proud to be a Brave #onceabravealwaysabrave.