by Cori Lyman-Barner
The Koinonia Home School Cooperative began at historic Koinonia five years ago when three Koinonia Farm Community interns gave leadership to a small group of home schooled students whose families lived and worked at Koinonia and a few who lived locally in Americus and Sumter County. The Cooperative thrived and grew at Koinonia, with the children becoming an important part of the life of this intentional community, participating in daily meals, learning hands-on in the orchards, vineyards, gardens and bakery, and learning from community members with many stories and diverse experiences.
Koinonia passed the torch of sponsorship to Praxis Americus UCC this summer and the Cooperative moved from the Farm into the small town of Americus. Habitat for Humanity International provides a low-rent building for the group that meets and exceeds the needs of the children. This generosity has allowed the cooperative to continue even through changes in structure and operation.
The majority of the parents in the cooperative work for Habitat, Koinonia, or similar ministries. They are united by the belief that working for the good of others is a worthwhile calling, one worthy of teaching to our Parents and Praxis members lead activities, teach classes, and mentor students, while simultaneously providing a diverse, top-quality, child-centered learning environment. Four students have graduated from the cooperative and are now full-time students at Georgia Southwestern University, Armstrong Atlantic State University, and Emory University.children. By sponsoring this home school cooperative, Praxis is able to support these families who live on modest incomes, working to lift people out of poverty here in Sumter County and around the world.
At Praxis UCC – Americus, we are delighted to serve our members and the larger community of ministers in this valuable and unique way. The home school cooperative ministry is something that fits well with our congregation and the UCC’s historical support of educational programs. We don’t have a lot of money to give to the program, but the time and talent we offer helps to make the program a rich experience for the students and empowers their families to continue to be part of important ministries in our community.