Wednesday, June 19 2013 5:13 AM EDT2013-06-19 09:13:51 GMT
A fire damaged a Florence plant early Wednesday morning. Investigators said all workers were accounted for, after the fire at the Fiberex plant on Parkway Drive. Investigators told WAFF 48's Marie WaxelMore >>
Investigators are looking for the cause of a fire that damaged a Florence plant early Wednesday morning.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 10:56 PM EDT2013-06-19 02:56:14 GMT
Under the Accountability Act, parents can get tax credits worth about $3,500 annually if they choose to send their child to a private school. More >>
Parents discuss their child's academic future after the state releases list that reveals nine schools in North Alabama are considered failing schools.More >>
Hazel Green, AL (WAFF) -
It may look like the little red school house of old, and in some ways, it is
Every school day, the Bessie Allen Preparatory School begins with God's word
and praising God through song. The schools namesake and creator said this is
part of the foundation she believed children needed for good learning habits.
She should know, she's been teaching for decades. Some of the children are
third generation students.
"We start off with worship and that is giving respect to the creator,
God, and also giving respect to teachers," said Bessie Allen.
Most of the students come from financially challenged homes, and many would
be in trouble on the streets. Some also come from alternative
schools. This is a modern day mission school with an old theme.
The 89-year-old matriarch is semi-retired but still pitches in from time to
time. She is a strict disciplinarian, and now daughter, Marvella Allen Burton
is carrying on those traditions.
"With the idea that they have unlimited abilities that can be developed
to be productive people, even in their youth. Also that they have gifts that
can be used to deter other people from following the wrong path," said
The children get one on one attention with advanced math classes and tough
subjects, but the students said they take away much more.
"Prayer is just always the first thing you do to get your day started,"
said Porter Glass. "I mean, you know what you will (…) That you don't have a
bad day. That's why we get on our knees every day and pray before we start."
"I've learned more about the bible," said Keunta Watts. "It tells me
that there is a risen savior that believes in me and helps me more to have a
relationship with God."
Manners are mandated and respect for elders and others is expected. Even
good eating habits are stressed, eliminating sugar and salt. Teachers here said
the body must be ready for learning.
"If I don't teach you math, I will teach you how to cook," said Allen. "I
will teach you how to keep you alive a little longer."
Although many students will face tough odds, about 80 percent of these
graduates beat the odds by going college.