What’s Working: Prichard Prep School determined to keep educating children, despite coronavirus uncertainty

What's Working

PRICHARD, Ala. (WKRG) — An elementary that is a bright spot in Prichard is facing challenges as the new school year approaches. Prichard Preparatory School is worried about enrollment in the fall, due to coronavirus.

Prichard Prep is a small private, faith-based school in Prichard. The brightest students are accepted here. Many of the students live in high poverty neighborhoods, and their parents believe this school helps them stay out of trouble.

Ollie Prince is so proud of his graduating 5th grader, Dwayne. Dwayne has attended Prichard Prep since kindergarten. Ollie says he grew up in a “rough” neighborhood and watched many of his friends go down the wrong path. He believes Prichard Prep has kept Dwayne on the path to success.

“He does everything I ask him. He keeps his grades up. He is very well-mannered. I thank the school for that,” Prince said.

“The education is great. It’s the most important thing in your life. You need education to stay smart, helpful, and have good manners,” Dwayne Prince said. He was proudly wearing his Prichard Prep uniform for his WKRG’s interview. He looked very studious with his glasses on and was so proud of his Straight-A’s.

Parents at Prichard Prep are required to pay $217 a month, which is a challenge for many of them. Principal Portia Green says she doesn’t have a firm number of students who will be returning because of job losses due to coronavirus. Parents are required to invest in their children’s future.

“One thing I am worried about is parents going back to work and being able to afford tuition. We depend heavily on donations as well, that is another thing I’m worried about is the school receiving charitable donations,” Green said.

Local attorney, Vince Kilborn, is a big supporter of Prichard Prep. He is asking others to join him in making a financial donation to the school.

“This school is worth saving, and I am going to help save it. This school is our future. The kids are on a rocket ship to success, to college, to leadership in the community,” Kilborn said.

The school will definitely reopen in August (depending on state COVID regulations). Dwayne Prince will move onto middle school. His dad, Ollie is left feeling appreciative of the teachers and staff members who helped make Dwayne’s experience so wonderful.

“I couldn’t ask for anything else,” Prince said.

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