“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
The Saint Stephen Child Care & Learning Center was a vision given by God and brought to fruition under the leadership of former pastor, Bishop Michael Leon Mitchell. Bishop Mitchell, grew up in Jacksonville Florida where the training and education of children were very important entities in the home of his parents, the late Reverend Arthur and Mary Mitchell. His parents firmly believed in the biblical teaching of Proverbs 22:6 which set the course of life he would travel. This school was one born out of concern of Bishop Mitchell for our children, their learning phases and the desire to assist in making a brighter and prosperous future for them.
Years of research and planning have been a part of this establishment. The school’s mission is to train every student in the knowledge of God and the Christian way of life and to give each child an excellent, well-rounded education. The school marks a return to the “old school” method of rearing, teaching and training our children while utilizing modern day strategies and technology. We are building the foundation needed for successful learners – children who will develop into intelligent, respectful, productive assets to the future of the City of Jacksonville and the world. We offer a comprehensive curriculum that is in accordance with Early Childhood Education Standards and meets the development and educational needs of children 6 weeks through 6 years of age. Additionally, we offer Summer Camp and Extended Day programs for school-aged children, 6 years – 12 years of age.
In addition to our daily academic and Christian education regimen, parent training opportunities are also provided. Research shows that children are more successful when parents are involved in the education process. At our school, we recognize and respect that the parents are the child’s first teachers and we are committed to maintaining our parents’ primary role in meeting their child’s needs.
Great care has been taken in choosing staff members who reflect our commitment to providing the best possible care for children and have the required credentials to work. Each staff person is required to successfully complete a full background check that includes finger printing, employment history and reference checks. Only individuals who embrace our philosophy and can provide loving, nurturing care to children while parents are away are selected to work in our school. Our school has been blessed to have the following individuals serve as Center Directors over the years: Mr. Michael McCoy, Ms. Carol Henley (deceased), Ms. Gloria Stephens and currently, Ms. Cheryl Grant Parker.
Students who have attended and completed our program have been afforded the opportunity to transition into public and/or private schools, functioning within the top 5% of their respective classes. In the year of 2015, we were blessed to witness our inaugural Kindergarten students graduate from high school with over 98% obtaining the rank of honor graduate.
It goes without saying we are very proud of the success our students and their families have had as a result of attending our school. We remain committed to providing excellent care and learning experiences that meet the biblical mandate to train children in the way they should go. As we move forward, we give praise to Almighty God for the things He has done, is doing and shall continue to do in our school.