By Patty Marr
Third Street Academy is a private Christian school for boys Pre-K – 5th grade focusing on character development, spiritual formation and high academic standards. The school opened with the intention “to transform a generation of young men by the power of the gospel to grow up to be good husbands, loving fathers, and make a positive impact on the world”.
The Academy is a part of Third Street Education Center located at 600 W Third Street in Greenville. Its historic location, once Third Street Elementary School, built in 1929, was nearly demolished and replaced with student housing for nearby ECU. When the education center showed an interest in the property, developers withdrew their bid. Through grants, Eagle Scout projects and community support, the beautiful building is being restored to its original purpose, the education of children.
The Academy opened in 2015, with an inaugural class of 7 students. Through the commitment and dedication of its staff, Board of Directors and gracious supporters, the school currently enrolls 43 students, with hope to continue growth and eventually offer classes up to 8th grade.
Education is done a little differently at Third Street. Because it is an all-boys school, the focus is on creating an academic environment based on how boys learn best. For example, students are provided several opportunities throughout the day for structured movement and free play because we know that boys are not meant to sit!
A new math curriculum, called Right Start, is a visual math program in which students use an abacus. This works well because many boys are hands on, tactile learners. The hope is to slowly build a curriculum that can be packaged and shared with others primarily educating boys.
Third Street is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm; the typical day ends at 2:30 and extended day begins. During extended day, interns, volunteers and staff work with the children to reinforce the lesson their teacher introduced earlier in the day.
Although high academic standards are a priority at Third Street, their primary focus is to educate and equip students in their character development. Each child enrolled in the Academy has a specifically designed Individual Character Plan (ICP).
“We identify what they do well and where they struggle,” explains Beth Hinson, the school’s principal. “We use character words to create short term goals for them to work on.
For example, an ICP may say, ‘You’re good at being honest, but you need to work on being grateful.’ Students with similar character goals are grouped together and work on conflict resolution every afternoon. This teaches the boys how to get along with each other.
“We don’t want well educated children who make bad choices so we teach them how to make good choices. We want our boys to leave here knowing how to be good Christian men. We want them to understand they are men of God.”
Each day at Third Street Academy includes an assembly, during which all students come together as one community and recite the Third Street Creed:
I am a Third Street Academy Gentleman.
God, my Father in Heaven, made me.
I am a child of the King, made in His image, and destined for greatness.
Therefore, I am strong, kind, courteous, honest, obedient, and brave.
I am a Third Street Academy Gentleman.
Opportunities to Help
There are several ways you can support Third Street Academy and the surrounding community such as:
• Be a financial partner and participate in fund raising events.
• Volunteer as a tutor. Help is needed, especially in the afternoons, to reinforce the day’s lesson and encourage students.
• Participate in the community impact branch which includes summer camps, Easter egg hunts, Fall festival and 3rd Saturdays (every 3rd Saturday of the month from 8:30-12:30 work is done on site or in the surrounding neighborhood. Great for scout projects and team building!)
• Donations of paper products, lunch food items, school supplies and healthy snacks are always welcome!
• Spread the word! The school has a large, beautiful meeting space available to rent, as well as a catering service!
The community is welcome and encouraged to visit. To schedule a tour, call 252-364-2995. Visit ThirdStreetAcademy.org and Facebook page to learn more. Be a part of the tremendous impact Third Street Academy is making on our community. To learn more about the Third Street Education Center’s business and community outreach programs, visit thirdstreetec.org.