The Dawsonville United Methodist Church officially opened their new day school program, Tree of Life Learning Center, by cutting the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce ribbon the morning of Thursday, Aug. 19.
“The ministry had any idea to be a light and a beacon for Christ here,” DUMC pastor Sean Smith said. “Our focus has been to focus on the younger families in our area. We just wanted to get the day school going to meet them right where they are at.”
Smith’s daughter, Christina Smith, will primarily run the day school for children ages two through six. Their doors will open officially on Aug. 30. Classes will be 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Without any external advertisement, four students are already enrolled at Tree of Life.
“My passion was to have my own program and work with children in ministry,” Christina Smith said. “Every child has a gift and we’re going to let them discover that gift here.”
When first encountered with the idea, Smith did not know how funding for the day school would come about. A stranger showed up with a check for $25,000 and then a grant from the city of Dawsonville for $20,000 brought the day school the funding they needed, according to Smith.
A music teacher and a coach from Playball, an international youth sports program, will come throughout the week to encourage students to take up different hobbies.
The phrase, Tree of Life, is mentioned in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, and Revelation, the last book of the Bible. That was important to both Sean and Christina when determining the name of the day school.
Eventually, Smith said she would like to be able to run a youth summer program out of the day school, but for now, she “cannot wait” for the day school to officially start.