In Shreveport, Praise Academy Opens Its Doors


Photos by Brigette Mysliwiec.

Our new primary school in Shreveport’s Lakeside/Allendale neighborhood opened its doors on Tuesday, August 11.

Praise Academy at Lakeside started with five students on day one with three more added today (Wednesday), bringing the total to 8.

The school is located at 1434 Yale Avenue, a house at the center of the row of homes where our Christians in Mission team members live.

The students, who range from pre-kindergarteners through fifth graders, spent their first day learning about the school environment. The school includes separate spaces for reading, math, school prayer, meals (breakfast and lunch) and naps, as well as a charming loft for students to read on their own. The first day also included a nature study using figs from the fig tree in front of Ron and Ruthanne Seitz’s home.




The school day starts with breakfast at 7:45 followed by morning prayer at 8:15. School lets out at 3:10.

“Yesterday as I walked down the block I saw CIM team members standing on their porches watching the children gather for the first day of school. We are all excited to see it get off the ground,” said David Zimmel who leads the Christians in Mission team.


The staff includes Joan Pingel (principal), Colleen Bowar (teacher and dean of girls) and Kevin McShane (business manager and dean of boys). Angie Simmons, a neighbor, has volunteered to prepare lunch for the students. Many other CIM team members are playing supporting roles including menu planning, security, and after school care. Libby Grondin, a violinist and Suzuki instructor, is teaching music as a volunteer.

Word is spreading about the school. “I’ve seen several cars drive slowly by our sign for the school, taking down the phone number,” David says. He expects more students to enroll this week.

For more background information, see our previous story.


  1. Bridget feeks says:

    I loved the tour! Thanks, Kevin. Words escape me as I attempt to convey my appreciation for the beauty of this learning space and of the work that has already gone into this endeavor. The Lord lives indeed. Count on my prayers!

  2. Nancy Grams says:

    Praise Academy is a totally inspiring work of the Lord. Thank you allowing us all to see the detailed tour of the "new" building and the creative work of so many hands. May the Lord continue to bless your efforts and let us all pray, "Let the children come"!

  3. Maggie Murray says:

    Praise God for his faithfulness and blessings.

  4. Tom Shriver, Buffalo, NY says:

    This is so exciting and encouraging!! I am actually a bit jealous that I cannot be there to be a part of it. God is so good. I'm praying for the teachers and staff that God will use you powerfully to change the scenery in this entire neighborhood by educating a generation of these kids. God's blessings for all of you.


  5. Lori Twining says:

    Congratulations on a wonderful beginning to Praise Academy at Lakeside. All of your labor in the Lord will bear great fruit in the lives of these children. I love your beautiful, homelike environment!

  6. Karen Heintzelman says:

    Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ! Thank you for using these wonderful people to love your children. My prayers are with you!

  7. chrisurbanski says:

    What a wonderful work! Looks like you are off to a great start. The house does look lovely, orderly and peaceful, such a blessing to those who will attend.
    God bless your work abundantly!

  8. Jo Zimmel says:

    Wow, what was once a vision and a dream is now a reality. Praise God. Loved the tour!. You are all in John's and my prayers.

  9. Kerry Koller says:

    Wonderful! People of Praise education keeps moving on. Beautiful building. Well designed program. What a blessing for the children who will attend. It will change their lives forever!
    Praise God!

    Kerry Koller
    Trinity Schools

  10. Tom Duddy Sr says:

    Great works of God often have small beginnings - hummingbird eggs are no larger than the size of a tic tack mint, yet what life, beauty and energy springs forth! Thanks for all the hard work of so many leading up to day 1. What a beautiful gift to the Lakeside people of God. Those children are in our prayers.

  11. Mae says:

    So exciting! Great work, everyone! Praying for your work daily!

  12. Paul Putzier says:

    Is "Thrilling" too big of a word to describe this gift to the people of Allendale? I don't think so.

  13. Terry Bomkamp says:

    A great work, glory to God

  14. Tony and Celeste Dal Pra says:

    Glory to God! How exciting! We can't wait to hear the continuation of the Praise Academy story! You all are in our daily prayers.

  15. Patricia Olson says:

    Praise God! You all have created such a stunningly beautiful space! Thanks for all your hard work! We're praying for you all.

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