Radio show emphasizes Faith First

Published 8:11 pm Monday, November 2, 2009

Alberta Wilson sat in her car in a downtown Suffolk parking lot Monday morning, listening to the radio.

There is no radio in her office, but she wanted to hear a special broadcast on WYRM Ministry Radio, 1110 AM. It was the first “Brunch with Dr. Wilson” program, a component of the Faith First Educational Assistance Corporation, of which Wilson and her husband are co-founders.

The three-fold mission of Faith First is to provide scholarships to parents who wish to send their children to Christian schools, but are unable to do so; educate parents so they can become more proactive in their children’s educations; and assist Christian schools with capital improvements.

The new radio program fulfills the second component of that mission, Wilson said.

“We felt if we could develop our parents and give them the skills to have a successful parent/teacher conference,” the money would go further, Wilson said. The organization already has monthly parents’ meetings to talk about topics ranging from children’s curriculums to how to choose the right Christian school for their child.

“That’s what we do in our monthly meeting,” Wilson said. “We really share things that form the basics of Christian education.”

Now, the educational component will reach even further with the radio program. Broadcasting every weekday from 11:15-11:30 a.m. through Feb. 26, the program will introduce listeners to Faith First, its purpose, the students it has benefited and, most important, the concept of faith.

“If we give money where there is no faith, they will not move in a direction to secure that child’s future,” Wilson said. “We want the parent saying, ‘I want my child to be guided by the principles of the word of God.”

Wilson hopes a side effect of the program will be that more potential donors and parents hear about the program and feel moved to donate money to give more scholarships. Last year, the organization was able to give only 12 scholarships in Virginia, with about 40 more potential recipients on a waiting list, Wilson said.

“We are in hopes of attracting more donors,” Wilson said. “They will be making a difference that counts for eternity.”

Scholarships are for $500, which covers about one month of tuition at most schools, Wilson said.

“Some of these parents are hanging on by a thread,” Wilson said. “If we can just give them but one month of a reprieve to take care of some other pressing bills, it is worth it.”

Wilson said that parents who wish to send their children to Christian schools should not be kept away just because of the money. She suggested asking for tuition payments for Christmas and having the child do chores for neighbors to help pay, even if it is only a small amount.

“Instead of doing Christmas with sneakers and iPods, let’s do Christmas with tuition payments,” Wilson said. “Let’s invest in the child.”

Likewise, Wilson said, children who earn money by cutting lawns and taking out trash for their neighbors will realize the sacrifice their parents are making for their Christian education.

“The child will realize the importance of sitting still and paying attention, because he’s paying for it,” Wilson said.

The various tips to help pay for a Christian education also will be part of the radio program, Wilson added.

For more information on Faith First or the radio program, contact Wilson at 215-624-1716 or visit www.faithschoice.org.