Only ELCA elementary school in Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Only ELCA elementary school in Iowa

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WAVERLY (KWWL) -

A quality education combined with the development of faith, that's what students get at St. Paul's Lutheran School in Waverly.

"The faith and learning together, we think we develop children who are better able to meet the challenges they'll face in the world as they continue to grow and develop," said Principal Christi Lines.

Besides the typical school subjects, the students also participate in prayer and devotion. Each class also rotates leading a weekly worship.

"You don't need to be Lutheran to attend this school. We have students from 18 different congregations, and we partner with their congregation by inviting their pastor to be part of our weekly worship service sometime throughout the year," said Lines.

St. Paul's teaches preschool through sixth grade. In kindergarten through sixth grade, there are about 140 students.

Two of the students are Lisa Alexander's children. Alexander is part of a parents group called "Our Heritage Our Future."

The group raises funds to help support the teachers and students at St. Paul's.

"My kids can't imagine not coming to St. Paul's everyday. It's their home. They love it. Friends are here. Teachers are their friends. They're incredibly comfortable here," said parent Lisa Alexander.

Alexander said the development of education and faith is beneficial for her children in many ways.

"The confidence my kids have is unbelievable," she said.

All these students are part of a long-standing tradition. St. Paul's Lutheran is the oldest ELCA school west of the Mississippi River and the only ELCA elementary school in Iowa.

"There is just tremendous support in this community for the Lutheran school. Very dedicated parents and church supporters who understand and see the school as a ministry of St. Paul's Lutheran Church."

Principal Christi Lines said after almost 140 years, St. Paul's is still growing and plans to continue growing for many more years.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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