Hamilton County school system receives nearly $1 million for Bible history course

Schools offering Bible history classes

Brainerd High SchoolBrown Middle SchoolCentral High SchoolDalewood Middle SchoolEast Hamilton SchoolEast Lake AcademyEast Ridge High SchoolEast Ridge Middle SchoolHixson High SchoolHixson Middle SchoolThe Howard SchoolHunter Middle SchoolLoftis Middle SchoolOoltewah High SchoolOoltewah Middle SchoolRed Bank Middle SchoolSignal Mountain Middle/ High SchoolSoddy-Daisy Middle SchoolTyner Academy

Hamilton County schools have received a nearly $1 million gift to cover the costs of offering a Bible history program in 18 public schools for the 2016-17 academic year.

Enrollment data for 2015–2016 reported 3,582 students in grades 6–12 elected to take a Bible history class.

"This gift from the community represents the longest sustained private contribution to Hamilton County schools that many of us are aware of, dating back to 1922," said Interim Superintendent Kirk Kelly.

"We are so thankful to Bible in the Schools for their dedication each year to raising awareness and support for public education. This timely grant empowered HCDE to hire 16 qualified and certified teachers last year. This provided key mentors for many students, reduced student-teacher ratios, and expanded elective course offerings - all things that raise the quality of public education in Hamilton County," Kelly said in a news release.

Presenting the check totaling $963,282.75 to Kelly and his cabinet were Cathy Scott, president of Bible in the Schools, and Gary Phillips, vice chairman of Bible in the Schools' Board of Directors.

"Bible in the Schools is honored to be the conduit through which the study of Bible history is made possible in the public schools. We, however, are just a small part of a much larger picture. This gift is in fact a gift from the broader community, indicative of the desire of literally thousands of individuals, as well as churches, businesses, organizations and families who want to see Bible history continue to be offered as an elective to youth in our public schools.

"It is with deep honor that we present this gift to enrich the lives of public school youth with the hope, wisdom, and knowledge of what is still the world's most influential book," Scott said in the news release.