PA Tax Credit program provides scholarships to ICS students

Apr. 2—Opportunity is growing for families interested in the option of a private school education for their children.

Immanuel Christian School in Hazleton is offering scholarships to almost half of its kindergarten through 12th grade students, thanks to the generous financial partners who contribute to the school's scholarship fund via the PA State Tax Credit program.

Individuals and businesses who participate in the program receive 90% of their contribution returned to them in the form of a credit at tax time.

When the school shifted its mission five years ago to be more intentional about serving students in the city, they were receiving about $5,000 each year from the tax credit program. They are now receiving enough that 90% of the students receive financial aid of some kind, and low-income families who have children attending ICS also receive scholarships as part of their financial aid package.

The average parent contribution is just over $3,200 per year, a little more than $250 per month, thanks to growth in the school's scholarship program. Their need-based financial aid has made the ICS education more accessible to the average Hazleton family.

And still, the school says they have more students who are waiting for scholarships and not enough funds available.

Paul and Krista DeAngelo, a Hazleton couple, recently came behind the school's mission.

"Krista and I truly believe that good education for children and young adults is critical in giving them the best opportunity to become successful adults," Paul DeAngelo said in a news release. "The mission at Immanuel Christian School really impressed us and we are thrilled to be a part of giving kids the opportunity to be a part of this program."

The couple joins a growing list of financial partners who are choosing to invest in the city, by investing in the education of the city's children.

ICS, a non-denominational Christian school, has been open all year and has been "COVID-free." Chief Executive Officer Susan Selby said it is partly due to investments made in the area of health and safety, including an updated HVAC air purification system. She also credits the families who attend the school.

"The culture of our school is one where families really embrace the phrase, 'We are all in this together' and our families have made sacrifices and responsible choices all year long to help us keep ICS free from illness," she said.

Immanuel Christian School is also breaking tradition this year by accepting students in elementary and high school classes for the fourth quarter. Selby says this is part of the school's dedication to doing their part to close the academic achievement gap.

"This has been a hard year for students who are fully online," Selby said. "We don't want to wait to help students catch up. We are starting now, because we can."

The school provides weekly tours, and parents and students have the opportunity to meet with administration and staff.

An open house will be held April 8. Registration is required. For more information, contact The school is in the Buenas Nuevas/Good News Church building, 40 W. Hemlock St.