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"Saved her life" - Really! - Cats, Candles & Coins

The Friday Finish – March 8, 2024

"About as broad as it is wide"

Red Bird Mission has been tackling the issue of communication since its founding over 100 years ago. The isolation of our mountain communities is heightened when communication “to the outside world” is cut off or inadequate for vulnerable populations. Red Bird Mission formed the Red Bird Broadband Action Team last year drawing key community and regional partners from government, business and community organizations to tackle the issue of lack of broadband in our service area.

Last year, Red Bird assisted Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) and the Kentucky Department for Public Health identify elderly persons with vulnerable health conditions living in isolated locations that could benefit from broadband access where broadband is unavailable.  Red Bird’s IT department then spent weeks installing Starlink broadband satellite connections in community homes and at each of the Red Bird Mission campuses.

“Saved her life” - Really!

The Queendale Campus Starlink connection was set up at Red Bird Mission’s Administration Building so that emergency contact can be made when the telephone line is cut. It usually takes several hours to get the fiber cable replaced because of Red Bird’s remote location, and the closest cell phone coverage is 10-18 miles away.

Recently, that decision to install Starlink receivers at each Red Bird campus saved a life. Copper thieves cut the main telephone line coming to Red Bird the night prior to the first round of the All-A boys basketball tournament being hosted at Red Bird Christian School on Saturday morning. There was no communication to inform the teams travelling to Red Bird so staff pulled out the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Squadron’s hand held radios for use in emergencies to ensure emergency communication could be established if needed. One of the squadron leaders remained stationed at the Mission Administration Building across the river to be ready to call out on the satellite linkage in case of emergency.

During one of the games a fan with a medical history of heart problems began experiencing symptoms. Volunteer emergency medical staff present for the game were able to radio from the school to the administration building where a call could be for an air ambulance. Weather conditions prevented the air flight but the ground ambulance arrived to transport the person to a regional hospital.

The patient’s daughter called one of the Civil Air Patrol advisors the next day to confirm that her mother had a heart attack saying,

“getting her medical help in time saved her life.”

Cats, candles & coins

The annual Read Across America week at Red Bird Christian School featured fun days like Crazy Sock Day and Hat Day to honor Dr. Seuss’ iconic character the Cat in the Hat. Reading was promoted with stories being read by adult guest readers, high school students reading to elementary grades and peers reading to peers within classrooms.

But, Read Across America wasn’t the only special program at Red Bird Christian School that promoted and recognized the academic excellence, service, leadership and character instruction pillars of the school’s mission. Candles were lit as each of the four National Honor Society pillars were defined for students and family members assembled as nine students were inducted into the Red Bird Christian School chapter of the NHS.

Mr. Jared Gray, Health Teacher at RBCS, brought an inspiring message to the students beginning his remarks with gratitude to the parents and guardians in attendance,

“Thank you for pouring into these students. Without you, they would not be here. Without this opportunity for them - to grow and achieve this goal - we would not be here to celebrate them.”

The week ended with a special, hands-on financial literacy program, 4H Dollars and Sense, brought to our school by the Clay County 4H Extension Specialist. Elementary students in Grades 3-6 rotated through interactive exercises led by our middle and high school students to help these young students to begin thinking about financial planning and decision making regarding budgeting, saving, banking, taxes, and everyday expenses like the cost of owning a pet.

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