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Anonymous donation has academy singing, expanding

New Song Christian Academy has a new reason to sing. A $1 million anonymous donation is making possible a new building that will increase the student population and expand its amenities.

“This gift provides a major boost in the ongoing development of our school,” says the Rev. Marta Poling-Goldenne, co-pastor of New Song Church with her husband, David. “New Song’s vision is to develop an academy that will offer instruction from preschool through the fifth grade.’’

The school currently offers two classes each for 3- and 4-year-olds, a junior kindergarten class, and kindergarten and first-grade classes in a space shared with the church worship center. Full enrollment of 62 students is expected for the fall, Poling-Goldenne says.

When the new 17,000-square-foot school opens in late 2016 or 2017, it will be able to accommodate more preschoolers, the junior kindergarten, and kindergarten through fifth-grade classes for a total enrollment of 160, she adds. The kindergarten through fifth-grade classes will have as many as 15 students each.

The new school will feature a media center, science lab, music room and multipurpose room.

The academy focuses on academic training, a faith-based education in the Judeo-Christian tradition with an emphasis on music and the arts. The school’s motto is “Shaping Your Child’s Heart, Soul, and Mind.”

The Poling-Goldennes built the church and school from scratch.

Married for 35 years and the parents of two grown children and two grandsons, the couple will never forget arriving on the barren land.

“There was no building and no congregation,” Pastor Marta Poling-Goldenne recalls. “However, the denomination had purchased the land that would eventually become the church campus. I joined David as co-pastor in 2005 after having served from 2002-2004 as the assistant to the bishop of the Grand Canyon Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.”

The congregation began meeting in 2003 in the ballroom of the Sun City Anthem Center in Henderson.

It later moved to its current location at 1291 Cornet Drive in Henderson.

“We chose the name New Song because we wanted a biblical name and Anthem is a musical term, the church is on Cornet and our street is named Aria,” Poling-Goldenne says. “We wanted the name to be an integral part of the community. We scoured the Scriptures and we kept coming back to all of the references in the Book of Psalms that state, ‘Sing a new song to the Lord.’

“It’s important that children learn to sing the Lord’s song in a new way.”

The celebration of music is not just for the children.

“New Song has been a home for a number of Las Vegas musicians and artists to live out their faith,” Poling-Goldenne says. “We’re in the community of Anthem, so from the very first days we felt that one of our high values was going to be to support music and the arts.”

Both Poling-Goldennes were raised in the faith, and their focus has been on growing the church in new places.

The Rev. David Poling-Goldenne is a native of Tanzania, East Africa. He is a child of missionary parents.

Pastor Marta is from Phoenix. She met her husband in 1977 at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

“We really liked Las Vegas the first time we visited,” Pastor David said. “We love to experience the culture of Las Vegas.”

With the creation of The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Las Vegas, the arts and music are playing larger roles in the valley than nearly any time in the past.

And for parents of children who already attend New Song Christian Academy, the school provides a safe haven.

Among those who shower praise on the current academy is Sandi Lin Moster, parent of a kindergartner. In particular, she loves the idea of a smaller class for her child.

“It’s wonderful to send my daughter to a school where I can interact with the teachers on a daily basis,” Moster says.

“I get insight into her daily activities and feedback on her progress. A small class size also allows me to know each and every student and parent. It’s a comfort knowing who surrounds your child every day.”

Alexandra Peterson is the parent of a first-grade son. She, too, likes the atmosphere at the academy.

“My son is thriving at New Song Christian Academy,” Peterson says. “He has multiple health issues, and New Song made it possible for him to attend school. The school is a safe, loving environment that academically challenges my child. I can’t thank New Song enough for my loving child and helping him be the best he can be.”

Further information regarding New Song Christian Academy can be found by calling 702-492-1771 or by visiting www.newsonganthem.org/academy.php.

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