In 1996, Cheryle Brooks Johnson had a desire to open a Christian preschool. After extensive research and prayer, it was determine there was a need for Christian education in Howard County, Maryland. Its conceptualization is based on the vision of Ms. Johnson who became increasingly concerned about the news reporting U.S. school children were consistently falling behind their European counterparts. She knew that something had to be done to reverse this trend and that she was in a strategic position to make a difference.
Coming from a family of educators, she brainstormed with her sisters and researched the many possibilities of how to get our children more focused on academic achievement. Finally, she decided that she could start making a difference by opening a school and focusing on early childhood education. She decided that if she initially started with our youngest citizens as they emerged from parental homecare, she could establish a foundation.
Opening a Christian school was started at a time when daycares were all about learning through play. She conceded that play has its merits in our young development but play did nothing for establishing an academic skill set that she knew was needed. She dared to challenge the children further and believe that while our youngest citizens could learn through play and have fun-filled activities, they could also receive a good solid foundation in the basic academics that could set the stage for a lifetime of academic achievement. She chose the research-based Abeka curriculum because of its versatility and that it has been developed and refined over a period of 40 years. The Abeka curriculum is used throughout our nation and in other countries, develops the social, intellectual, physical, spiritual and emotional needs of each child with its emphasis on phonics and a challenging math program that is supported by Christian principles.
Brookfield Christian School (named after the Brooks of Fairfield) was established in 1998 as a private, independent Christian School focused on the academic achievement of our youngest citizens. Brookfield opened for classes in a 3,500 square foot office building with two students in Clarksville, Maryland. Due to the success of the programs, in 2003, Brookfield moved into a new 10,000 square foot facility next door to accommodate more families.
As a result of her approach to early childhood education, many of her children do extremely well in their academics according to their final assessments. Furthermore, her success at Brookfield is corroborated by area public and private schools. These schools have continuously praised BCS alumni citing their functioning above their grade levels and some have been recommended to skip grade level.
Ms. Johnson, who is a born-again Christian, has based her philosophy on the scripture, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it,” Proverbs 22:6. This scripture has been the foundation for developing her vision and remains her driving force that all children will become competent, self-reliant and confident as they grow in Brookfield’s nurturing, stimulating and fun-filled Christian environment that exemplifies success for all participants.
In the summer of 2011, Brookfield Christian School opened a second location in the Maple Lawn community of Fulton, Maryland. Since that time, Brookfield has opened a third location in Columbia, Maryland. Today, Brookfield Christian School has a population with over 200 students and continues to teach children of many cultures and diversities Christian principles while preparing them for academic success.