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Dawn Treader was founded by the Evangelical Committee For Urban Ministries in Paterson, Inc. in 1977. For over 39 years, Dawn Treader has provided a vibrant and quality educational environment for children starting in kindergarten to eighth grade. Classes are small and intimate, academically challenging; emphasizing principles of the Christian faith to children from all social, economic, religious and racial backgrounds.
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In order to cultivate the future success of each child, Dawn Treader Christian School will be committed to the following values:
A great education is the foundation for a life that is successful and full of adventure. Dawn Treader is named after C.S. Lewis’ royal ship “The Dawn Treader” in the Narnia books. Like the vessel, the Christian and Academic education students receive at our school, embark our students into an incredible life-long voyage filled with both challenges and adventures.
The school was founded in 1977 as a project of the Evangelical Committee for Urban Ministries in Paterson (ECUMP), an independent organization of Christian Reformed laymen. The School is non-denominational and has an open enrollment policy.
ECUMP, founded by Herbert Van Denend, and also the former owner of an electronics manufacturing firm in Paterson (Glenro) purchased the abandoned 19th Century four-story Rosen Union Works Mill for $55,000 in July 1977, a venture in faith and educational vision. Location of the mill was a prime consideration. In 1977, the Great Falls area, including 49 mills on 119 acres, was designated a National Historical Landmark, the only industrial district in the nation in that category. A $15 million grant was made available for restoration to revitalize the area, with the hope that eventually the mills would find new life.
Today, Dawn Treader Christian School continues to thrive and expand the vision of Mr. Herbert Van Denend whose desire was to provide academic excellence in an urban environment.
Adapted in part from the article “The Dawn Treader’s Quest” by Joan K. Ostling