News article in The Advancement Center publication for Washington Township Schools on October 15, 2019. Written by Emily Kaiser
Tom Lange does more than just work to support Washington Township students, he and his team are working each day to build a village.
During his time as Superintendent in Indianapolis Public Schools, former MSDWT superintendent, Dr. Eugene White, called upon Indianapolis Churches to “adopt” and support IPS Schools. Through their church, St. Luke Methodist, Tom, his wife Nancy, and their blended family of 5, began working with IPS School 20. Tom connected with the tutoring work he was doing at the school and when it closed one year later he and the other volunteers, cultivated by the call to action, looked to continue the work they were doing. Through Marsha Reynolds, MSDWT Director of Elementary Education at that time, St. Luke formed a partnership with Fox Hill to engage an average of 35 people/week to tutor children at the elementary school.
Like many of the tutors, Tom worked with a wide variety of students, yet his wife focused on two specific students from a low income family. Only focusing on two students allowed Nancy to establish a more in-depth relationship. The deepened connection had the Lange’s visiting the students in their home environment, where Tom received firsthand exposure to some of the barriers students in low income often experience. Tom recalls realizing there were 8 people (4 adults & 4 children) living in the small home with very little furniture. The neighborhood was extremely unsafe and kept the students inside a majority of the time when not at school.