When Aundre Hogue and his wife started looking for a school for their children, they wanted a place that was more than just diverse. The idea was to find a school not only with kids from different backgrounds but one where they felt a true connection to one another.

It’s a rarity in a country where even the most diverse schools are often socially divided, with white children sitting on one side of the cafeteria and black children sitting on the other.

But parents and students say that The Oaks Academy, a private, K-8 Christian school with three campuses in Indianapolis, has managed to achieve what few schools do.

Lunch at The Oaks Middle School on the northeast side of Indianapolis has a lot in common with meals at any school: Kids carry plastic trays stacked with sliced fruit and chicken nuggets or soft lunch bags stuffed with sandwiches and Doritos. But here, as the hum of chatter and banging of metal chairs fill the small cafeteria, kids head to tables with students from different ethnic and racial backgrounds.

“I just love the fact that when you come to the lunchroom, everybody is sitting by everybody,” Hogue said. Hogue, who is African-American, has two daughters at the Brookside elementary school campus of The Oaks. “As a minority man … I wanted my children to be around everyone.”

Read the whole story at Chalkbeat Indiana.



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