Friday Feature: Prichard Preparatory School
In 2005, Alabama pastor Dr. Ruby Eldridge founded Pure Word Academy (now Prichard Preparatory School) so children in her church could receive a high‐quality education that would help them escape poverty. “Miss Ruby,” as she was known, wanted to give parents an affordable option for a college‐prep school that was on par with what wealthier families could access.
Today, the school is led by Portia Green, who joined the community as a parent in 2011, served as a teacher and administrator, and was named principal in 2020. Portia says she “fell in love with the school, its mission, and how teachers love the kids in a unique way” from the beginning. She says faith, character, art, reading, music, and technology are all emphasized.
Prichard Prep serves children from pre‐K4 through 5th grade. There is currently one class per grade level with a maximum of 16 students per class. The school is planning to expand to offer two classes per grade level, starting with pre‐K4 in fall 2023.
In keeping with Miss Ruby’s goal of providing an affordable option for families, all students receive a $6,000 scholarship. For the 2023–24 school year, the cost per student is around $8,500, but parents pay $2,500 per student. Alabama’s tax credit scholarship, which is used by 35% of students, helps bridge that gap. Around 65% of Prichard families qualify for the federal free and reduced lunch program.