Petra—A Preschool for Foster & Underserved Children with Phil, Christal & Mindy [Podcast 36]

When a preschool told a local foster family that their foster daughter could not attend, this family decided to create a solution not only for themselves but other families. From that experience the idea for Petra Preschool evolved.

I interview Phil and Christal Murray, founders of Petra, and Mindy Lee, director of Petra as they share their passion, vision, and method of meeting the needs of foster and underserved preschool families.

I believe in what these guys are doing, and I wanted you to hear about it.

Founders Phil and Christal Murray and their children

Mindy Lee—Director for Petra Preschool


[5:00] Phil shares their foster to adoption journey

[6:30] Christal talks about a challenge they faced in finding a preschool willing to take a foster child

[11:20] The preschool challenge revealed a need that existed in the community for a preschool that embraces foster families and underserved families

[13:15] Hear how Phil and Christal decided to respond and find a long term solution not only for their own family but for others. Through counsel and the guidance of For the City Network, Phil and Christal decided to form and open a non profit preschool that caters to foster and underserved families

[14:20] Mindy introduces herself and her role as director with Petra Preschool

[17:30] Mindy shares the current state of the start up phase of Petra Preschool

[18:10] Trauma informed care is an instrumental component of Petra Preschool. Mindy recently received extensive training in Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) through the Karen Purvis Institute Child Development of TCU

[20:00] Christal states that the preschool will employ a social worker on staff. This will allow teachers, administrators and families to receive almost immediate help

[22:50] Kenneth comments that Petra seems to have a goal of creating a safe environment for families with kids from a hard place

{23:45] Phil answers, along with Mindy, the question some families might have—is Petra a good place for all families. The answer is absolutely! The added attention to helping young children overcome trauma, sensory challenges, learning disabilities, along with a high quality education is attractive to any family

[29:30] Mindy expounds on how Petra will provide a high quality pre K education

[31:10] Christal points ou the need for a high quality pre K education for lower income families so that these children are ready for elementary school

[32:35] Phil mentions how their negative experience compelled them to find a solution. He hopes that their story encourages others to consider how they too can allow God to use them to solve a challenge or meet a need in their community

[36:05] Christal notes how they keep coming up with creative ideas how to meet needs of the families, such as, recruiting a doctor to come onto campus after school hours to conduct well checks.

[38:00] Mindy shares the contact information for Petra Preschool— Petra will accept tax deductible donations that will help fund the start up phase of the school.

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I am a longtime Austinite. Married my beautiful wife over 25 years ago. Adopted our son September 2012. Currently a writer and loving it. Previous jobs and careers include project management, missionary, and pastor. I enjoy sports (both watching and playing), traveling, reading, digging in dirt and hanging with my friends and family.

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