Education options covered

Published 10:00 pm Monday, January 26, 2015

St. Andrew Preschool in North Suffolk has some new elements planned for its seventh annual Kindergarten and Enrichment Fair, set for Jan. 27, from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

A home-school cooperative, Renaissance School of the Arts, will involved for the first time, said Rhonda Endrusick, director of the preschool at 1885 Bridge Road.

“A lot of parents are interested in that, but they don’t know exactly what it means,” Endrusick said. “Is it showing up to school in your kitchen in pajamas, or is it more than that?”

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The cooperative that meets on the St. Andrews campus, Endrusick said, has taught her that home schooling isn’t just basic learning around the kitchen table, but also covers things like chemistry and violin lessons.

“They help with more of the things parents might feel inadequate to teach,” Endrusick said of the cooperative.

Another new element this year will be Savior Martial Arts, which, along with more physical lessons, also teaches honor and respect, strength and discipline and confidence and leadership, according to the organization’s website.

Endrusick said the fair was initiated in response to parents of St. Andrew pre-kindergarten students asking staff about options for “big school.”

“We know how difficult it is to go and visit each school, and this makes it one-stop-shopping.” Endrusick said.

Also signed up for this year are Hampton Roads Academy, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, Isle of Wight Academy, Stonebridge School, St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, Early Childhood Development Commission, Greenbrier Christian Academy, Christopher Academy, Suffolk Public Schools, St. Andrew Preschool, Trinity Lutheran School, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, Virginia Star Quality Initiative, The Planning Council and Isle of Wight County Schools.

That list isn’t exhaustive.

“It’s also a benefit for the schools,” Endrusick said, adding it can be time-consuming to show prospective students and their parents around.

The Planning Council will be talking about keeping kids healthy, Endrusick noted. “They also do community gardens at schools, and they will be talking about the garden they will be installing at our school in March,” she said.

The Early Childhood Development Initiative is always a “wealth of information” for parents, she said.

“It’s not just geared toward kindergarten,” Endrusick said. “Anybody from the community can come and take advantage … and I hope that they do.”

The free event will be held in the St. Andrew Atrium.