Open house at new school site

Hundreds of Oak Grove Christian School children, parents, and staff met for a picnic Sunday at the home of the new pre-school through kindergarten facility in the Oak Grove Recreation Center on B.F. Goodrich Road.

“We wanted to bring our parents, students and staff together to thank God for what He’s given us and to ask for blessings on our coming years,” said staff member Dee Kapple.

She said the new school’s doors will open Sept. 2, offering half-day and full-day classes for pre-school and pre-kindergarten students, as well as full-day, five days a week classes for kindergarten students.

“We currently have about 90 students enrolled, but there are some spots still open in some classes,” Kapple said. “Anyone throughout the region is welcome to register and attend, but classes are filling up.”

Kapple said the school is leasing four classrooms in the recreation center from the Oak Grove Board of Trustees.

Sherri Dennis of Barlow said her son Jayden, 4, will be entering his second year as a pre-kindergarten student at the new Oak Grove facility.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the children, parents, and staff,” she said. “It’s a much larger building with a playground area and gym.”

Dennis said Jayden started at the Putnam Church School, and having staff he knew from that facility at Oak Grove will make the transition easier for him.

“The staff is like family to us,” she said.

Erin Combs from Belpre agreed. Her 4-year-old daughter Maddison, is also attending the Oak Grove Christian School.

“And Maddie will be in a full-day pre-k program here,” she said. “I think that will be a better way to get her ready to enter full-day kindergarten the next year.”

Combs said Maddison was only in school for two-and-a-half hours at the Putnam Church facility.

“And she always wanted to stay longer when her classes were done there,” she said.

One of Maddison’s schoolmates is 4-year-old Nadia Morris of Marietta.

“Here the teachers treat the children like they were their own-it’s like a little community,” said Nadia’s mom, Shalanda Curtis.

She said Nadia blossomed at the Putnam Church School and believes she’ll continue to grow at Oak Grove.

“She’s really opened up and participated in a lot of activities in the past year,” Curtis added.

Melody Hoskinson, co-administrator with Lori Austin of the new Oak Grove Christian School, said the 10 members of the teaching staff have come from the Putnam Church School in Devola, which will also continue to offer half-day classes.

“The Putnam school was started in 2005, but we could only offer half-day classes there,” she explained. “We wanted to be able to offer full-day classes, and we can do that here.”

Hoskinson said children in pre-school and pre-kindergarten may still enroll for half-day classes, but parents now also have the option of full-day classes twice a week for those students.

“Our parents would like for Oak Grove to go into the grade school levels, too, and that could become a possibility in the future,” she said, noting that would likely begin with first through third grade classes.

Hoskinson added that Oak Grove will also offer before and after school care for children who attend the new facility, as well as for students from Harmar Elementary School.