Back-to-school events don’t have to be limited to students attending a public or private school – home-school students can enjoy them, too.
That’s the philosophy driving Brenda Kresak, home-school coordinator for the Siskey YMCA in Matthews, to organize a back-to-school celebration for students attending home schools throughout the Charlotte region.
The Siskey YMCA Home School Back-to-School event takes place Sept. 6, a Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the Hemby Program Center, 9760 Happy Valley Drive in Charlotte. The event costs $3 for YMCA members and $5 for nonmembers and is open to all home-school families throughout Charlotte and the surrounding area.
Kresak moved to the Charlotte area a year ago and began home-schooling her children after becoming “disillusioned by experiences” in other schools. She learned the Siskey YMCA hosted physical education, music and art classes for home-school students and decided to get involved.
“I started to talk to the youth director about what we could do (with) other classes. It sort of exploded from there,” Kresak said.
Kresak worked with Siskey to add additional classes for home-school students and soon after was brought on board as the organization’s home-school program coordinator. Siskey added a Spanish class during the second semester of last school year and will offer more than a dozen classes for home-school students this year, including math, science and theater.
At the start of last school year, the Siskey YMCA hosted a teambuilding program at the Hemby Program Center for students attending the organization’s home-school P.E. classes. Inspired by the success of last year’s event, Kresak decided to organize an event for all home-school families in the area, giving them a chance to celebrate the start of the school year.
This year’s celebration will feature teambuilding exercises using the center’s low ropes and athletic fields and will conclude with an ice cream party. Kresak has promoted the event through online home-school message boards, as well as through programs at Siskey. She’s received response from families living in Mecklenburg and Union counties, Rock Hill and Fort Mill, S.C., and even the Chapel Hill area.
“There are so many pockets of home-school groups in Charlotte. They’re all over the place,” she said. “I’m hoping to connect these groups and give them (a chance to) all come together for fellowship.”
Kresak said the event is especially important for home-school students because they don’t always get the same opportunities as students attending other schools.
“There are so many (back-to-school events) in the public and private school system … (where students can) meet their teacher, go to curriculum night,” she said. “This is my kids’ way of marking the start of school with a back-to-school event, and it’s a fun way to mark that for all home-schoolers.”
For more information on the Siskey YMCA Home School Back-to-School event, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 704-716-4277. Pre-registration is required.