St. Andrew’s school, celebrating 125 years in Richmond, offers students ‘hope for the future’

RICHMOND, Va. -- St. Andrew’s School has been serving the needs of children since 1894. First, in Oregon Hill and eventually students from across the entire Richmond community.

Parents said the school and its community donors are making a huge impact on students.

St. Andrew's School

St. Andrew's School

St. Andrew's School: Growing with Grace. It's not just a slogan painted on a mural at the Oregon Hill school.

Just ask fourth grader Kendall Short Jr. about what grace means to him and his fellow students.

“Grace stands for grow your brain, respond with kindness, accept differences, care for the community and exercise self control,” Kendall explained.

The private school with a population of 96 may be small, but Head of School Dr. Cyndy Weldon-Lassiter believes the impact they are making is gigantic.

The school focuses on six fundamentals: social/emotional learning, education, visual and performing arts, wellness and nutrition, graduate support and family engagement.

“All of those things together make for a really strong program to meet the needs of the whole child,” Dr. Weldon-Lassiter said.

Dr. Cyndy Weldon-Lassiter

Dr. Cyndy Weldon-Lassiter

Kendall's dad loves that approach and knows the kids consistently receive positive affirmations.

Kendall Short Sr. believes the staff does a good job of meeting kids where they are.

Kendall Jr. said when work gets tough, he gets the support he needs from teachers to grasp the lessons.

“It makes me feel confident in myself when I know what I'm doing on a test,” Kendall Jr. said.

To Dr. Weldon-Lassiter, St. Andrew's School has held to its mission of providing quality education to children from families with limited financial resources.

Grace Arents

Grace Arents

That’s a vision founder Grace Arents had years ago when she inherited a significant portion of her Uncle Lewis Ginter's estate and poured it into this school.

“She started it for families in the Oregon Hill neighborhood," Dr. Weldon-Lassiter said. "The school has operated for 125 years providing a full scholarship for every student, so it says a lot about the people working here and a lot about the community that has been supporting the school all of this time.”

Kendall believes the school is a hidden gem, offering so much to the students of this community.

“I think it's hope. That’s what it gives," Kendall Sr. said. "It says my child has an opportunity to get a quality education in a place where he/she will be supported and loved and it's going to give them hope for the future.”

A special fundraising breakfast was held at The Jefferson Hotel Wednesday morning where those in attendance learned more about St. Andrew’s School's impact.

Click here to learn more about the school, volunteer opportunities or to make a donation. 

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Classroom at St. Andrew’s School

Classroom at St. Andrew’s School

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