“Why do you hold your classes where you do?” I get this question all the time. So here’s the scoop. We hold our open enrollment classes where we find a welcome host, where facilities meet the needs of the classes (particularly computer or science labs), are in key areas of the community to maximize access for kids (e.g. near light rail, bus or easy freeway access) and rental fees don’t cost an arm and a leg so we can keep our class tuition low and give financial aid. Sometimes public schools are available, and sometimes not. We use universities because we want kids to see the next step in education.
We often partner with private religious schools. This is because they welcome us, have terrific facilities and our programming brings new communities to their campuses; a mutually beneficial partnership. Last summer we held our first classes on the new Muslim Educational Trust (MET) campus at the crossroads of 217 and SW Scholls Ferry Road; gorgeous facilities, a welcoming administration and great access for families in Tigard, Tualitan, Beaverton and SW Portland. Since then we have received questions about our religious affiliation and whether a child must be Muslim to attend. Just as a child does not need to be Catholic to attend any of our classes at the numerous Catholic schools that provide us with facilities throughout the year, the answer is “no.”
Now more than ever it is important to speak out and speak up against irrational fear, just as we do against racism, so that all children have the opportunity to follow their curiosity through hands-on education from knowledgeable and passionate instructors. Saturday Academy has no religious affiliation and neither we nor MET discriminate on the basis of religion, race or ethnicity. MET has graciously opened their doors for Saturday Academy classes during the winter break when public schools and universities are not available. I hope your children will join us there.
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