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Discover Western Prince William June 2019
The Merit School of Old Town Manassas is
excited to announce that beginning in the fall
2019, they will be featuring the revolutionary
Advanced Concepts For a Better
Future, an accelerated teaching methodology
for the kindergarten and junior kindergarten
classes. Advanced Concepts teaching
"encourages the recognition of individualism among
students, exposes students to advanced subject material
traditionally considered out of reach, provides a plan to
develop better parent-teacher partnerships, and guides
teachers on how to partner with local professionals and
take advantage of community resources."
The kindergarten class Advanced Concept this year will
be Aerospace Science. Through a variety of classroom
and fi eld trip experiences, students will learn about space
exploration, engineering, robotics technology, astronomy,
astrophysics, and chemistry. They will design, assemble,
and launch their own rocket as their fi nal project.
Celebrating the Whole Child
will be the Advanced
Concept of the junior kindergarten class. Students will
engage in a variety of hands-on activities that stimulate
their imaginations and promote a "can do" attitude.
Students will learn about their bodies, from their brains to
their bones, discovering how they can change the world
and the world can change them.
Originator of the wildly successful and immensely
popular teaching format, Amie Canter, is excited to see
her curriculum ideas expand to a third Merit School
in Virginia. "I love seeing teachers get excited about
teaching again." Amie comments. "Traditional methods
were boring for both the teachers and students. With our
new hands-on teaching style, we are bringing education
to life. I want the students to see the possibilities of
the future today--to make learning exciting now. With
Advanced Concepts for a Better Future, everyone gets
the `gifted' experience."
"Behavioral problems signify boredom, but with Advanced
Concepts the kids are excited, engaged, and committed
to creating a community of learners in a positive learning
environment," Amie adds. One of the projects she used
as an example was teaching about Rosa Parks in her
Bringing Education to Life
Advanced Concepts School Expands
to Old Town Manassas
third-grade class. She had the kids imagine
they were sitting on the same bus as Rosa.
They made a video describing what they saw,
what they heard, and how they felt. "They
didn't just read about it in a book; they utilized
teamwork, collaboration, technology, and a
creative mind to take their lesson to a whole
new level," Amie says.
In her fi rst-grade class at the Merit School in Stafford in
201516, the kids expressed an interest in learning about
government, so Amie went with it, weaving it throughout
the entire school year . She took the kids on a fi eld trip to
meet the mayor of the Town of Dumfries, the governor
of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, and toured the White House
and had a private tour of the U.S. Capitol building.
The next year, she moved up a grade level. The second-
grade students chose science and medicine as their
Advanced Concept. Lab coats were donated to the
students and tailored to fi t their sizes. A partnership
with the University of Mary Washington (UMW) offered
opportunities for the students to work in a lab dissecting
rats and sharks. Dr. Giancarlo of UMW even designed
chemistry experiments that incorporated the students'
reading of the Harry Potter books.
Amie's third-grade class chose global studies as their
Advanced Concept. They spent the school year learning
about the music, dances, art, religion, cuisine, holidays,
culture, and traditions of numerous countries around the
world. They visited embassies and had multiple foreign
visitors in their classroom. "These experiences opened
their eyes and changed their perspective of the world,"
Amie says. "They learned to appreciate our differences."
Word spread about the fabulous program at the Merit
School. Both teachers and students were eager to
experience the Advanced Concepts accelerated
teaching methods. Within four years, the school grew
from one kindergarten and fi rst/second grade class to
a full K5 school. Beginning in the fall 2019, Advanced
Concepts will be available at three Merit Schools located
in Northern Virginia.
Amie's desire for "every child to experience this level
of quality education" prompted her to lead multiple free
training sessions for public and private school teachers in
Prince William, Stafford, and Spotsylvania Counties and
the response was phenomenal! She has also authored
numerous white papers on her ideas and was honored
to be an author and workshop presenter at the London
International Conference on Education in 2017. "I want
to be a pioneer for change--to show that education can
be better--that we're making it better today," she says.
The Merit School of Old Town Manassas is located
at 8757 Signal Hill Road. To learn more, visit or call admissions at
(703) 583-6158.
~ Lynnette Esse
Amie Canter with her former fi rst-grade class
~ Nancy Griffin-Bonnaire
Knock on Wood opened
on Center Street in Historic
Downtown Manassas a little over
a year ago, it wasn't long before
owners Denny and Kathleen
Vorbau realized that they needed
more space! This family-owned
and -operated business initially
began offering custom, hand-
crafted woodworking designs,
furniture refurbishing, and laser-
engraved and etched products.
This past December, when a shop
directly across the street decided
to close, the Vorbaus were able
to relocate into it in January. With
1,600+ square feet (more than five
times what they had), the shop has
ample room to display the work of
additional artisans, including string
art, local historical photography,
and more. They also have a
room dedicated to workshops,
where visitors can learn how to
refurbish their own furniture, and
they can purchase the necessary
supplies, including Junk Monkey
Chalky Paint and Milk Paint, right
in the shop. Look for a schedule
of workshops and classes
coming soon! To learn more, call
(571) 379-5826.
Knock on Wood
Savors New Space
on business
Kathleen Vorbau