Advance U Prepping for August Opening
“We open our doors on August 5,” said Tonya Bridges-Brown, principal of the school that is geared for children from preschool through third grade.
“We just opened our doors to register students in the last two months and already have 100 students,” she said. “Parents are excited. The (elementary school) program is designed to meet all the needs of children and it is state-funded.”
The school has room for 170 students she said.
The preschool, which accepts children aged 3, 4 and 5 costs $100 a week. There is a discount for families with more than one child.
“We are one of the few using the Montessori program,” she said of the preschool program. “Children are natural learners. They are curious and have the imagination and ability to advance in a self-paced learning program.”
She said given the right learning tools not only will children learn, it also builds confidence when a child learns by choice rather than being forced
“Children can maximize their learning ability and it is painless,” she said.
In the preschool classes, children learn among other things, practical life skills such as watering plants, washing dishes and preparing meals.
She said in Kindergarten to third grade, the curriculum is traditional.
Advance U is one of the many schools of the Leona Group, a large charter school company that has 25 schools in Arizona. The company also has schools in Michigan, Florida and Indiana. It opened its first Arizona high school in 1998 and in 2007 opened three elementary schools, one in Gilbert and two in Mesa.
Now it is opening schools in Youngtown and South Phoenix.
“Our elementary school is a free public elementary school,” she said.
Bridges-Brown, has a bachelors degree from the University in Michigan and a masters degree in guidance and counseling from Eastern Michigan University.
“I started off in the Leona Group as a guidance counselor and became a principal in 2007 in Detroit, Michigan,” she said.
She came to Phoenix in 2008 to open South Point Elementary School,
“We are bringing together a variety of different students who come from all different kinds of socio economic levels,” she said. “It’s a program of choice for parents who want a smaller, more personal program for their children.”
School hours are 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Breakfast and lunch are served daily and before and after school childcare is available.
Advance U is at 449 E. Southern Avenue between Central and 7th Street.
To learn more call 602-243-8531 or visit www.advance-U.com.