Homeschooled, virtual students invited ‘A Grand Ball’

'A Night for Royals' themed prom promotes community, camaraderie

This year’s event focuses on the safety of students while still allowing them the opportunity to socialize.
A Grand Ball, hosted by A Knuw Way homeschool cooperative, will be held May 1 at the Ballroom at American Legion Post 135 located at 1108 Bull St. for homeschooled and students attending school virtual in the surrounding areas.

Tickets are $75 and on sale until April 30, with the festivities kicking off at 7 p.m. the following night.

The event, ‘A Night for Royals’ themed, promotes community and camaraderie and everyone is encouraged to wear a crown, dress to impress and make new friends while creating lifelong memories.

The event is open to homeschool and virtual students – public school students who take 100% of their classes online – ages 13-19 and includes recent graduates who were not able to attend prom last year. Students are able to invite non-homeschoolers as their guest, with the goal of bringing students together to forge new friendships crossing neighborhood and school lines.

A Knuw Way is a homeschool cooperative launched in 2019 by husband and wife Cory and Leza Chandler seeking to promote knowledge, understanding and wisdom. Their mission is to assist families in their transition to homeschooling and prepare students for their futures.

The organization began as a solution to lack of opportunities for homeschool students to participate in social events and activities offered to traditional students.

“A Grand Ball is our solution to the problem of homeschooled – and virtual-schooled – students who are missing out on a chance to celebrate with their friends,” said Leza, program manager. “Unlike traditional proms though, ours is all about coming together as a community.”

“We love this city, and we love our homeschooling community,” Chandler said. “Our mission is to prepare our children to take our place, but what that really means is that we want to create opportunities in which our children can experience life to the fullest and develop the self-confidence to create solutions to every problem they may face in their lifetime.”

Homeschooled sisters, Amyah and Amana Chandler will be the hostesses for A Grand Ball and are both looking forward to spending time with friends, getting dressed up and having fun.

“Before COVID, we had dances and games, but now it is much harder to get together,” said Amyah.

A similar prom event was scheduled for last year, but was canceled due to the pandemic. This year’s event focuses on the safety of students while still allowing them the opportunity to socialize.

“We’ve taken additional steps to help keep our students safe,” Leza said. “We’re limiting our capacity to 150 to ensure proper social distancing. Each guest will have their temperature taken prior to entering the dance and hand sanitizing stations will be located throughout the ballroom.”

In addition, parents will be on site to help serve food to prevent the spread of germs.

“We certainly don’t have all the answers and understand those who are still not ready to venture out due to COVID-19, but we’re also very concerned about our children and doing our part to get them back to some sense of normalcy,” Leza said.

Homeschooled and virtual students from Bulloch, Bryan, Effingham, and Chatham counties are already signing up to attend. A Knuw Way has also pledged up to $1,000 from ticket sales to Coastal Homeschool Athletics Association Cheerleaders to establish a memorial scholarship fund in the name of Kate McKay, a homeschool student who lost the battle to childhood cancer about three years ago.

“Kate loved cheer and had a heart for bringing everyone together and we’re hopeful this prom does just that,” Leza said. “We’re so grateful to be in the position to host events like these for our homeschooling community. But, we certainly couldn’t do it without the support, encouragement, and volunteerism from our amazing homeschool families. We’d like to thank them for giving us the opportunity to serve them and we look forward to many years of great adventures.”

To learn more, or register for the event, visit AKNUWWAY.com.

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