A new nonprofit academy designed to help students in grades 3 through 8 taking classes online is now open in Suntree.
The Matthew Erik Academy is located at 7630 N. Wickham Road, Suite 114. It hosts up to 15 students at a time in three-hour block sessions, with one in the morning and another in the afternoon.
The academy is named after Matt Falcone, a former teacher at Manatee Elementary School, who passed away at the age of 39 due to a brain illness.
"I think it’ll give parents a break too, said owner Kim Coluccio, Falcone’s sister. "There are a lot of parents that are nervous about doing the homeschool."
Students work independently at the center, according to Coluccio, but have tutoring available to assist them.
Safety also is paramount at the academy, said Coluccio, who also teaches at Eastern Florida State College. She also has four other state teaching certifications.
"We will be having social distancing at my center, so students will be at a minimum 6 feet away, probably 8, 10 feet apart," she said.
Coluccio anticipates being able to hire another teacher to work at the academy soon. Volunteers also are welcome, according to the academy’s website.
The academy is the second education-related entity named after Falcone, with Coluccio also having established the Matthew Erik Foundation to fund educational initiatives in Brevard County.