Portland woman opens kindergarten to provide in-person experience

Scottie Grimes loves teaching young kids, so she decided to start up her own kindergarten, Show of Hands Community School for the Arts in Northeast Portland.

PORTLAND, Ore. — For a lot of younger kids, in grades kindergarten through third grade, the time they’ll typically spend in school helps them develop foundational skills they’ll use throughout their schooling.

Often social skills are also built through that person-to-person interaction.

But right now kids are having to learn academics and social skills through a screen.

“I just want to find a way to have it not be that for at least some people,” said Scottie Grimes.

She said she’s been teaching for about eight years. She loves teaching young kids, so she decided to start up her own kindergarten, Show of Hands Community School for the Arts in Northeast Portland.

She said she did it because she was heartbroken that so many rising kindergarten students would not be getting the authentic, in-person experience.

Through the summer into fall, she has worked hard to get the space ready. Her past students and the kids she nannies have helped out too, to make sure she’d be ready to open this week.

“It’s for kids. I want a lot of it to be done by kids, have their energy in it,” said Grimes.

There’s a main classroom, a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) room, as well as a dedicated library.

In regards to safety, Grimes said she will only allow 10 kids in the entire building at any one time.

“There are five tables, like long tables. Each table is divided in half,” said Grimes.

“They have their chairs or their stools on opposite sides, so one on one corner the other on the other corner.”

She said she’ll also have touchless thermometers and hand sanitizers throughout the space. Indoors, Grimes said kids will wear masks.

“This year there will be a very intensive hand washing lesson that I’m very excited about,” Grimes said.

The idea to start up her own kindergarten came out of existing plans to start an art and cooking studio for kids ages 4 to 14. Grimes said she still plans to do those art and cooking classes at 3:30 p.m., with the same safety measures, after daily kindergarten wraps up.

“Kindergarten is just a magical age,” said Grimes.

“You’re like learning how to be a person you know.”

You can tell, Grimes loves to teach.

“I love my job. I never want to not be Ms. Scottie. It’s who I am,” Grimes said.

She said she’s still got a few spots in her kindergarten class and a lot of availability for the art and cooking classes which start next week. People who might be interested can find more information on the Show of Hands Community School for the Arts Facebook Page.

Grimes said she’s previously taught through KinderCare as well as CLASS Academy in Northwest Portland.