Russian 4 Families offers language and cultural lessons for local children, ages 3 to 10 on Saturdays at the St. Luke's Episcopal Church on Fort Hunt Road.
Inna Hamilton, the educational director, and Olena Harvey, the business director, are parents of children who have one parent who speaks Russian, and they wanted to create a place for children to learn about Russian culture and language.
"These children have families with Russian heritage. Like myself, a lot of moms are married to American-speaking dads or vice versa, have children who are sort of bilingual," Hamilton said. "They understand them but they don't speak, so we are two moms with similar stories and we wanted to teach the language and the culture."
Hamilton said this was the idea behind starting the classes. The classes are currently held on Saturdays, and Hamilton said they offer morning and afternoon sessions with several teachers. The program has about 18 students signed up for classes. Hamilton said the enrollment for the program is ongoing.
"We're not a nonprofit, but we're not trying to make millions. It's just a project that is targeted toward a small audience here," Hamilton said.
Hamilton is fluent in Russian and has a background in teaching, special education and biology.
The Russian 4 Families program offers a "Beginners" course for ages 3 to 4; "Explorers" for ages 5 to 6; a "Curious" course for ages 7 to 8 and; a "Know How" class for ages 9 and 10. The program offers monthly, quarterly and yearly sessions.
For information about fees and registration, visit Russian 4 Families.