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Historic Rusch Home finds new use as hub for homeschool enrichment academy

The Rusch House will be home to a fundraiser for a local veterans fund, Saturday.

By Sara Beth Williams–
A local sports and enrichment academy is utilizing the historic Rusch Home and Gardens in Citrus Heights as a place to teach various classes to students of local homeschooling families.

For the last seven years, On the GO Academy, which partners with charter schools in Sacramento and Placer counties, has offered homeschooling families a unique array of enrichment classes in core academic subjects, home economics, arts and crafts, photography and engineering, gardening and farming, physical and sports education, and theater arts.

For several years, the academy’s athletic director and co-founder Gary Oversen volunteered as a coach and mentor with the Sunrise Recreation and Park District. When the academy outgrew their previous location and saw a need to expand, they turned to SRPD, which offered use of their community rooms, and the Rusch Home during the school year.

According to founder Kristen Oversen, the academy has seen steady growth in student population and the number of enrolled “doubled” in the last two years alone since they’ve moved to Rusch Park.

“We absolutely love it,” Oversen said, referring to the use of the Rusch Home, adding that the history of the home and of Citrus Heights is taught to third and fourth grade students. “Being in a home highlights the comfort of home values and touches the hearts of many homeschooling families.”

Several of the outdoor education classes also utilize outdoor spaces throughout Rusch Park during the week, and the theater enrichment classes utilize the indoor gym.

The Oversens also run the Junior Giants Baseball Program in partnership with SRPD and the Oversens said in an email to the Sentinel that the program has grown from “a little over 300 players three years ago, to nearly 750 players this summer.”

Oversen said she and the academy feel “very much at home” at Rusch Park and in Citrus Heights, and anticipate there to be plenty of space for growth for the academy. A full list of classes, class schedules, and registration information is available on the academy’s website.

The Rusch Home was built by Fred and Julia Rusch in 1916, who constructed the home after the prior house on the property burned. The two lived in the home until bequeathing it to the Sunrise Recreation and Park District, where it has largely sat unused.

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