The Studio School on the Upper West Side is opening applications for two scholarships the private school is looking to grant.

The school is looking to award the Virginia O’Hanlon Scholarship, which gives two half-tuition need-based scholarships for students of merit. The scholarship is named after O’Hanlon who is famous for the letter to the New York Sun, asking “Please tell me the truth. Is there a Santa Claus,” which was written where the school currently resides.

“We want to offer the scholarship to people from all background and that’s why the scholarship was created in honor of Virginia O’Hanlon who was a principal and supporter children’s rights,” said Studio School head Janet C. Rotter.

With a student body of just 115, The Studio School is for students from 3 years old through 8th grade. Class sizes are around 16 students and activities include art classes, theater and technology.

The school’s multi-layered program addresses scholarship, original thinking, and a deep and lasting academic excellence, which integrates social-emotional intelligence and personal responsibility.

Community service is also part of the fabric of The Studio School. Students participate regularly in volunteer projects.

Stacey Upchurch has two children at the school and previously had them in public school. She said The Studio School’s approach at academics is what made her apply and enroll her children.

“The child is taken in at their own pace and the teachers work with them in small classes,” she said. ”One child might not learn at the same pace as another. The Studio School takes a very personalized approach. The education gets into the student’s body and soul. Students take responsibility for what they are leaning and learn how to be an individual.”

As The Studio School prepares to begin classes in the fall, Rotter said they are gearing up for the students to use the new world music and language room. This year’s community service projects include a baking event for Valentine’s Day where students will “spread the love” making baked goods for homeless children.

When it comes to what the school is looking for in awarding the scholarships, Rotter said they are looking for families who will take the entire experience in.

“Don’t apply to program you don’t want to be part of it,” she said. “This is a family school and everyone is involved. Everyone learns and you have to want it for you and your family.”

To apply for The Studio School’s Virginia O’Hanlon Scholarship go to