By Maggie Beamguard
When the Preschool in the Pines opens its doors to its inaugural classes this September, the new students may have butterflies in their stomach. But so will the school’s director and founder, Alison McClosky.
“I feel a little bit of nervousness and excitement kind of like the kids coming too,” McCloskey said. “I’m gonna have butterflies in my stomach the first day as well.”
The preschool is a dream realized for McClosky, who grew up in Seven Lakes. Now that it’s really happening, she says she feels part terror and part relief that she has arrived at this moment.
“I’ve gone to school for this,” she said. “”I have years of experience, you know. This is where I belong.”
McClosky spent the summer preparing classrooms and hiring staff. The school was ready to receive students at Back to School Night on Aug. 30 and the first day of class on Sept. 5. “We’re getting things organized and getting things ready,” she said.
Hard furnishings are in place as well as learning tools. “We’ve gotten a lot of educational toys and manipulatives and books from donations from the community which has been awesome.”
As a theme- and center-based school, McClosky has tailored the school’s resources to work with the chosen curriculum. Some of the themes they will explore include famous artists, favorite books, dinosaurs, garden, science, seasons, occupations, countries and continents and jungle.
Students from 23 families are already enrolled. Registration remains open year-round until all slots are filled. As enrollment grew, McClosky added more teachers. “We’re at the point now where we have enough teachers for each class, and we have enough students to make a good start.”
Experienced teachers will also welcome the learners who range in age from one to four. There are five instructors, including McClosky. “We have really good teachers,” she said “I’m super thrilled at the teachers that I have. They’re go-getters, and they’re experienced. And they’re on the ball.”
McClosky is most excited to be getting back to teaching herself where she can “interact with and watch the kids become little independent thinkers.” By October she expects everyone to fall into a good rhythm. “That’s the fun part,” she said.
She also looks forward to bringing in surprise visitors to read to the classes starting in October, viewing it as a way to connect the students with the larger community.
The preschool, which operates out of the Chapel in the Pines, is a half-day program with an optional lunch-bunch program for an extra fee. The youngest children, ages one to young twos, participate in the Mother’s Morning Out program on Fridays. Older twos meet for class two days a week and the three and four year old classes meet Monday through Friday.
“I’m lucky and thankful that I can bring this to the community,” McClosky said.
For more information about The Preschool in the Pines check out their website at www.thepreschoolinthepines.com or call (910) 528-0500.
Contact Maggie Beamguard at email@example.com.