Little Oaks Preschool
7600 Port Republic Rd, Port Republic, VA 24471
Tell us about your business:
Little Oaks Preschool was born out of a deep belief that preschool should be a place where letter recognition and number sense are met with imagination and curiosity. Our staff is composed of four educators with a passion for making learning exciting and fun. Our belief is that even our littlest learners are capable of achieving great things. We understand that science is a subject that should be explored with your hands and observed through experimentation. We believe that both major milestones and seemingly small accomplishments should be praised and celebrated. Because sometimes, sharing a purple crayon with a friend when it’s your very favorite color is the most selfless and generous thing a 4 year old can do. We bring classic literature to life by incorporating costumes and imaginative play into our learning environment. One of everyone’s favorite days of the year is “Grinch Day” where our entire school is transformed into Whooville. As teachers we take learning seriously, but never ourselves. If you walk into our school on any given day you just might see Mrs. Engel dressed as Cinderella, or Mrs. Parlee as Pete the Cat. It’s extremely likely that you’d hear singing that’s a little off key. Lucky for us, we have the sweetest audience! Our monthly artist study culminates with a school wide art show that celebrates the children’s unique perspectives on classic artists like Pollock and Monet. At Little Oaks we are not only dedicated to preparing our students for Kindergarten, but we have a commitment to character building. We let our students know that even 3 and 4 year olds can make a positive difference in the world. Our kiddos make cards for local healthcare workers and collect clean socks for the homeless. The entire month of December is spent receiving notes from “Kindness Elves” charging us to do good for others. We know that academics will come, but instilling values of friendship and kindness are our main goals. We are honored to be among this group of local businesses. We are proud to serve the youngest members of our community. We’d like to think we are planting the seeds for the future business owners, government officials, teachers, and kind hearted neighbors for Rockingham County.
What would you do with $10,000?:
Like most small businesses operating through the pandemic, Little Oaks has unfortunately struggled. We opened our doors in September 2019 and were forced to close in March of 2020. This pandemic caused us to shut down for several months, reimburse tuition, and purchase many additional supplies to keep our staff and students safe. During our required shut down, we continued to provide our families with bags of learning activities with no tuition in return to keep our little learners stocked with resources at home. COVID regulations continue to add additional expenses such as individual supplies for students, a wide variety of cleaning/sanitizing supplies, masks, and lanyards to name a few. We also answered the call to many families who were seeking resources to teach their preschooler at home during the pandemic due to the many local preschools not opening last year. We invested in our community by offering an online school where we curated learning kits each month so that students could continue to further their learning as many families were feeling lost with how to keep their preschool learning during this time. We taught a live online preschool class weekly, provided pre-recorded lessons several times a week, and created themed sensory bins as well a month’s worth of literacy and math activities, science experiments, STEM activities, fine motor and writing projects, as well as crafts to keep little learners’ minds active even if they were not in a school building. This required a major investment as well, but we could not stand the thought of so many community preschoolers to not have resources at their fingertips during the pandemic. We were able to serve about 30 families each month during the 2020-2021 school year while still teaching our 30 in-person preschoolers as well. We also donated dozens of learning kits to families who couldn’t afford them, families who were going through hardship, as well as serving a SHS Special Education student who was learning at home each month, too. We would use the money to offset some of our expenses from the past two years. Additionally, we would use the money to provide free field trips for our students, to further our community service projects, and possibly provide scholarship funds to families in need. We understand Little Oaks is not alone in having suffered a financial hit due to the pandemic. We would be beyond grateful for this most generous gift.