Story & Photographs by Liz Premo, Atlantic News Staff Writer
Atlantic News, Friday, August 19, 2005
[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News]
HAMPTON -- A queue of colorful helium-filled balloons lined the outdoor pathway to last weekend's well-attended open house held at the Village Preschool, which recently relocated to 200 High Street in Hampton.
Community members who attended the open house enjoyed a variety of refreshments as they explored the new surroundings. Formerly the site of Aslan's Pride Preschool located beneath Trinity Episcopal Church, the facility boasts a number of spacious rooms, well-stocked with toys, furnishings, and art supplies.
Gone is the dark wood that once paneled the walls. Fresh coats of paint in a rainbow of kid-friendly colors have brightened up the facility immensely. There's more to come, too, as teacher Angie Twombly will be adding her very own artistic touch in the coming weeks. And making the move along with the staff and students is the school's guinea pig mascot, Miss Piggy.
[Atlantic News Photo by Liz Premo]
The Hampton Child and Family program's popular preschool was originally located at 70 High Street. A budget crunch over the last several years caused the program's board of directors to take a critical look at the situation about a year ago. Fundraising efforts were redoubled at the time, and contributions from throughout the community helped to keep the school in operation in spite of an increase in rent and operating expenses.
When the facility at Trinity Church became available earlier this year, it provided an ideal opportunity for the Village Preschool to make the move. The rent at the new location is about the same, but unlike it was at the former site, all of the utilities are included in the cost.
According to Director Virginia Bridle, people who have stopped by to check out the school have been amazed to find out the square footage at the new site is actually a bit smaller, even though the area appears to be roomier. The room layout provides a more efficient use of space, she says, and there is no wasted space.
Each new spacious room was explored by the parents and kids who came to the open house. Many of the youngsters are currently Village Preschool students, and in some cases were accompanied by their younger siblings (and potential students). School staffers were on hand to meet and greet and answer any questions asked of them.
Another advantage to the school's new location is its very close proximity right next door to Hobbs House, where the Village Preschool will be hosting its annual Easter Bunny Breakfast fundraiser next spring. All in all, it appears that the move "east" is a good one for the Village Preschool.
A Success by Six project, the Hampton Child and Family Program provides the comprehensive, developmentally-appropriate Village Preschool which offers free and reduced scholarships to lower income families. It also provides an extended daycare program; before and after Kindergarten care; and parent education programs, information and referral.
The school continues to raise funding through the generosity of the local community. Donations are always gratefully accepted and may be sent to The Village Preschool, 200 High Street, Hampton, NH 03842. For more information, call Director Virginia Bridle-Russell at (603) 929-7349.