BELFAST — Fourteen children, ages four and five, and one veteran teacher, completed the preschool year in style on Friday at the Waldo County YMCA (WCY). Ten of the children will start kindergarten next year. And Karen Whitham, assistant teacher for the past seven years, celebrated her retirement. All showed tremendous growth and are ready for their next challenges.
Jen Johnson, Head Teacher at the Little Learners Preschool, told assembled families: “Your children grew so much over the year. Each of them benefited from the structured learning time, unstructured play time, swimming, and movement lessons. In addition, they brought endless joy to the community members at AOA “Car Hop” luncheons, with their waves, smiles, and requests for honking horns.”
The Little Learners Preschool gives parents peace of mind while they are at work while playing a critical role in developing young children as active learners and caring friends. Caitlyn Pavalkis, a parent of one of the graduates, said: “We saw so much growth in our son and know he is ready for kindergarten. We are grateful to Miss Jen, Miss Karen, and all the staff for the love they showered on our son this year.”
Karen Whitham, the retiring teacher, smiled radiantly at her last class of preschool chlidren. She said she would miss them all and the staff at the WCY, but added, “Darlin’, I’ll be back to visit!”
Next year’s preschool class is already fully enrolled and Jen Johnson hopes she will be able to find another excellent assistant teacher so that we can bring more children off the waitlist.
About the WCY
The WCY serves Waldo County as the hub for healthy living, youth development, and social responsibility. In May of 1977, the WCY was created as a force for good in the community. It became a stand alone 501(c)3 charitable organization in 1995. After 23 years as a “Y without Walls”, the WCY opened a fitness facility with gymnasium, track, weight room, and studio. In 2009, the Tom and Sally Savage Pool Complex was added to fulfill its commitment to the community. In addition to the exercise and wellness facilities, the WCY offers high-quality, affordable childcare, after school programs for young teens, community activities for older adults, and sports leagues for children and adults.
The WCY Sustaining Sponsors, Robbins Lumber, Viking Lumber, and First National Bank/First National Wealth Management ensure our programs remain affordable, high-quality, and community-focused.