The Laurie Mezzalingua '86 Center for Early Learning
The road to a lifelong love of learning begins very early in childhood. With the freedom to explore the world through play and hands-on learning experiences, children satisfy their natural curiosity, develop independence and confidence, and discover their own talents. Researchers tell us that the earliest years of a child’s education form the bedrock from which a genuine love of school and learning grows. That is why the new Center for Early Learning was such an important priority for Manlius Pebble Hill.
The new Center for Early Learning, home to an expanded Prekindergarten and Kindergarten program, was designed specifically to meet the needs of four- and five-year olds, enhancing a program already well-known throughout the region. From the playground and classrooms to the gathering space that accommodates group assemblies, musical performances, and presentations, the Center is designed to meet both the cognitive and physical development needs of our youngest learners. Counters, sinks, toilets, mirrors, even windows, are designed at age-appropriate heights, which is not only safer, but helps encourage self-reliance. From the new playground to the cubbies in the classrooms, the new Center makes each child feel welcome. It says to them, “This is for you.”
Manlius Pebble Hill chose this project as the catalyst for the capital campaign, in part, because of its impact on the School’s enrollment. The new Center allows for a combined increase in enrollment capacity in Prekindergarten and Kindergarten from 39 to 50, including a doubling in the size of the Prekindergarten class, which opened with full enrollment for the 2006/07 year and a waiting list of prospective parents vying to get into the program. This expanded enrollment not only has a significant, positive impact on the School’s financial stability, but also helps insure that the other grades in the Lower School have full enrollment in the future.