The newly formed Mancos Valley Dragonfly Preschool is up and running, and families are invited to an open house at the site in a few weeks.
The preschool broke ground in April last year to meet the increasing demand for early childhood education in the Mancos Valley. The building in Weber Canyon is now complete, and school opened Sept. 16 this fall.
“To date, board members and many community members have put in about 2,900 volunteer hours toward the creation of the school with the mission of encouraging the wonder and imagination of childhood, in a loving, nature-based environment,” said Emily Palmer, a parent and board president for the school.
The Dragonfly Preschool is a nonprofit and operates under the Waldorf model, a style founded in the early 20th century that focuses on “experiential” learning. Children might spend time chopping vegetables for soup, sweeping the floor, painting and other hands-on activities, board members say, along with learning to play together and resolve conflict.
The school also emphasizes nature-based activities and play for its students – another key Waldorf component.
“We created an outdoor play space at Mancos Valley Dragonfly Preschool which highlights the earth and vegetation of the existing Southwestern landscape, and allows the children’s imaginations to run free,” said Kathleen McGinnis Rittenhouse, another parent and board member. “Moving forward, we plan to assemble wooden play equipment, plant gardens, and construct an outdoor kitchen so we may continue to foster a magical outdoor experience for our children.”
The open house will take place Dec. 8 from 9 a.m. to noon at the facility at 7844 County Road 41. For more information, visit the preschool’s website.