At the end of August, the Muskie Early Learning Center (MELC) officially opended its doors for the first time. The first preschool center of its kind in Muscatine, parents and residents in general feel curious about the MELC and want to know more about how it will help students have success in their earliest years of schooling. On Thursday, September 19th from 4:30 to 6:30 pm, the MELC will open its doors to the community, welcoming them to have an early look at the early learning going on there.
According to Jessi Freers, Principal of the MELC, she and her staff look forward to welcoming anyone interested in learning more to come to their open house, wether they have students attending or just want a better understanding of the benefits the facility will give the community. “[We welcome] anyone and everyone! Families can learn more about what happens outside of their child’s classrooms, business leaders can see what might attract future stakeholders to the community, and the community in general can see how important early education is and how the district is investing in our youngest students,” she shared.
At the open house, visitors can tour the building and even do scavenger hunts to help familiarize them with all the different learning spaces and resources the MELC has. Freers also has plans to invite several community resource providers to set up displays at the MELC to show the sort of supports they can offer to parents and their families. To keep kids entertained, the MELC will have bounce houses and outdoor games available.
As the MELC open house approaches, Freers looks forward to having a good turnout. She hopes many people will come check out the MELC, and find out why having it will benefit Muscatine’s children as they grow up. “I . . . want the community to have a better understanding of the importance of early education and how we need to work together right from the beginning for the success of our community,” explained Freers. “Preschool is more than just academic success–we have and continue to put structures in places to give children the dispositions needed as they progress through school. Seeing one way the community is helping this happen may help people understand how to advocate for this.”
While Freers and the whole MELC staff want to make sure that everyone gets behind it in its earliest days, they want to make sure the community stays connected with it as it becomes a more established. To that end, Freers looks forward to providing a calendar of events to let people know about everything the MELC has going on. She elaborated, “There is a group of public service community leaders who have been meeting to try and coordinate all of the great things we have going on in the community centered around young children.”
Through the open house and other events to come, the MELC looks forward to becoming an important community hub. With Muscatine’s support, it will thrive and start all young Muskies on the path to success.