Celebrating May-Day at Lakeside Preschool

Celebrating May-Day at Lakeside Preschool

The Essex Community Fund made a grant to support the hiring of an administrative position at Lakeside Preschool.

As part of its annual grantmaking program, the Essex Community Fund at Adirondack Foundation made a grant to Lakeside Preschool in Essex, NY. The grant was used to hire and pay for a part-time administrative assistant to help with administrative work at the rapidly growing school founded by a group of parents in 2006.

The school, which operates from Black Kettle Farm, offers a warm, nurturing program based on the Waldorf philosophy of childhood education. They explore music, language, movement, the arts, and take part in farming activities.

"Up until now, the school's administrative needs—from state certifications, to accounting, to parent communications—had been run solely by a patchwork of volunteer support, which has proven challenging and confusing as the school grows" saysGretel Schueller, a parent and volunteer at Lakeside Preschool. This fall, the successful program had 18 preschool students and 12 Mountain Tot families (a parent-tot play group) join the school.

The grant funds have had an "extremely positive" effect at the preschool.

"The administrative assistant has been able to set up our new office, where—for the first time—parents, as well as the teachers and board members, have a central contact person to go to with all of their questions and needs," Ms. Schueller says. "The assistant's tasks include filing, billing, organizing a small school store and lending library, bookkeeping, ensuring health records and other forms are up-to-date, and corresponding with families."

This new administrative position can help the preschool program move forward in its vision. They will be concentrating on marketing, putting together a parent mentoring program, and increasing the organization's fundraising program for maximum efficiency. The school tries to keep their program affordable for all families with children ages 3-6 in Essex and the surrounding area.

When asked what the organization learned from this grant application experience that could help them in future projects, Ms. Schueller replies, "As this is the first time we have been able to hire and pay for an assistant, we realized the value and necessity of this position, and we plan on expanding the position for next year and permanently including it in our budget for future years."