Village Preschool Heads East

By Liz Premo, Atlantic News Staff Writer

Atlantic News, Friday, June 10, 2005

[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News]

HAMPTON -- The Village Preschool in Hampton is making a move.

After more than a decade of operating out of their current location at the corner of High Street and Dearborn Avenue, the Hampton Child and Family program’s popular preschool will be relocating east on High Street to Trinity Church.

"It’s worked out wonderful," says Director Virginia Bridle-Russell, the excitement very evident in her voice.

The preschool will be moving into classroom space which formerly housed Aslan’s Pride Nursery School, on the church’s lower level. It will also be within steps of Hobbs House, which in conjunction with the Hampton Community Coalition serves as a community information center and is often the site of various public events.

According the Bridle-Russell, opening day is scheduled to be on Monday, August 1. She adds that it will take "a month to get everything set" before the school begins operating at the new site. This will allow Village Preschool staffer Angie Twombley to "work her magic," painting colorful, kid-themed scenes on the walls.

The change in locale will ease the fiscal crunch the preschool program has faced in recent years. With costs going up (operational expenses — including rent, utilities, insurance and maintenance — currently total $24,446 for the last 12 months) and a perceptible decrease in funding, the school came close to closing its doors a year ago.

At that time, the local community "stepped up in our moment of need," board of directors member Brad Jacobson said at a recent brainstorming meeting with staffers, parents and other community members present. A $10,000 corporate donation provided through the Drakes Appleton Company, as well as countless donations from the public, breathed new life into the preschool’s operating budget.

There’s even more good news for the not-for-profit Village Preschool: Bridle-Russell has also announced that Tom Nigrelli has offered a $10,000 challenge grant to further assure that the program will continue to provide the educational and extended day care services it is known for, as well as scholarships for those families who may need such assistance.

To get ahead and stay ahead, Village Preschool will continue to seek to raise funding through the generosity of the local community. Donations are always gratefully accepted and — until the official "moving day" — may be sent to The Village Preschool, 70 High Street, Hampton, NH 03842. For more information, call Director Virginia Bridle-Russell at (603) 929-7349.