Angela Martin spends a lot of time preparing for the drop-in preschool classes that she teaches at Crooked Alley KidSpace in Groveport, but some of her favorite interactions are those she hasn’t planned.
She loves the friendships and camaraderie that develop among the children and caregivers who attend her programs. “It’s amazing some of the conversations that go on here,” she said. “It does become a support group of sorts.”
What can families expect when they come to one of your preschool programs?
A friendly, welcoming environment that encourages interaction and socialization with others. It’s a fun space that not only allows kiddos to come in and learn something, they also get the opportunity to make friends. They can do it in an environment where their parents or caregivers are right there with them along the way.
What are some of the special events that take place here?
There’s always something going on in the building. In addition to the preschool programs four days a week, there’s Just For Kids programs every other week and movement classes. We’ve offered everything from cooking classes to music lessons. Families should always check our website (groveport.org/index.php/community-affairs/kidspace) to see what’s going on.
Do you see friendships forming in your programs?
A lot of times when a parent comes here, they say, “I’m looking for opportunities for my child to have social interaction,” but it’s not just the kids making friends. It’s the parents or grandparents. They’re looking for someone to have camaraderie with. Speaking from my own experience, I made some of the most important friendships in my life while participating in playgroup.
What skills do you teach that could translate to school?
In the movement class, I try to give them one or two simple instructions. Listening skills and following instructions are things that a kindergarten teacher is going to be looking for. We work on letter recognition — what a letter looks like, what it sounds like.
Do kids feel an ownership of this space?
Absolutely, I can’t tell you how many kids drive by and say, “That’s my school.” It’s fun to see them so comfortable with the space.