Bringing Our Center to Life

With lots of hard work, tons of man hours, a little artistic vision, some professional insight, a teacher’s touch, and a whole lot of motivation—we present to you our progress pictures of Small Tales Early Learning Center and Daycare. If you know what this place looked like before, you know we have truly made a “house a home.” While these pictures may be exciting, they are nothing compared to the real thing! Make sure you stop by our July 11th Open House and Family Fun Day from 1-4 pm to eat some cotton candy, ride a pony, get your face painted and check out the center for yourself!

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Small Tales: Making Us Feel Like Kids Again!

As we get closer and closer to completion, little things keep popping up over Small Tales Early Learning and Daycare Center. One day a playground appears and the next a puppet show booth is beckoning for us to go inside! The Lotus Team has worked tirelessly to complete this project, making sure that it truly is the place of kids dreams. Finding the perfect balance can be hard; we want to satisfy a parent’s wishes and expectations while ensuring a kid will spend every day smiling. So far, it seems like we have definitely hit the sweet spot!

Books line every room of the center and toys and interactive games pour into every classroom. The brightly colored murals bring the walls to life and the giant bulletin boards will be able to hold any information a parent might need. The center has become this amazing place, a place that feels like it is full of possibility, charm, and potential. We are so grateful to have the community support, the hard working team that we do, and the daycare staff that brings years of experience to teach the children of our community!

While we await the final approvals and certifications necessary to open our doors, we want to keep everyone updated on our progress and what this magical place is looking like! Check out our photos and comment! We love community feedback, it lets us know what is great and what could be better. Thanks for following us and our progress, we can’t wait for you to see what is in store. Stay tuned for updates on our Community Appreciation Day, Open House, and Inauguration (with a very special guest)!

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ABCDEFG-Small Tales is the Place to Be!

As we near our tentative open date, Small Tales continues to prepare our halls and classrooms for our little learners; with each and every tiny chair, picture book , and new toy that enters our center we begin to see our ideas come to life. Our staff has worked hard to construct an inviting environment for children to learn and parents to feel welcomed. We want Small Tales to be an open space to play, grow, create, and discuss new and exciting innovations in the world of education.

Our building blocks have been stacked one by one and are starting to form the place we have envisioned from the beginning. Some of those blocks we brought ourselves, others came from irreplaceable figures in our community. Warrensburg Central School, a pioneering force on the front of early literacy, has graciously donated boxes upon boxes of children’s books to add to the Small Tales Library. Amy Reddy, the school’s Library MediaSpecialist, greeted us with a smile as she lifted hundreds of books onto a table for the Lotus Group to pick from. Richards Library, one of the town’s first literacy leaders, will also be donating a recycled portion of their inventory to our growing collection of children’s literature. Without the encouragement and  of our educational institutions, Small Tales would undoubtedly be lost.

Small Tales has also been given time and effort from members of our community, two things that are irreplaceable when building a place for children to learn and grow. Teachers and administrators from the school district have offered us their opinions and advice, have reached out and supported Lotus Loves Literacy, and have given us important perspective on what parents are looking for in their educators. Our daycare team, who individually bring expertise and knowledge different parts of the field, have given us insight about what is going on in the ever-changing world of child care.

Some of our staff at Lotus have dedicated countless hours to learning all they can about the rules, regulations, new program options, age appropriate curriculum, healthy food options, and more all to ensure our center is the best of its kind. Other Lotus members bring their own experience in daycare to the table, offering helpful hints and answers to questions we have had along the way. Jan Higgins and Leigh Cain of Hobby Horse Playschool have not only brought us experience, but have given us themselves– friendly faces our families will immediately recognize! Muralist, Patty LaFountain, has began to decorate the walls with her beautiful renderings of famous story book characters.

As we watch our center grow, with the help of people from this beautiful place we call home, we can’t help but stop and smile. Just a few months ago, Small Tales was merely an empty building. Our staff walked inside a facility that seemed to look like a daycare structurally, but had no life or character. As the days and weeks went by, and ideas flew back and forth inside the office, through the phone lines, and from our friends and neighbors, we started to see something magical happen. The empty building started to look like a school-a place where you would see a child sitting on a carpet reading a book or playing a game. The rooms started to look like a child’s classroom, filled with little chairs and tables, smocks, and toys. In just a few weeks-these scenarios will come to life right before our eyes; tiny feet will be filing down the halls, teachers will be softly reading to their students as they lay down for a nap, parents will arrive to pick up their child, ready to hear about all they learned that day.

Check out some before and after photos below and tell us what you think! What are you most excited to see at Small Tales? Email us your thoughts at smalltaleslearning@gmail.com. Stay tuned for information on our Open House Block Party!

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Beloved Teacher, Local Legend Becomes Part of the Small Tales Family

A child’s first educators are people they will always hold close to their hearts; It is hard to forget our first grade teacher who knew all those magic tricks, our preschool aide who always had the best jellybeans, or our kindergarten teacher that taught us some of our favorite games. These special people have the opportunity to encourage a child’s many “firsts” and in many ways mold their paths of learning. A first teacher is a second mom or dad, a new best friend, a hero; they take on a role in a child’s life that is one part education and one part magic.

Finding the perfect person to fill these shoes is not an easy task. All across the globe parents take the time to search for a first babysitter, memorable caretaker, and playful preschool teacher who will exceed their expectations. Parents want their children to feel comfortable, to learn how to become familiar with new surroundings, and most importantly to have a nurturing, loving caretaker. In small town Warrensburg, New York, searching for the perfect “first” has never been issue thanks to Ms.Higgins.

Jan Higgins founded Hobby Horse Playschool in 1974 when she saw the need for a child care facility in our area. Ever since then, the playschool has been a stand out in the community, a family tradition, an unwritten “initiation” to WCS and  a local staple. Jan has had decades of experience and this year had her first third-generation student! Her dedication to her students and passion for what she does is visible in her welcoming smile, audible in her honest voice, and felt in her tight, generous hugs. Jan loves what she does and it shines right through her for everyone to see; parents love Ms. Higgins and children never forget her.

The Lotus Group has struck gold as Ms. Higgins (and awesome assistant teacher Leigh Cain!) will now be teaching Play School at Small Tales Early Learning Center and Daycare on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. With her memorable rhymes, catchy sayings, and age-old songs Jan is bringing with her everything that our center could wish for. A new, modern, fresh take on learning is being paired with a Warrensburg tradition-how much better could it get?

We can’t wait to bring Jan’s experience, sunny disposition, and quirky sense of humor to our team. With Jan’s help, the possibilities are endless. We are so thankful that such a renowned educator has decided to be a part of our center; Jan is truly the best at what she does.

We Think We Can, We Think We Can: The Little Daycare That Could!

Progress pictures are one of the best ways to see how far you’ve come and how far you still have to go. Small Tales has been one of the most exciting, crazy, and eye-opening projects that the Lotus Group has taken on to date! As we move forward, we cannot help but burst with joy at the way things are coming together.

The Executive Team recently made a trip to Ikea and picked out some modern, fun, and colorful furniture to make the center feel like home! We cannot wait for everyone to see our big reveal, and we promise this place is what kids’ dreams are made of! Our new muralist, Patty Lafountain, is currently brightening up our walls with some familiar characters of childhood favorites-look our for Harold and the Purple Crayon, The Giving Tree, The Rainbow Fish, and some Dr.Seuss greeting you in the hall ways!

We still have a few finishing touches, but we are well on our way to becoming a story book brought to life! PS- We have a secret visitor to help us with our ribbon cutting ceremony! Stay tuned to find out more and to check out some progress pics!

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First Annual Lotus Loves Literacy Poetry Slam!

On April 29, 2015 the Lotus Group held a fundraiser for Richards Library. Our newest project, Small Tales Early Learning Center and Daycare, is dedicated to teaching children to fall in love with reading at a young age, so why not start a charity dedicated to that very message? Lotus Loves Literacy will benefit a different educational institution for every event we host, and after the great turnout and success of this one–we can’t wait to see what is in store next! Our Poetry Slam raised a whopping $1500 for Richards Library and had 27 poets and over 150 attendants come to support the cause. We are so thankful that so many people believe in our message and we hope that this enthusiasm will carry into the Small Tales environment!

INFORMATIONAL SESSION MAY 6 AT RICHARDS LIBRARY

TOMORROW FROM 3-5 AT RICHARDS LIBRARY: The Lotus Group of Companies will host an informational session about their newest initiative:Small Tales Early Learning Center and Daycare. Representatives will have a table at the library for all interested parties to ask questions and make comments. All are welcome to attend and we encourage you to discuss your needs with us. We hope this session will detail what our daycare can offer you and your child to meet your childcare needs. Rates, surveys, and contact sheets will be available for those in attendance to leave their information.