On a crisp Saturday afternoon, in the golden glow of the late-afternoon sun, a moment was celebrated that many believed was long in coming. On Nov. 11, Coastal Kids Preschool in Damariscotta named its building after their founder, Priscilla G. Congdon, who started the school in 1995.
Attendees who came to celebrate and pay tribute included Coastal Kids Preschool donors and supporters, board members and former board members, staff and former staff, and parents. Dr. Caer Hallundbaek, Coastal Kids Preschool executive director, welcomed the crowd and offered opening comments.
“Nearly 30 years later, it’s challenging to capture decades of experience and dedication into an afternoon,” said Hallundbaek. “But all the speakers shared such touching observations. The event was deeply heartfelt.”
Martha Lynch, of Damariscotta, paid tribute to the history of the founding of the school and all the intricacies involved. Kathleen and Rob Flory, of Walpole, gave moving accounts of the dedication involved and how Congdon’s efforts have been “indefatigable” through the years.
Karen Mook, Jen Brennan, and Abi Iverson provided comments on the importance of child care and early childhood education, the necessity of Coastal Kids, and the remarkable outcomes for the children, especially those with special needs.
Coastal Kids Preschool’s mission is to provide an inclusive, developmentally appropriate education for preschool children of all incomes and abilities. Coastal Kids offers three programs for students from 15 months to 7 years old: a school-year child care and preschool program, an after-school class, and an eight-week summer camp.
Notably, fully one third of the school’s full-time licensed slots are allocated for children with identified special needs. Coastal Kids Preschool is renowned for its award-winning integrated model of preschool that gives kids a special boost in transitioning to kindergarten together. The school is National Association for the Education of Young Children-accredited and currently serves 75 students from 16 towns in Lincoln County and beyond.
At the close of the ceremony, the new sign, made by the Maine Sign Company in Gorham, was revealed.
For more information, go to call 563-5335 or go to coastalkidsme.org.