A Middletown school will soon have a fresh start.
When Bethany Stewart heard the owners of the on Mitchells Ln. were not going to renew their lease, she knew it was her opportunity to get back into education and run her own school.
The new school is named Bloom, which she said is a dual meaning for the nature-oriented focus of the school as well as the word’s definition.
“When we looked up the word in the dictionary, it read, ‘a time or period of greatest beauty,” said Stewart. “We thought, that is children.”
The school will continue to be a daycare and preschool open to children between the ages of 18 months and five years old. Although the curriculum will continue to be a Waldorf inspired program, Stewart said there will be a greater emphasis on the environmental sustainability and healthful living.
“I always thought that aspect was underutilized,” said Stewart about the existing program. Instead of a traditional playground, she is building a “Playscape,” that will have a vegetable and butterfly garden that will be incorporated into the curriculum.
The school will also be media free, without computers or televisions. In addition, the school will not have images of cartoon or animation characters.
“We want to create a haven from all that,” said Stewart.
Barbara Hardone, who is the head teacher at Little Friends, will stay on with Bloom.
“She has been the heartbeat of the school for the last 15 years,” said Stewart.
Stewart also has a long history with the existing school. When she graduated college in 1994 with a bachelors degree in education, she took a job as a teacher at Little Friends. Wanderlust took her to Colorado for a couple of years, but by 1998 she came home and accepted an administrative position with the school. By 2000, she had worked her way up to director, a role she held until she had her first daughter in 2006.
Enrollment is currently open for next year. Classes will begin September 4.
For more information on enrollment, contact Bethany Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org. Bloom will hold an open house on Sunday, May 20 at 1 p.m at 33 Mitchells Ln.