March of 2017 the St. Louis Post Dispatch wrote a story on the Statesmen Pre-school, and since then the number of enrolled students has increased by 100 or more depending on the day of the week.
The St. Louis Post Dispatch story brought awareness to the preschool and the program Diane Stromberg has run for 38 years.
“Most of the time we get a good amount of people who enroll because people tell their friends about the preschool, but after the story it was crazy, and all summer I was emailing parents telling them about the preschool, and we have a wait list of about seven right now,” said Statesmen Pre-school student director senior Delaney Smith about how the number of students has increased.
Along with the new students Stromberg is adding more responsibilities to high schoolers and is finding different ways to maximize the space since they have to compensate for the increased number of preschoolers. The Statesmen Pre-school consists of two rooms, an observation room, and an attic that stores different bins full of cloth, art supplies, toys and more.
The main room is where preschoolers arrive with parents, and the second room, called the corner room, is slightly smaller and has an art area and a smart board. Stromberg has an observation room that allows her to watch her students and the preschoolers from either room at the same time.
Stromberg grades her students based on work she assigns and how much they interact with the preschoolers.
Not every class is the same,however. In her second hour class she has three different levels of student teachers: beginners, advanced students and interns. In comparison, her third hour she has only advanced and interns.
Along with visitors from the Webster Kirkwood Times who wrote a story featured on the front page, Stromberg has had visitors from out of the country. In August, three groups of people from Saudi Arabia toured the school and visited different classes, two of the groups visited the Statesmen preschool.
“They took a lot of pictures and asked a lot of questions. They at first thought that the high schoolers were paid employees and were very impressed that even if there weren’t preschoolers, the students were all working on something,” Stromberg said about what the visitors thought of the preschool.
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