Merrimack Early Education Program (MEEP)
Anne Marie Morgan
The Merrimack Early Education Program (MEEP) is a developmental preschool program for three and four year olds where children with and without special needs have the opportunity to play and learn together. The program is housed in classrooms at Reeds Ferry Elementary School, Thorntons Ferrry Elementary and Mastricola Elementary School.
With our inclusive educational settings, children are educated in an environment that fosters a greater understanding of the unique abilities that children possess. The children discover that they have a lot in common. They all like to have friends, work on projects, and learn new skills within a developmentally appropriate curriculum.
Program activities, developed by teachers and therapists, are based on the children's current levels of development. The activity-based curriculum emphasizes each child's strengths while addressing his/her individual needs.
The Merrimack Early Education Program encourages development of cognitive, language, large and small motor, socialization, and play skills. We provide both small and large group multi-sensory learning experiences which address the individual needs of all children enrolled in the program. We supplement our thematic units with a computer center, field trips, and special events and visitors. Our daily schedule includes structured activities such as circle time, language group, motor groups, and music. In addition, we offer interest and learning center activities, snack, and outdoor play.
We have a low student-teacher ratio, currently 4 to 1. Each classroom is led by a state certified Special Education Teacher. Additional staff include: Speech/Language Pathologists, Registered Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, and Speech Assistants. Program Assistants support the teachers and therapists in meeting the needs of the children. Educational consultants are available as needed.
Parents are welcome and encouraged to participate in their child's classroom. Parent communication includes a monthly calendar, progress reports, and parent conferences. Opportunities for participation in the classroom include parent visits to the classroom, helping with special events and parties, gardening in the MEEP courtyard play area, chaperoning field trips, and being a guest reader.
Parents are responsible for transporting typical preschool children. Transportation can be arranged through the Merrimack School District for children with special needs.
Families pay monthly tuition to the Merrimack School District. There are no tuition fees for children with special needs who are placed in the program by the school district.
For further information about the preschool program or concerns about your preschooler's developmental levels, contact Kara Cave, Preschool Coordinator at 424-6215 or email at Kara.Cave@sau26.org.