A new preschool wants to create a homey place for children to have fun while preparing for kindergarten.


A new preschool wants to create a homey place for children to have fun while preparing for kindergarten.

Mary Jean Blades, owner of Building Blocks Academy, took a few moments Dec. 16 to talk about her business and why she wanted to open the Felton preschool.

Q Can you tell us about Building Blocks Academy?

A We opened here on Nov. 2, and the school offers services for kids ranging from 6 weeks old to preschool age. There are also some after school services. We use the same curriculum as a lot of pre-K programs in school districts. Mainly, the teachers use organizational play that will help kids reach their development milestones while having fun. A lot of times, the kids are learning without really knowing it.

In the summertime, I’m looking to have more themed weeks and have more outside activities. There’s playground equipment that include slides in a fenced-in area behind our building.

Q What is your staff’s role at the academy?

A I have a very qualified group of teachers. Most of them have bachelor’s or master’s degrees in education, and a lot of us have worked in the public education system, so we know what skills are needed for children in kindergarten. Most of us are parents, as well, so we’ve lived with small children.

Most of my staff members are multi-talented as well. There’s one teacher who also plays the violin and participates in the Dover Symphony Orchestra. The person that runs our after-school program is also a reading specialist, and our school benefits for all their experiences and expertise.

Q Why did you want to open Building Blocks Academy?

A I was a teacher for 28 years, and during the last years in my career, I was teaching preschool and overseeing the entrance testing for pre-K programs and kindergartens in the Lake Forest School District. There seemed to be a lot of home daycares and babysitting services, which were all great for kids. But I noticed a need for something with a small-home feeling but on a larger scale. All of the staff knows all of the kids, and we ourselves are more like a family and help each other when anything is needed.

Building Blocks Academy

ADDRESS 333 Ludlow Lane, Felton

HOURS 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday to Friday

PHONE 284-8797