Cherry Preschool has a commitment to community outreach. Our entire school, from our Board of Directors to our teachers and families, is dedicated to working towards making our preschool as diverse and inclusive as possible. Since opening in 1992, one of our primary missions has been to make our preschool accessible to as many families in the greater Evanston community as possible. We collaborate with local social service organizations in an effort to reach families who seek a quality, early childhood experience but may not be aware that Cherry Preschool offers financial assistance, support for Spanish-speaking families and welcomes children with special needs. For the past several years, we have awarded over $100,000 in tuition assistance to families with limited incomes. Our clase de padres y hijos was created for Latino families whose home language is Spanish. This parent/child class is taught in Spanish by a Spanish-speaking teacher in order to provide parents with a comfortable introduction to preschool for their children and themselves. Each year, approximately 10% of our students are children with identified special needs. Including children with special needs in our regular preschool classes not only benefits children with needs by providing them the opportunity to model their typically-developing peers but also teaches all the children in the preschool to accept and appreciate every child as a unique and valued member of society.
Over the years, we have collaborated with a variety of community organizations in pursuit of our goal of being a preschool community that reflects the entire Evanston community. Some of the organizations we have partnered with are the Evanston Community Foundation, the Community Works Initiative of the Evanston Community Foundation, the Infant Welfare Society of Evanston, Evanston-Skokie School District 65, Family Focus, Baby Toddler Nursery, Childcare Network of Evanston, Ricky Byrdsong Race Against Hate, Park School, St. Nicholas Church, Early Head Start, State of Illinois Early Intervention System, Northwestern University, Lurie’s Children’s Hospital, and numerous local clinics and therapeutic groups.
We recognize that families with young children often experience stressful situations. Our Site Director, Maggie Hessler, uses her social work background to help connect parents with resources in the community to address a variety of concerns. Our Child Development and Inclusion Director, Rhonda Cohen, assists parents of children with special needs in finding the support their children need to learn and grow to their full potential. Please visit our Resources For Parents page for a list of helpful resources in the community.