Merri-Loo began in the mid 1960's when two young mothers, Lois Messina and Mary Leonard started a playgroup in their Goffstown homes. Over the next couple of years, the group grew in size and scope. By 1968, the women moved the group to the basement of St. Matthew's church in Goffstown center. They hired a Teacher, Reta Chaffee, and an Assistant Teacher, Peggy Rice to teach a group of 15 three and four year-olds 3 mornings a week. Parents of the children enrolled helped out by working in the classroom, cleaning the classroom and more. Merri-Loo was incorporated in September 1968 as a private non profit organization named Merri-Loo Community Preschool.
In 1971, when St. Matthew's church could no longer house the program, a group of parents, including Marianne Sudak and Diane Rand, began searching for a new home. Marianne Sudak approached the Goffstown Board of Selectmen to ask if Merri-Loo could rent a room in the abandoned Grasmere Town Hall building, which had at one time been a two room school house. The Selectmen agreed to rent the space with the understanding that the Preschool would be responsible for any and all clean up and renovation efforts needed to make the space usable and compliant. An all hands on deck was called, and families came out to clear out and clean up. The walls were painted, the blinds washed, and new floors put in.
When school opened that year, the schedule included a Tuesday and Thursday morning class for three year olds, a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning class for 4 year olds, and a five afternoons a week Kindergarten class. The cooperative nature of the school was solidified at that time. A Board of Directors made up of Parents was set up, and all families were offered a reduction in tuition in exchange for taking on a volunteer job at the school. A new Teacher was hired, Dolores Siik. She would be the lead Teacher / Director for the the next 20 years.
In 2006, the Goffstown Public Schools added Kindergarten to their school programs. Merri-Loo dropped the Kindergarten class and extended preschool class hours.
Merri-Loo Community Preschool is a private, non-profit, cooperative organization serving the Goffstown area. We welcome all families and do not discriminate because of race, gender, color, religious affiliation or income.
Merri-Loo is fully licensed by the State of New Hampshire.