Merri-Loo is a non-profit, cooperative preschool program established in 1968 housed in the historic Grasmere Town Hall.
Merri-Loo is a school community made up of Children, Teachers and Families working together to provide a nurturing, creative and joyful environment in which children can learn, grow, and express themselves.
We believe that children learn best when they are comfortable, confident, and they feel respected and appreciated.
We believe that children develop in a predictable sequence, but on their own individual time line. It is our job to provide them with experiences that will help them to move forward in the developmental continuum.
We believe that the process of learning is more important than the product. Children are applauded for their uniqueness, and encouraged to express themselves through Art, Music and Story telling activities.
Most of all, we believe that children’s lives are enriched and broadened when their families participate and contribute to their education and life experiences.
In the cooperative school setting, every family has a unique opportunity to contribute to their child’s school experience. As a part of the co-op, parents exchange volunteer time for a reduction in tuition costs. Volunteer jobs include: Classroom helpers, cleaners, librarian, handyman and shopper, just to list a few.
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 children 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 our Kindergarten class and extended the Pre K class hours to 9am-1pm.
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.