Red Hill Preschool is expanding its location at 148 Eagle St. in Gypsum and owner Anne Helene Garberg plans to build on her current programs with the added space.
“I rented the space from the neighboring church for seven years and bought the property in May,” Garberg said.
The church used to occupy part of the building and yard. Now Garberg can tailor things to suit her programs better.
“We have lots of animals, including chickens, and I want to get more,” she said. “One of our goals here is to connect children to the natural world. I’d also like to get solar panels and a greenhouse.”
Red Hill currently offers preschool for children 2.5 to 6 years old from 7:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and after-school programs for ages 6 to 13.
Garberg plans to start a weekend program from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. soon. (See breakout box for rates.)
“Something for parents who want to go skiing,” she said. “Next summer I’m going to start Discovery Camp for the older kids.”
Depending on the day, there is now space for more children.
“I have about five more openings since I expanded,” Garberg said. “Some days are very busy, though.”
Garberg started the preschool on a farm on Cottonwood Pass Road 13 years ago.
“I was a preschool teacher in Norway before I came here,” she said. “My educational background includes agriculture, philosophy, psychology and anthropology. I spent many years in college and traveling.”
The preschool’s philosophy is similar to Waldorf programs, which aim to foster creativity, Garberg said.
“Imaginary play is huge and we also do a lot of science, bake, plant and water the garden, and care for the animals,” she said. “In these digital times, we have more knowledge than ever but fewer hands-on activities, and how can you care about something if you’re not connected to it?”