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Preschool learning center opens in South Greensburg

| Thursday, July 3, 2014, 8:55 p.m.
Evan Sanders | Tribune-Review
Harley Byers, 2, peeks out as he moves through the playground equipment during morning activities at Best Day Ever! Learning Center in South Greensburg.
Evan Sanders | Tribune-Review
Language arts instructor Krista Brown reads to students Kellsey Faust, 5, (left) and Iris May Murphy, 4.
Evan Sanders | Tribune-Review
Tina Soohey, the owner of Best Day Ever! Learning Center, photographed at the South Greensburg facility on Wednesday, June 26, 2014.

Tina Soohey, a business owner in South Greensburg, came up for the name of her Best Day Ever! Learning Center after a play date with her niece. “She said it was the best day ever,” Soohey said. “It was a reminder for me that the simple things we do with kids can do a lot to really care for them.”

Soohey opened the day care, preschool and learning center in South Greensburg on June 1 and is already seeing success. The school plans to enroll more students.

The center operates from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the week. Children can attend preschool from 9 a.m. to noon, and can come beforehand or stay later for day care as needed.

The learning center offers lessons in language arts, technology, science, dance, math and behavioral skills.

“What's good about this school is that we start at 1 year old,” teacher Donna Lee of Hunker said. “It's not just about learning the ABCs.”

During the summer, each week has a specific theme, such as plants and bugs or performing, that directs student learning in each subject, Soohey said.

Students in each group have targeted learning plans that are age-appropriate.

“Their brains are like sponges right now,” Soohey said. “They really need this. It's building a foundation for their academics to come.”

Soohey provides daily snacks, breakfast and lunch as a part of tuition costs.

The center is safe for children who are allergic to nuts. “I'm very aware of allergies,” Soohey said. “It's better at this age to have a nut-free center.”

Soohey stressed the center is prepared to take on students with other disabilities as they sign up.

“Every student is talented in their own way,” she said. “I want all kids to come here.”

A preschool/day care center previously located at the site was shut down in March after a child wandered out of the building and crossed Broad Street, according to the state Office of Child Development and Early Learning.

Before opening, Best Day Ever! Learning Center was equipped with a locked gate and two locked doors that require key codes to enter. Security cameras show anyone who is entering and leaving the school.

“You never know what could happen,” Soohey said. “I just want to be prepared.”

Tuition at The Best Day Ever! Learning Center varies, based on a student's age and how many times per week a student comes. Soohey said she accepts government vouchers for day care and preschool in lieu of payment.

“Each kid should get a chance,” Soohey said.

Alicia McElhaney is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6220 or