Little Lions Preschool is now open in Spring Grove. Teachers, Greta Corpstein, left, and Sara Corpstein are loving their new venture.They are shown with some of their students, Jake Schwartzhoff, Lyric Stadler, Shelby Ryan, Gavin Ryan and Molly Schwartzhoff.
Little Lions Preschool is now open in Spring Grove. Teachers, Greta Corpstein, left, and Sara Corpstein are loving their new venture.They are shown with some of their students, Jake Schwartzhoff, Lyric Stadler, Shelby Ryan, Gavin Ryan and Molly Schwartzhoff.
A local mother and daughter are following their dreams to work together doing something they both love - working with young children. Greta and Sara Corpstein recently opened Little Lions Preschool - a licensed childcare and preschool program in Spring Grove.

"It was a little scary to leave a job and open our own business," said Sara. "But it has been very rewarding. We are excited that we have so many students and that the kids love coming. We are really enjoying it all."

"It has been a lot of fun," added Greta. "The library has been a weekly visit for us this summer that the kids have really enjoyed. We would like to use as many local businesses and resources that we can for activities and outings for the children.

How their programming works

Their program is for 2- to 8-year-old children. During the school year, their mornings will be spent doing structured age-appropriate preschool activities.

They will work on school readiness things such as letters, numbers, shapes, colors, etc. During the summer months, they still do many learning activities, but in a less-structured manner.

The afternoons are spent doing projects, going to the park, playing outside and activities that the kids want to do.

For example, this past week one dark and rainy afternoon sparked the children's imagination and they asked to turn off the lights and have a rocket party. The theme for that week had been space and they had been talking about the moon, astronauts, stars, etc. Tents were set up and the children received glow sticks and began flying around in space.

"It was so fun to see the kids' imaginations at work and to have them initiate a creative way to play on a rainy afternoon," commented Sara with a smile.

Other theme weeks they've had this summer include a camping week, a water week, insect week and transportation week.

Mixed ages are lots of fun!

The duo is enjoying the interactions of their mixed-age group. They enjoy seeing the children learn from one another.

"Having a structured learning environment that includes mixed ages works very well," explained Sara.

"The littler ones really look up to the older ones and like to do what they do. The older ones help teach the younger ones how to behave without even knowing that they are doing that. It is great interaction and learning opportunities for all of them."

Little Lions Preschool is about two months old. In that time, the two teachers have seen many changes in the children.

"One of my favorite things has been seeing the week-to-week changes in the children and how they are growing and learning and becoming good friends with the other students," remarked Sara.

"We have one student who doesn't speak a lot so we've all been learning sign language. It has been so exciting seeing all the children learn the different signs and being able to help this little one communicate even better.

"This little student really likes one of the older students, they get along very well. The younger one likes to mimic the older one so this environment has been great for working on his speech and socialization skills."

More about the business

The preschool is licensed and monitored by Houston County Human Services. They also participate in the Childcare Resource and Referral Food Program.

Sara and Greta work hard on keeping the parents of their students informed. They post many photos of daily activities on their website, and they also send home monthly newsletters as well as post weekly updates of all of their activities on their website, http://littlelions preschool.weebly.com.

They will also be working with the school if they have any concerns about their students so that any issues can be worked on before the student begins kindergarten.

"We have a great group of kids; it has been so neat seeing them learn and work together," Greta noted.

Currently, Little Lions Preschool is full, but they may have a openings for a few part-time students. They are licensed to have 14 children (10 preschool and four school aged).

Sara has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Upper Iowa University in PreK-Grade 3 Education (Early Childhood Education) with endorsements in Reading and Special Education. She is certified to teach in Iowa and Minnesota.

She has worked in two daycare centers since graduating in 2010, with experience in classrooms ranging from infancy to school age care.

Greta has an AAS degree from Minnesota State College SE Tech in Professional Nanny/Family Child Care. She is certified to work with children from infancy to ninth grade.

She worked at Beary Patch Preschool and Early Childhood/ Family Education for 17 years, working with children ages 3 to 5.

For more information about Little Lions Preschool rates and availabilities, contact them at 498-5787 or via email at littlelionspreschool@hotmail.com.