This October, there will be a new preschool opening up in the Dana Warp Mill. The Trey-Ish Academy, founded by Beverly Cooper-Pete, will begin accepting students sometime around Oct. 24.

Cooper-Pete previously taught kindergarten in Texas at the Dallas Independent School District. After that she went over to Europe with the federal Child and Youth Services as a training and curriculum specialist, working in England, Germany, Greece and Poland.

Cooper-Pete said it was always her dream to live in Maine, and she said she made that come true last April. She has been working to get the Trey-Ish Academy, which is named in honor of her niece and nephew, off the ground ever since. “This is my baby right now,” she said.

Right now, the academy’s space in the mill is an open space, but Cooper-Pete said by October, she hopes to have the space filled with her first students.

Calling the program “The Preparation Room,” Cooper-Pete describes her preschool as a not-for-profit, three-year program serving as an alternative to preschool and kindergarten for children starting at 3 and a half years old.

Cooper-Pete said Trey-Ish’s program is designed to give young kids a broad base of knowledge as they enter first-grade. She said the curriculum would be taught by a certified teacher and would include introduction to phonics, math, language, science, art and home economics. The program would be rounded out by classes in theater and dance as well as jukado martial arts lessons, she said.

One of the unique aspects of the program, said Cooper-Pete, is it would stress that parents continue the work done during the school day at home with practical exercises. By doing this, Cooper-Pete said children could begin to learn how the concepts they are learning can be applied in the real world.

Cooper-Pete envisions Trey-Ish Academy as an all-inclusive program, with all activities, books, supplies, field trips, snacks and lunch included in the tuition.

While the school doesn’t open until the end of October, Cooper-Pete said there would be a fundraiser for the academy coming up in the middle of September, and it is an unusual one for Maine.

She said a polo match and barbeque to benefit the Trey-Ish Academy would be held on Long Plains Road in Buxton on Sept. 16. In addition to the game, Cooper-Pete said the Westbrook High School marching band would be providing musical entertainment.

Fundraising is important to Cooper-Pete’s vision. While she is starting out small, she said she plans to eventually construct her own preschool. She said she would ideally like to build the school on a large plot of land, so she can expand the academy to around 300 students with 30 teachers.

But those plans are in the future. For now, Cooper-Pete is busy getting things set up for her first class. She said she is still looking for donations of items like desks and other furniture, as well as computers and other school supplies.

For more information on the Trey-Ish Academy, contact Cooper-Pete at 854-0048, or by e-mail at [email protected]


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