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Harlem's Peartree Preschool Founded on Community Support


After a year and a half of planning, finding the perfect location, and raising capital, local mom Denise Adusei is getting ready to open Peartree Preschool in Harlem near Central Park.
children and rainbow
Peartree Preschool’s curriculum is play-based and tailored to the children.

Peartree Preschool will open its doors March 4 to Upper Manhattan and Harlem children ages 2-5. The 6,000-square-foot school features five classrooms, fitting a maximum of 75 students, as well as a 1,400-square-foot courtyard.

It took founder Denise Adusei a lot of determination to get Peartree into the right location. "It took about a year and a half of searching and being disappointed a few times. The New York City health department has strict rules about where child care centers can be located, and New York City real estate is tricky to navigate," she says. Over that time, Adusei was also raising the capital for Peartree by winning the Columbia business plan competition in 2010 and the New York Public Library City Wide competition and receiving funding from the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone.

Most importantly, she had community support from parents. "I had a tough time finding a quality early childhood program when I moved up here because there is a shortage throughout the city. We've had a lot of support from parents because the need is so great," Adusei says.

Peartree assesses each child before developing a curriculum, ensuring that the needs of all students are met. With the backyard and the proximity of Central Park, days at the preschool are play-based and children can connect to the natural world.

 

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