Red Robin’s Nest Welcoming New Chicks
As Cooper-Youngians walk or drive past First Congo Church, they may be unaware of a gem that is tucked away in the basement of the church building. Home to Pilgrim House Hostel, Global Goods Fair Trade Store and other businesses, First Congo also welcomes infants to pre-tweens at Red Robin’s Academy. For 10 years, Robin Mayweather, center director, has served Cooper Young’s diverse and eclectic families.
The academy takes children beginning at six weeks old and reaches out to families of all demographic and socioeconomic backgrounds. The technology integrated curriculum carries students through pre-K and even into after-school care as the center provides transportation to and from home and school. But a few months ago Mayweather was dealt a blow when she learned that her center would no longer be considered a pre-approved pre-K site for public school children. Up until this point, Memphis City Schools pre-K students made up a great percentage of the school’s enrollment and Mayweather was left scrambling to make up the difference.
“I was upset. Just the thought of having to let go of teachers and let parents who were excited to start pre-K know that it would no longer be available… how would I break it to them?” Mayweather said.
Thankfully, she didn’t need to ponder too long as Red Robin’s Academy was recently selected as one of only 25 area child care providers to serve as an approved pre-K community partner site. Mayweather is especially relieved that she isn’t forced to let staff go considering more than half of her employees have been on board from day one.
Parents like Misti Morris are glad that Red Robin’s Academy will be offering pre-K to students of the new Unified Shelby County Schools as she’s seen great success in her two children who have both completed the program.
“Both of them are more than ready for kindergarten and first grade. I’ve seen first-hand what not only pre-K can do for the well-being of a young child, but more specifically, Red Robin’s Academy,” Morris said. “It is absolutely the best thing I could have done for my children before they started school.”
Mayweather is eager to open her doors to more families and will allow special sneak peeks to parents and children monthly during Parents’ Night Out which will be held during Cooper-Young Night Out, the first Thursday of each month. The school will offer babysitting for only $5 per child to include fun activities and snacks while parents enjoy some time away. Parents who take advantage of the event will have a chance to win a special Night Out gift card package.
For more information about Red Robin’s Academy or to take advantage of Parents’ Night Out, call 901-272-2736 or fly by their nest in the basement of First Congo Church, 1000 S. Cooper St.
– By Amy Jocius Rosenberg with Kingdom Quality Communications in Memphis.