Firm Foundation Preschool is starting the new school year with a new director. Meagan Galamback was hired Aug. 1 to replace Ginger Allen, who left to pursue another job opportunity.
“To be able to influence a child in their first experiences of learning and help these children build the foundations of learning is why I choose to not only be an early childhood educator but also a director for this preschool program,” Galamback said.
The Firm Foundation Preschool is operated by the Matthews Hope homeless ministry.
“Working in early childhood is my passion, and it takes a special person with a special commitment to providing a healthy learning environment where children can come every day and receive the best preschool education regardless of their families’ financial status,” she said.
Her days are filled with “aha!” moments, she said, and it’s gratifying to hear a student go from saying “I can’t” to “I did it!”
Learning takes place every day, and that is supported by community visitors who are scheduled throughout the school year, including firefighters, petting farm representatives and guest readers. Volunteers are encouraged, too.
“Volunteers are a very valued asset to our classroom and the Matthew's Hope program,” Galamback said. “I encourage anyone who is interested in volunteering to contact me directly and I can find out what areas of interest our volunteer has and how our program can best utilize our volunteer.”
“Working with Matthew's Hope Ministries allows me to serve my community and also share God with these children and their families every day,” she said. “These children get to witness first-hand what it means to be called disciples of God. These children will learn of God's love for them and also share it with each other, as we are a school family.”
Fourteen preschoolers currently are enrolled at the school; there is room for two more children ages 3 to 6.
Tuition is on a sliding scale based on the family’s income and bills. The cost ranges from $50 to $100 weekly and is assessed on a case-by-case basis.
The preschool, located at 740 Ninth St, Winter Garden, is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The preschool program is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with extended-care hours from 7 to 9 a.m. and 2 to 6 p.m.
Galamback has nine years of experience working in an early-childhood preschool environment, with eight of those as a preschool director. She has taught ages 1- through 6-year-olds.
She and her husband live in Winter Garden with their two children, ages 13 and 10.
“My hope for these children (at the preschool) is for them to love to come to school and believe that they can do big things,” Galamback said. “I want them to understand how much they are cared for, that God loves them and their families and that learning is fun.”
Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.