The Scoop

Ribbon Cut on Wuneechanuck Shinnecock Preschool

The Wuneechanuck Shinnecock Preschool held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, May 26, on the Shinnecock Reservation, as they unveiled a beautiful new preschool.

Students will learn about nature and all of the wonderful things that the sun does for us. They will begin an outdoor learning garden just outside the doors of their classroom.
Students will learn about nature and all of the wonderful things that the sun does for us. They will begin an outdoor learning garden just outside the doors of their classroom.
Photo credit: Barbara Lassen
Each classroom has a theme such as the sun or water. Student centered learning will take place as students explore the properties of water and how water helps plants grow.
Each classroom has a theme such as the sun or water. Student centered learning will take place as students explore the properties of water and how water helps plants grow.
Photo credit: Barbara Lassen
Lead teacher Mary Defreese shared her classroom with visitors after the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Lead teacher Mary Defreese shared her classroom with visitors after the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Photo credit: Barbara Lassen
Wuneechanuck Shinnecock Preschool director Tohanash Tarrant and lead teacher Mary Defreese
Wuneechanuck Shinnecock Preschool director Tohanash Tarrant and lead teacher Mary Defreese.
Photo credit: Barbara Lassen
Richard and Elizabeth Haile take a moment to thank all who have made this vision and passion a reality.
Richard and Elizabeth Haile take a moment to thank all who have made this vision and passion a reality.
Photo credit: Barbara Lassen
A special tree was planted and dedicated to Elizabeth Haile, the visionary behind this school. Students can sit by the tree to enjoy its beauty or take a book to read in the shade.
A special tree was planted and dedicated to Elizabeth Haile, the visionary behind this school. Students can sit by the tree to enjoy its beauty or take a book to read in the shade.
Photo credit: Barbara Lassen

The tribe voted overwhelmingly in 2012 to begin construction on the preschool. Funding for the project came from an Indian Community Development grant, a Special Initiative Congressional grant obtain by then-Congressman Tim Bishop, The Karrus Foundation, the federal Child Care Development Fund, and tribal funds.

Designed by the Native American–owned architectural firm of WH Pacific teamed with the local firm of Chaleff and Rogers of Water Mill, the center’s four corners sit on the cardinal points of the compass, with its main entrance facing the rising sun in the east.

Currently, there are approximately 20 students enrolled, ages 6 weeks through 36 months.

For more information on the Wuneechanunk Shinnecock Preschool visit shinnecockpreschool.com.

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