Sullivan Preschool was started in 1971 by a group of mothers who wanted to have an educational preschool program for their children and for children in the community. The school was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation. The program was housed in the First Christian Church. Seventeen 3 and 4 year old children attended preschool for 3 mornings per week, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 9-11:30 a.m. Jean Scott was the first Director of the school and remained in that capacity until 1979.
In September, 1973, to accommodate increased demand, the program was expanded to include both morning and afternoon preschool sessions. The program was moved to the First United Methodist Church due to the need for additional space.
By 1976 the need for a greatly expanded preschool and child care program became evident. It was also evident that such a program would require a building designed and constructed for this purpose. In the fall of 1977 construction of a child care facility located at 10 Hawthorne Lane was begun. The new building was ready for occupancy in May, 1978. The program was expanded to include a full day program for children ages 2-4 and before-and-after-school care for children in kindergarten through 5th grade.
In 1979, Geraldine Elder, who had been president of the Board of Directors, resigned that position and assumed the responsibilities of program Director, a position which she held until her retirement in August, 1997. Center Directors since 1997 have been Linda Grose, Carol Baker, and Tonya Rose who is the current Director.
In 1980 the need to expand the services to children again became evident. Sullivan Preschool secured a Community Facilities loan from Farmers Home Administration, and a 5-classroom addition to the original building was constructed. This loan also enabled the school to purchase 2 used buses, add a bus garage, provide a concrete parking lot, make playground improvements, and purchase furnishings and equipment for the classrooms. The school was now able to accommodate toddlers into its program. An infant program was added in 1989.
Sullivan Preschool now provides services to approximately 100 children and employs a staff of 23 full-time and part-time people.
The growth of Sullivan Preschool over more than 40 years is due to the combined effort of many people. This includes more than 50 people in the community who have volunteered their time and talents by serving on the Board of Directors and who have had the vision to see the needs of the community and the courage to act on that vision; more than 200 people who have served on the staff of Sullivan Preschool and have been dedicated to providing the best possible service to the children of this community; and the many local businesses, service organizations, and friends of Sullivan Preschool who have contributed in many, many ways to the operations of Sullivan Preschool.