YMCA preschool celebrates 25th anniversary

Published 7:32 am Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Yesterday morning, about 20 kids under the age of 5 were surprised with a cake at the YMCA.

“Whose birthday is it?” one girl screamed.

“Cake in preschool! I love preschool!” another exclaimed.

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The preschool program at the YMCA of Austin celebrated its 25th anniversary yesterday. The local YMCA offered its very first preschool class on Feb. 2, 1985.

A surprise party on Tuesday honored not only the program, but also director and teacher Ann Treuter, who has been with the preschool all 25 years.

“Ann is a unique person,” said YMCA executive director Mark Bjorlie. “She provides quality preparation for these kids to enter kindergarten. Their future and our future is better for it.”

Treuter is in her 36th year of teaching. She taught at St. Edward’s preschool before that program was closed and reopened at the YMCA.

“I teach for the kids,” she said. “It’s just my passion to prepare them for kindergarten and see their smiling faces every morning.”

Treuter is now teaching several children of her former students, a couple of whom were present at Tuesday’s celebrations.

Treuter said that preschool has changed very much throughout career.

“It is much more intense now. We spend much more time working on academic things to get them ready for full-day kindergarten,” she said.

The YMCA core values — caring, honesty, respect and responsibility — have long remained a staple in the classroom.

These four values were developed by the YMCA of the USA in the early 1990s to help teach kids right from wrong.

“The preschool models the Y mission everyday,” Bjorlie said.

The YMCA preschool has four teachers and close to 80 students who are split into four classes.