KEWAUNEE, Wis. — When the kids in the 3-K program at the Lighthouse Learning Center make enough good choices collectively, they’re rewarded with a pajama day.

What You Need To Know

  • The Kewaunee School District launched its Lighthouse Learning Center at the start of the current school year

  • It’s designed to help meet a need in the community for child care

  • Programs focus on children from 3-K to fourth grade

“Sometimes we do it for birthdays or different types of celebrations, but today it’s because they did such an awesome job being three,” said 3-K Teacher Marissa Hahn.

The Kewaunee School District launched the learning center at the start of the school year with the goal of helping district students and parents find solutions to child care. That’s something many smaller communities around the state face.

The learning center includes programming for children from three years old to kindergarten age. Before- and after-school programs for students from 3-K to fourth grade are also available.

(Spectrum News 1/Nathan Phelps)

“You think school and you think academics, academics, academics. But that’s not at all what I’m here for. For the three-year-olds here, it’s very play based,” Hahn said. “I would say overall, a third of our program, the 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. time-frame, is some sort of play.”

She said it’s ultimately about making friends and building social skills.

Superintendent Scott Fritz said the launch of the program was moved up due to an identified need in the community for more child care options.

“We weren’t trying to necessarily compete with anybody else in the community but we realized there was a greater need than our community could offer our kids for early childhood and that wrap-around care,” he said.

The programs may also help keep or draw people to live and work in Kewaunee.

“My hope is this is a benefit to our families and makes it easier for them instead of having to try to find this resources outside, whether it’s Green Bay, Denmark, wherever,” Fritz said. “Maybe they’ll have less stress on their plate knowing that they can come here, drop their kids off at a reasonable time before school and get to work on time, or get done with work and be able to pick them up here.”

(Spectrum News 1/Nathan Phelps)

Costs for the 3-K program and the morning and after-school programs vary by participation. They’re open to students enrolled in the district.

Hahn grew up in Kewaunee. She said she’s proud to see the district providing these services in the community.

“I am exhausted every day, but it’s the best kind of exhaustion,” she said. “I get to play with these awesome kids every day and laugh with them and smile when they tell me goofy things.”

More information on the programs can be found here.