Merri-Loo is a non-profit, cooperative preschool program established in 1968, housed in the historic Grasmere Town Hall. Our school community provides 3, 4, and 5 year olds from Goffstown and surrounding towns a nurturing, creative, and joyful environment in which children can learn, grow, and express themselves. Our cooperative model allows families to be closely involved in their child’s school experience, providing an opportunity for reduced tuition in exchange for volunteering in one of the critical roles that keep our school running throughout the year. As a non-profit school, we rely heavily on fundraising events to cover operating expenses while keeping tuition affordable.
In March of 2019, we were finalizing preparations for our three largest community fundraising events when the Covid-19 pandemic led to the governor’s decision to shut down schools and cancel events all over the state. There is no doubt that cancelling our Super Science Spectacular, Silent Auction, and Touch a Truck events was the safest decision, but as a result, we lost the majority of our fundraising revenue for 2020, and quite possibly for 2021 as well.
In our efforts to adapt to the circumstances, we have reduced staff members, reduced remaining staff hours, and plans have been discussed to add an additional class in the afternoon hours. To comply with guidelines from the State of NH, however, we’ve also had to reduce our student count by almost half, dramatically reducing tuition revenue. We are also refocusing our fundraising efforts on more socially-distanced and online methods, but these changes will not be enough to make up for the losses we have experienced, and this awesome school is in danger of closing its doors for good. We are asking for help from our generous Goffstown community, as well as the friends and family of Merri Loo both near and far. Help us keep this local treasure open for children to learn, play, and grow for years to come.