New ‘Adventures’ afoot for Marine Park tots

Let there be preschool: (From left) Anthony Testaverde, John and Pattie Merhej, Marty Markowitz, and, of course, Elmo gathered to cut the ribbon at the grand opening of the Itty Bitty Adventures on May 5.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

There’s more than an itty bitty addition to Avenue S.

The Itty Bitty Adventures preschool celebrated its grand opening on Saturday, where founder Pattie Merhej was joined by Borough President Markowitz, a representative from state Sen. Marty Golden’s office, and — best of all — Elmo!

“This particular Elmo was a little tall,” said Merhej in regards to the felt-covered “Sesame Street” resident.

In celebration of the inaugural event, faculty, family, and the occasional, curious community member dropped in for face-painting, temporary tattooing, and plenty of fun-for-tots games.

“It worked out fantastic,” said Merhej. “It was very nice day, I was very pleased with the turn out, and the kids were having so much fun.”

Merhej, who spent most of her professional career in the medical field, is not a teacher by profession and doesn’t even have a license to teach — but getting a degree in education is on her list of things to do. For now, Merhej’s involvement with the school is purely administrative, but she’s been working with certified teachers to craft a curriculum that involves art, computers, and even yoga.

“All children learn differently and their frustration level varies from subject and age,” said Merhej. “I wanted to put an emphasis on the yoga program, because it helps them deal with that frustration in a really great way.”

Itty Bitty Adventures [3416 Ave. S between E. 34th and E. 35th streets in Marine Park; (718) 375–4700. Visit www.ittybittyadventures.com.

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

Little conductor: Charlotte, 3, and her mom Julie Donegan explore the play area at the Itty Bitty Adventures preschool during its grand opening on May 5.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

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