New B’Heights preschool will have in-house animals, visiting goats

New B’Heights preschool will have in-house animals, visiting goats
Mari Linnman

Talk about farm to table!

A new Brooklyn Heights preschool will house a menagerie of live animals in its Willow Street classroom, where the critters will help teach their human classmates the three Rs, according to the school’s founder.

“All of the academics are built into these animals,” said the Green School founder Mari Linnman, who started the preschool on a 5-acre farm in the Hamptons in 2008 and opened another location in Manhattan a year later. “You can teach texture, shapes, and counting.”

The Heights daycare will incorporate in-house bunnies, chinchillas, and birds into its curriculum, and Linnman will also bring in baby goats, lambs, and pigs from the Hamptons for special lessons.

It is too early to say if the brownstone outpost will also have chickens like its sister branches, but it is a possibility, Linnman said.

The bohemian preschool is based on the principles of Montessori education, where kids generally learn independently with lots of hands-on activities. Linnman said she chose the location, between Pineapple and Clark streets, because residents are already in-touch with its guiding conventions.

“It’s great synergy with Brooklyn families,” said Linnman, who grew up in Sweden, where she spent summers on her family’s dairy farm. “Many people are very connected with living a sustainable lifestyle and it’s also a very international crowd.”

Along with getting their tiny little hands on animals, the rug rats will also bake every week using organic produce, learn foreign languages, and garden indoors using soil-free greenhouses under the free-spirited program, Linnman said.

The Green School is not set to open until September next year, but enrollment for one of its 12 spaces is already open to tots aged 2 to 4. Its two-day-a-week program will cost $7,950 per year and a three-day-a-week program will cost $11,900 per year.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511.
Learning with birds: A Green School student gets up close and personal with a chicken, which school founder Mari Linnman says is a walking lesson in shapes, math, and textures.
The Green School