Founder, Head Teacher

I believe the student should be the center of the learning, not the teacher.

melissa_allen_bioEducation:  BS in Business Administration, SUNY Fredonia; NYS Elementary Education-Teacher Certification Program, Buffalo State College; MS in Education, College of Saint Rose

What is your teaching philosophy?

Teaching is more than following a curriculum. To me, it’s about helping every child learn in their own way, at their own pace. It’s my job to discover each student’s learning style and approach the lessons accordingly.

What was your motivation to open Leading the Way for Little Learners?

After teaching in the public school system for over a decade, it was evident that many children needed a stronger early education experience. I opened the school because I believe all children should enter Kindergarten with a strong foundation. Having the right academic and social skills in their tool box can make a world of difference in their educational journey.

What do you love most about teaching?

I love that every day is different. Children are so dynamic and curious and thoughtful and spontaneous … teaching keeps me on my toes!

Moments to cherish:

As a teacher, I am privileged to share countless special moments with our students. Sometimes it’s a big accomplishment, like learning the English language and being able to communicate in the classroom. Other times it’s the little things, like watching a child graciously lose at a board game and say, “Good game, let’s play again!” Every day, I am reminded of how lucky I am to be leading the way for these amazing little learners.

Youth Fitness Specialist

If we start teaching healthy habits at a young age, we can make a lifelong difference in a child’s health and wellbeing.

matt_allen_bioCertifications: NASM Youth Fitness Specialist, NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist, NASM Group Personal Trainer, NYS Licensed Assistant for a Group Family Day Care Program

What is a Youth Fitness Specialist?

A Youth Fitness Specialist (YFS), as it relates to preschool, is someone who is certified to work with children in areas of balance, gross motor skills, agility, core building, and whole body exercise.

Why does Leading the Way for Little Learners have a YFS on staff?

Most preschools do not have a physical education program.  At Leading the Way for Little Learners, we incorporate it into daily activities, several times a day. We believe physical education is more than playing outside, it is learning through movement.

Exercising mind and body:

Our activities aid in learning and child development, physically, as well as cognitively and socially. We emphasize having fun, the beginnings of good posture and keeping the body healthy.

Favorite moments:

Even though we don’t emphasize competition, it is fun to see the children cheer each other on, exercise good sportsmanship and have fun while playing games and exercising.

Assistant Teacher, Early Childhood Specialist