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Utah preschool focuses on fostering students’ emotional and social well-being

Brown letters on table next to Play-Doh and other preschool items
Gautam Arora

The Sammy Center, a new Utah preschool, will focus on fostering the social and emotional well-beings of its young students.

The preschool has been open in Millcreek for about six months and was named in honor of Maria Soter’s son who passed away when her daughter, Theodora, was only four years old. Maria Soter, CEO and Founder of The Sammy Center, believes that a program like The Sammy Center would have been amazing for her family because it would have been an outlet for her daughter to talk about her brother’s death, especially with how the school functions on the mental health of its students.

Focusing on the emotional and social side of a child’s development is what makes The Sammy Center stand apart from other schools that focus on academic achievements. Soter believes that addressing a child’s feelings, whether it be anxiety, anger, or sadness, students will have a better chance at learning and developing moving forward.

Soter says that the school will conduct regular check-ins on its three, four, and five-year-old students. As part of the preschool’s efforts to teach students empathy, self-regulation, and other lifetime skills, Soter says that if a child gets mad, then teachers will let them be mad so then the student can fully express their emotions.

Currently, The Sammy Center only takes in 10 students at a time so that the staff to student ratio is maintained at a low level, but for those interested in enrolling their child, it can be done here.

Jared Gereau is pursuing a Journalism major with an emphasis in Social Media at Utah State University. He is planning on using his experience to pursue a career with USU Athletics sometime after he graduates. In his free time, Jared enjoys watching movies, playing games and creating content for his YouTube channel.