Ahwatukee Foothills residents Todd and Veronica Hunnicutt are the proud owners of the community's newest educational addition - the Primrose School of Ahwatukee. Their inspiration for the early education establishment, they say, is from their two daughters Kathryn and Kristen's preschool education experience. "Today is really about introducing the school to our community," Veronica said at the school's groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday. "I think parents will see our school will give their children an advantage. They will have the social skills they need when entering first grade and behavior that is acceptable in the classroom. It is a good first step." The Hunnicutts are passionate about preschool because they believe it built their daughters' foundations and enabled them to become who they are today. They wanted to open a preschool to offer parents the same quality of early education their daughters received. Primrose originated in Atlanta and there are currently 150 schools across the country. The Primrose School of Ahwatukee is the second such school to open in Arizona. "Our school is a little bit different than Montessori," Veronica said. "It's a combination of traditional education and Montessori. We believe teacher-initiated projects are important for when students enter school, so we are teacher-initiated and self-guided." Primrose's accredited curriculum Balanced Learning blends the two leading philosophies of teaching children - a child-initiated approach in which children are free to explore their individual interests with teacher support, and teacher direction, where an established curriculum leads children along a consistent learning path. Primrose programs include infant, young toddler, early preschool, preschool, private pre-kindergarten, private kindergarten and after school. The Hunnicutts plan to open their doors by the end of January. "Primrose will be a wonderful addition to Ahwatukee and will provide preschoolers with a learning curriculum not available at any other school," Veronica said. "Primrose was the first preschool accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges as well as the North Central Association - the same associations that accredit the nation's colleges and universities. Academically, this is what sets us apart." Primrose School of Ahwatukee is located at 3922 E. Chandler Blvd. For more information, visit www.primroseahwatukee.com. Corinne Frayer can be reached at (480) 898-7917 or cfrayer@aztrib.com.

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