The school focuses on play-based learning.
After having her son, Henry, East County’s Jessica Kriby decided to take time off from her job as a school teacher.
Two years later, she knew it was time to go back to work, and to find Henry a preschool.
Looking through her choices, Jessica Kriby heard about the Doodle Bugs Children’s Learning Academy which is opening a Lakewood Ranch branch on Jan. 2.
So Kriby talked with Doodle Bugs Director Marissa Lee and scheduled a visit.
“I am very impressed so far,” Kriby said. “The organization and Marissa have been fabulous in giving us so much information, and everything is so nice, so new and so clean.”
The building is 11,000 square feet and includes five classrooms for each of the five age groups they enroll — infants, toddlers, preschool, pre-kindergarten and school age. It houses an elaborate playroom, high tech security systems and even a swimming pool for ages 3 and above.
“It is amazing to see it finally come together,” Lee said. “I already feel like we are a part of the community, especially having been at various Main Street events in Lakewood Ranch.”
This will be the learning academy’s 15th location in the U.S. and second location in Florida.
Doodle Bugs Children’s Learning Academy is a family-owned business owned by siblings Anthony Insinna, Clarine Repicci and Anna Zavatti — all who attended the Grand Opening Celebration Dec. 9.
The three owners all own homes on the east coast of Florida but were in town and liked what they saw.
“We came here because of the overall community growth and how many families, not just retirees, live here,” Insinna said. “It made sense.”
Doodle Bugs prides itself on a unique curriculum, which Insinna said is developed by the company's education team.
“It is very hands on and we implement STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics)," Insinna said. "So we are starting our children off right and giving them a head start before elementary school.”
Lee said nothing works well if the children aren't happy.
“We fill the center with happy children, happy parents and happy teachers,” Lee said. “The curriculum is lots of learning through play-based experiences.”
The academy offers Doodle Dance and Fitness, taekwondo and a swim enrichment program.
For Kriby, the curriculum is what sparked her interest the most.
“It is thorough,” Kriby said. “And with me being a teacher, that is a big deal."