Welcome to Little Lebo

A woman hugs a boy who is wearing a homemade crown.
Lizzie’s son, Jason, poses with teacher Amanda Debski.

In Mt. Lebanon, there is always a significant number of families who are looking for a preschool for their children. Sometimes the demand can stretch the available resources, and a family ends up on one or more waitlists. But, did you know that there is a wonderful, affordable, local preschool available at our own high school each spring?

That’s right, if you walk into Mt. Lebanon High School, you may hear the sweet voices of three- and four-year-olds singing about the days of the week. That seems a little out of place at a high school, doesn’t it? But, let me explain.

Since 1974, the Mt. Lebanon High School Preschool, also known as Little Lebo, has existed as part of the high school’s advanced level child development course. The program runs every spring and is supervised by several adult instructors. During the spring 2023 session, these energetic leaders were Sharon Silver and Amanda Debski.

In turn, the high school students plan and teach lessons and work with the preschoolers in learning centers. There is a mixture of structured activities and free play time. The cost, as of spring 2023, was $75 for the entire program, which, if you’ve seen the cost of childcare, you know is a great deal. Because enrollment is limited, the student-child ratio is generally one student to one child.

All of this combined makes for a wonderful and welcoming learning environment. The learning is not confined to a classroom, however. During the spring 2023 session, Little Lebo participants were fortunate enough to be able to take several field trips around the school, including seeing the stage for the high school musical, The Little Mermaid.

The preschoolers also got to tour the percussion room, the wildlife biology classroom and the cafeteria kitchen. In the biology classroom, the preschoolers were able to pet snakes and turtles. They wore little chef’s hats in the cafeteria. But according to Mrs. Silver, their favorite field trip probably was seeing the stage for the musical.

Overall, our family’s experience at Little Lebo was outstanding. I noticed right away all the small conveniences that really added up. For example, parents could pull their cars right up to the school entrance, and the high schoolers come out and get the preschoolers. As the parent of a baby in addition to my preschooler, I really appreciated the convenience of not having to park and bring the baby in for dropoff.

I also loved the pickup process. My preschooler, Jason,  would always come out of the building holding cheerful crafts which he was so excited to show me and I was just as excited to see.

A stick with a paper fish on the top, colored in green.
A craft Jason brought home from Little Lebo.

During the program, my preschooler had a birthday. I sent in some treats for the class to celebrate. When I picked my son back up, he walked out of the school wearing the cutest homemade birthday crown. That had to be the most touching moment of the program, for me personally.

But the everyday moments were special, too. Many times Jason would exclaim as we were driving home, “Mommy, I had fun!” And that, as any parent knows, is the true mark of success for a preschool: that the time spent away from home was a happy time.

Congratulations to the dedicated teachers and high school students who have made this program a continuing success. What a wonderful asset to the Mt. Lebanon community!

A group of teens pose in a nursery with their teachers.
Students and teachers for the 2023 Little Lebo preschool.

For more information on Little Lebo, contact Mt. Lebanon High School secretary, Ann Carini, at 412-344-2023.