June 3, 2011 - A private school is getting some public attention. Mayor Mark Mallory made a stop at the new Hilmon School in North College Hill Friday morning.
The school is an early childhood learning center with students as young as six weeks to 12-years-old.
Hilmon school teacher Evangeline Smith works with infants on a daily basis. She says the school gives kids a strong connection with their teachers and fellow students.
"They really learn a lot from their interaction with the teachers as well as with each other. They learn how to get along well together," says Smith.
Focused on early childhood learning and social skills, school leaders say students are getting a unique experience at Hilmon.
"From the first classroom, the first infant room, all the way up to our last classroom, we have a regimented curricular program that they follow," says school owner Christopher Hildebrandt.
The curriculum is based on the Ohio Early Learning Content Standards. Hilmon provides before and after school care, busing to and from surrounding schools and summer programs.
Hildebrandt along with his partner Tony Contadino invested $3,000,000 in the school which started construction this January.
The school created 40 new jobs and so far more than 140 students attend Hilmon on a regular basis.
Enrollment ranges from $90 a week to $225 a week and accepts students from economic backgrounds.
"If parents are on an income level where they have vouchers, then they are really funded by the state of Ohio and it really doesn't cost them anything," says Hildebrandt.
In addition to teaching, Smith is also a parent and her six month old son Dempsey is one of Hilmon's youngest students.
"Any children that get an opportunity to get a kick start, a head start at education, it's really important and the earlier they get started the better they do as they go along," says Smith.