Join Club

3 Things To Know About Overlee Preschool, Voted One of Arlington’s Favorite Preschools

Budding engineers: Students explore floating, sinking and bridge engineering through play-based activity.

Voted one of Arlington’s favorite preschools in the Arlies community awards, Overlee Preschool is a local fixture.

The school was founded back in 1945, making it one of the oldest preschools in Arlington. Overlee offers half-day programs for 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds.

If you’re not yet familiar with Overlee, here’s what makes it a standout preschool.

1. Overlee Preschool is Run by Parent Volunteers

Overlee has been a cooperative preschool since its founding more than 75 years ago. That means it’s run by parent volunteers. There are full-time teachers and staff, but the parents help both inside and outside the classroom.

The time commitment from parents varies by class, but there’s flexibility.

Kristen Tyagi is Overlee’s incoming president of the board and a parent. She also has a full-time job but said her responsibilities have been manageable.

“I really enjoy witnessing my child’s growth,” she said. “It’s something as a working parent I didn’t get to see a lot of at her previous preschool.”

On days she volunteers, she reads the kids stories, supervises them on the playground and helps clean up.

Louisa Stetekluh, who has been a teacher at Overlee for more than 22 years, loves building relationships with families.

“We’re building a community in our class,” she said. “I’m not just that lady who’s taking care of their kids. I have a special relationship with them.”

2. Overlee Preschool Practices Play-Based Learning

Overlee focuses on play-based learning, which is grounded in research. Rebecca Morrissey, the school’s director, explains the benefits simply: “Things that can’t be taught are learned in play.”

“We often think of education as something an adult has to give to the child,” she said. “But the reality is children learn countless things when we’re not looking. In fact, I think some of the most important things children learn in their early years can’t be observed, measured or quantified.”

In this child-centered approach, the teacher acts as the guide and provides support, but the child leads. There’s still structure to the day and the kids are learning skills, but it’s more organic.

Morrissey’s kids — now in fifth and seventh grades — are Overlee alums, so she has the perspective of both an educator and a parent.

“When they entered kindergarten, they knew how to self-advocate, speak their truth, negotiate, communicate with other children, express their feelings,” she said. “When you treat a kid like a normal kid, you really just get great things.”

3. Overlee Preschool is Rooted in Nature

Overlee has been operating entirely outdoors, a shift made last year at the onset of COVID. This is something that’s worked well for the students and the preschool.

Overlee operates out of the Church of the Covenant in Donaldson Run, though it’s a secular school, unaffiliated with the church. It offers the perfect setting for an outdoor preschool with a huge wooden play structure, shade trees for circle time and plenty of trails for adventures.

The outdoor model gives the children the opportunity to have a more normal preschool experience during this time.

“The kids are able to play together, share together and have a normal — and even better — experience than your typical preschool program,” Tyagi said.

Her daughter, who was once afraid to get mud on her hands, is now thrilled to be covered head to toe after an adventure through the woods.

Stetekluh says she’s always enjoyed using nature as the kids’ classroom.

“We’re not doing worksheets, drilling them on letters, any of those traditional academic activities, so we have the opportunity to develop all those other skills in nature,” she said.

Want to learn more about Overlee Preschool?

Visit the Overlee website, send them an email or give them a call at 703-522-2960. The school’s FAQ page is also full of information.

Overlee currently has openings for this coming school year. You can apply online.

Recent Stories

Good Wednesday evening, Arlington. Today we published articles that were read a total of 7696 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today —…

Arlington is poised to take a proverbial weed whacker to commercial properties with overgrown lawns and all properties with obstructive vegetation. Last month, a proposal to change the ordinance pertaining…

Adoptable Pet of the Week: Koda

Meet the beautiful Koda, a glass half full kinda dog who searching for his forever home.

It appears as if Courthouse’s newest date night spot won’t be open for Valentine’s Day. The opening for the hotly anticipated Taco Bell Cantina at 2039 Wilson Blvd has been…

Let the Arlingtones surprise your friend or sweetie this Valentine’s Day with a barbershop quartet singing love songs in four part a cappella harmony! Choose from a small selection of songs in our repertoire to surprise your special someone.

$75 for two songs delivered to a place of your choice by a live, in-person quartet. Includes a classy tin of chocolates, fresh red rose and personalized card. Small mileage surcharge for >5 miles outside Arlington VA.

$30 Facetime/Skype valentine- two songs delivered ‘live’ via Facetime or Skype at an agreed-on time.

$20 virtual valentine- two pre-recorded quartet songs delivered via email with a personalized message.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Have you noticed a striking sculpture at Monroe Street and Wilson Boulevard? It’s the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington’s newest installation, Make Your Mark, by Arlington artist, Adam Henry. This sculpture celebrates MoCA Arlington’s rebranding and brings the museum’s energy outdoors.

On February 11, come inside when the museum’s galleries reopen with two new exhibitions: Rebecca Rivas Rogers: Grey View and Crisis of Image.

Grey View, in the Wyatt Resident Artist Gallery, is an homage to “gray” and a snapshot of the artist’s process. Consisting of photographs, collage, and a site-specific installation, this show is an outgrowth of Rivas-Rogers’ visual investigations into places you see on your way to somewhere else.

On the main level, Crisis of Image features artists who seek equity in today’s saturated visual world by developing new methods related to the production of images.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Valentine Pop-Up at George Mason University

Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village

Standup Comedy Showcase Starring Matt Ruby (Comedy Central)

Dead Horse Comedy Productions brings together top comedians from the DMV and beyond for a live standup comedy show!

Matt Ruby, Headliner

Matt Ruby is a comedian, writer, and filmmaker from New York City. His comedy has been filmed by


Subscribe to our mailing list