by Michele Collins
For Amy Andrews, president of Hudson Preschool Parents, planning a full slate of activities for the upcoming year feels, well, relaxing. She and her 25-member volunteer board are excited to be able to offer in-person events, gatherings and even the groupwide pumpkin painting this year – with less worry about COVID-19 now that children as young as 1 can get a vaccine.
Andrews is also looking forward to adding new members to the group.
“We were not able to have our new member events, and some of our adult events over the last few years,” she said. “We did have outdoor events, with safety protocols, but now I feel like we are moving back to the way things used to be.”
HPP will host its Annual Membership Picnic at Barlow Farm Park on Sunday, Aug. 21. The picnic is open to anyone with young children and offers a chance for families to meet, enjoy the playground and join or renew HPP membership.
That will be followed by the members-only pumpkin painting in October and a fundraiser with local restaurants in November that will benefit the Hudson City School’s integrated preschool program.
That’s not to say the last year or so has been a wash. HPP was able to hold its outdoor Membership Picnic last fall and in April, it celebrated the Week of the Young Child with a variety of indoor and outdoor activities and events for parents and preschoolers. The Children’s Fair at East Woods School also took place in April, for the first time since 2019.
“We host 30-40 field trips in that week alone and conclude the week with a large Children’s Fair, showcasing many vendors that provide goods and services aimed at the preschool-aged child. The Children’s Fair also offers entertainment, activities for the kids, and a fantastic raffle full of wonderful prizes,” Andrews said.
The fair drew 48 vendors, she said, and it “was really well attended.”
Andrews added that the Children’s Fair also gave the group a chance to do something they have missed doing during the pandemic – fundraising for a cause.
“We donated the proceeds of our concessions and our raffle to Piper’s Key, a nonprofit organization founded in memory of Piper Grace Hoefler.” she said. “This organization provides funds so children with special needs can have books that reflect them in the stories.”
Piper’s Key, Andrews further explained, is led by Piper’s mom, Hudson resident Dr. Jessica Hoefler, and collaborates with parents and caregivers to locate and procure a book that has a character with whatever disability their child has, be it a physical disability or sensory issues.
“The kids who get these books are just so excited,” she said. “Our event raised $888 for Piper’s Key.”
For more information, or to join the organization, visit hudsonpreschoolparents.org. ∞