More preschools added to the fair

This year’s annual Downtown Preschool Fair will have 19 Lower Manhattan schools, three more than last year and 11 more than when it began seven years ago. The participation hike has much to do with the growing number of families moving into Battery Park City, Tribeca and the Financial District.

Representatives and faculty from the pre-schools and nurseries south of Canal St. will meet with parents to talk about programs for children as young as 6 months. The newcomers to the fair are Barclay Street Preschool, Blue Man Creativity Center and New York Kids Club. Founded in 2002 by Marybeth Lawlor, who was then on the board of the Battery Park City Neighbors’ Association, the fair now attracts about 200 to 225 parents each year.

“I knew what it was like to go through the whole process of looking for a new preschool and how it felt to be clueless,” Lawlor said. She recalls pregnant women coming to the fair, in preparation for their pre-schoolers-to-be. The Battery Park City Parks Conservancy has since become the fair’s sponsor with the neighbors’ association

Event organizer Gina Wong said “It makes our community more close knit because it’s not just for parents. Its a win-win situation for both the parents and the educators.” Adding that the personal introductions “add that nice neighborly touch.”

The free fair will take place on Tues., Jan. 27 from 7 -8:30 p.m. at Stuyvesant High School on 345 Chambers St.