A Passion for the Mission
Meet PA Board Member Rick Thoeni
Board member and newly elected Preschool Advantage Vice President Rick Thoeni recently began teaching music at one of Preschool Advantage’s partner schools, Little People’s Academy in Dover, NJ.
Rick and his wife Suzanne moved to New Jersey in 2007 and began volunteering with Preschool Advantage to help connect with their new environment. Rick’s passion for working with young children soon was reawakened through the organization. As a member of PA’s school committee, Rick was attending the annual partner school director’s luncheon and heard Little People’s owner, Carmen Espinosa and Luz Flores, the director, talking about their music program and how much fun the children had learning to play the guitar. The trouble was their volunteer music teacher was no longer able to help them. Rick heeded the call and volunteered to take on the role. Though he has no prior experience teaching music to 3 and 4 year olds, Rick has a love of music (and some knowledge) and many years ago, experience working with preschool age children. From the start he knew he had made the right choice. Rick says, “To hear the children shout “Hurray!” when their teacher tells them Mr. Rick is here for a music lesson and to help them develop what will hopefully be a lifetime of music appreciation, is so very fulfilling”.
The first 4 weeks were spent on the keyboard and the concept of reading music. Next is the guitar for four weeks, perhaps the harmonica after that and, who knows what’s next for Mr. Rick!