The Beehive Parent-Child Center was created when West University resident and early childhood educator, Ann Wallin, and her friend Marcia Wall, acted on her vision of creating a preschool where her children and neighborhood friends could enhance their development and parents could enrich their parenting skills. In 1973, Ann worked with the City of West University Place and the Houston Independent School District officials to obtain permission and funding to open Beehive on the campus of West University Elementary. Jointly sponsored by the City of West University Place, through the Parks and Recreation Board, and the Houston Independent School District, the City provided seed money for materials and supplies; the school district provided a building with two classrooms and restrooms.
As envisioned by Mrs. Wallin, Beehive continues its mission of providing an environment that benefits young children and their parents as they grow and develop. The school’s mission, as stated in the original proposal submitted to HISD, has three components. First, the school is to serve preschool age children in an environment designed to engage them in ways that are appropriate to develop physical, intellectual, emotional and social growth and form a good self-concept. The second goal of the school is to provide parents support and guidance in child-rearing skills. The school’s final aim is to build community between families through the shared effort and interaction of the children and parents at the school and develop positive feelings for the City of West University Place and the West University Elementary School.
The school remains housed in the same building where it opened in 1973, and although the classrooms and playground have undergone a few transformations, the operation is generally the same. The original model, which proposed that children be allowed to move between open classrooms with numerous interest centers and an outdoor playground, remains a viable concept. The most distinctive aspect of the school continues to be the daily, active involvement of parents - the curriculum is enriched by parents’ contributions. The Beehive Parent Child Center community is proud of its legacy of providing preschool children, their parents, and the community many long-lasting benefits.