Greer native Mandi Newton started a preschool in the city she grew up in with four teachers and 10 students when she opened in 2015 on Wicker Park Ave.
Now, fast-forward nearly a decade, and Newton is preparing to open her second location of Little Me Academy — a family business that has grown significantly since then.
Newton’s mother and two daughters are among 30 staff members caring for 145 children from newborn age to four years old.
After losing her husband unexpectedly two years ago, Newton said she briefly considered shutting down Little Me Academy, but her family and the Greer community rallied around her to keep the school open. Businesses made donations and gifted items that enabled the school to thrive during a difficult time, according to a city of Greer news release.
“LMA has grown into something more beautiful than I could have imagined,” Newton said. “I’m honored so many people love it as much as me.”
City of Greer Economic Development Director, Reno Deaton, said the city is proud to celebrate the expansion of this small business, according to the news release.
“Little Me Academy supports growing families in our community and provides dozens of jobs,” said Deaton. “Businesses like this one help make Greer a place where people want to live and companies want to start up, expand, or relocate.”
Greer is co-hosting the preschool’s groundbreaking on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 3239 N. Highway 101. Some of Little Me Academy’s first “graduates” will take part in the groundbreaking celebration along with Newton and city leaders.
Construction on the new location should be complete by the end of this year.