Valentine’s Day extravaganza


This is Tanille Ulm, the host of the V-day extravaganza. Photo via Lake Land College.​​

Darrius Frazier, Archivist

On Tuesday, February 14th from 9 a.m-1 p.m, the Laker Louie Junior Academy, in its second semester of operation, hosted the Valentine’s Day Extravaganza. The event was held at both Room 114 at the Northeast Building and at the Laker Gym. The Laker Louie Junior Academy is a preschool program and learning lab.  


It is founded and currently directed by Tanille Ulm, who is an Early Childhood Education instructor at Lake Land College (LLC). Ulm established the program in Aug. 2022, right in time for the Fall semester. In addition, Ulm has taught courses in Early Childhood Education on campus since 2011. Ulm earned her master’s degree at Eastern Illinois University in Educational Administration, which set up the foundation for her to establish the program.


Ulm indicated that she established the Laker Louie Junior Academy for the purpose “of having the mascot (of Lake Land College) look like his Dad, he (his Dad) is walking in with his little boy (Lake Louie Junior) with a backpack. I thought how cute that would be. The Lake Louie Junior Academy is all about children being prepared for Kindergarten.”


The preschool program is currently located at 1808 Broadway Ave. in Mattoon at a childcare lab. The children involved in the preschool program alternate between coming to church or to campus. However, parents of the children involved in the program who are not affiliated with Lake Land will have to pay a fee to partake in any activities of the preschool program.


In the first hour of the Valentine’s Day Extravaganza, the children were at the Northeast Building Room 109 engaged in many fun activities in relation to Valentine’s Day. From 10 a.m-11 a.m, the children either took a nap or had a snack in the classroom. Among the favorite activities in the classroom for the children were finger painting along with writing Valentine’s Day cards for a memory care home in Charleston as well as to the local homeless shelter in Mattoon. 


From 11 a.m to noon, the children were at the Laker Gym inside the Laker Fieldhouse involved in physical education activities which were organized by both Ulm and David Johnson, who has been the women’s basketball coach on campus since 1999. Johnson had his PED (Physical Education) students lead the preschoolers in the fun events such as games and gross motor activities. The events were football, basketball, balloon popping and bowling.


Obviously, the activities in the Fieldhouse were organized to be simple for the children to understand the directions so as for them to not to lose any interest. In the last hour of the event, the children were back at the classroom in the Northeast Building involved in various activities before being dismissed at 1PM.


Ulm mentioned that, “The Laker Louie Junior Academy will host a Glow in the Dark Easter Egg Hunt which will be held at the 1808 Broadway Avenue site on Friday, April 7 from 6 p.m- 8 p.m.. The event will be capped with only 25 children allowed to participate in the event. They will do glow in the dark paintings along with the egg hunt.”

Facebook Comments Box