A Spring Grove couple plans to take over Peppermint Preschool in Spring Grove.
The Spring Grove Village Board recently approved a special use permit for Shawn Tiani-Torres and his husband, Benjamin Tiani-Torres. The two plan to take over the day care and create Launch Enrichment LC3, which will serve children from 6 weeks to 12 years old with a mission to “launch children into a life of love and learning,” according to village documents.
The two chose the name because most of the students in the area eventually will go on to Richmond-Burton High School, home of the “Rockets.”
“Launching them is a play to the ‘Rockets’ and getting them set at an early age,” Shawn Tiani-Torres said.
Peppermint Preschool has been operating at 2850 Route 12 since 2003, but the property is in foreclosure and owner Doris Wanagas wants to retire, according to village documents. The judgment amount for the 4,756-square-foot facility was $455,845, according to court records. Its capacity is 74 children, according to Illinois Department of Children and Family Services records.
The Tiani-Torres family plans to buy the property and begin operating as Launch Enrichment by mid-August, Shawn Tiani-Torres said.
The couple and their two children have lived in Spring Grove for about six years. Shawn Tiani-Torres has worked in the education field for more than 20 years and wanted to use his expertise to benefit his own community, he said.
“We really want to make sure we are preparing kids academically as well as social-emotionally,” he said. “It takes a village to raise kids, and we want to help do our part.”
Launch Enrichment will be the only DCFS-licensed full-time preschool facility in Spring Grove and the family plans to broaden its educational effect under the new ownership, Shawn Tiani-Torres said.
“It’s an awesome facility with great potential,” he said. “We want to run it as a school instead of the day care, babysitting place that it has gotten the reputation for.”
The family doesn’t plan to close the preschool at any point during the move. The existing staff has been invited to stay after the transition, he said.