Wee Warriors to Graduating Seniors

15 years ago Waukee Community School District (WCSD) realized there was a need that was not being met. From this realization, Wee Warriors was born, a full day child care program serving children of WCSD employees between the ages six weeks to five years old.

On Monday, May 21, three of the programs first students graduated from Waukee High School. Graduating seniors Hannah Craven, Ledg Downs and Katie Slauson were among the first students to attend Wee Warriors in 2004 when they were four years old.

The seniors took a step back in time to revisit the center before completing their time with the district.

“It was fun to talk to the kids and learn about what they do each day. I don’t remember much about being a Wee Warrior, but going back definitely reminded me of the time I spent there,” Craven said.

Craven will be attending Iowa State University and majoring in civil engineering, Downs will attend Arizona State University with a major in construction management and Slauson is planning to major in criminal justice or political science.

The first location opened at Prairieview in 2004. It was licensed to supervise and teach 25 children and employed five staff members. In 2015, Wee Warriors opened their second location at Timberline. In total, Wee Warriors serves 58 children and employs 22 staff.

The average day of Wee Warriors is ever-changing, but always includes snack time, story time, naps and academic learning. The program works with Waukee High Schools’ Child Development course. Each semester students plan activities for the Wee Warriors based on what they are learning in class and how it relates to the development of children.

“The Wee Warriors benefit by having positive role models and interactions with what we call ‘the big kids’. Waukee High School students not only benefit from the hands-on learning, but they also have fun,” said on-site supervisor, Jennifer Sampers.

Sampers has been with Wee Warriors since its beginning and enjoys getting to catch up with the students that she once taught including their plans for after graduation.

“I think it’s a great program. For parents, we provide convenient hours that work around their school schedule,” Sampers said. “It’s great that I have gotten to see so many students grow up, and now receive their diplomas.”