App State alumna and childcare center owner keeps kids in the High Country busy with “learning kits”

Abi Pepin, Senior Political Correspondent

Many families throughout the country are adjusting to the change of their children being out of school. Families in Watauga County and the surrounding area now have the opportunity to bring their learning activities to their preschoolers while at home.

Cassidy Hogan, an App State alumna and owner of Discovery Valley Childcare, is creating learning kits for preschooler families in the community.

The kits provide supplies for hands-on activities for children to continue learning while home.

Hogan said during the uncertain time of COVID-19, she wants to provide learning opportunities and activities for families.

“I was just looking for a way to stay connected with my preschoolers that are at home with their families and provide opportunities for other preschool families,” Hogan said.

Courtesy of Cassidy Hogan
Cassidy Hogan, an App State alumna and owner of Discovery Valley Childcare decided to create “learning kits” featuring things like paintbrushes and paper mache kits to keep children learning and busy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nancy Perryman, a local preschool teacher, said she has bought two kits from Hogan.

“I am always on the outlook for new ideas and saw the post about Discovery Valley,” Perryman said. “The kit is self contained so parents or teachers can use activities straight from the kit.”

Hogan said the kits will be a different theme each week and incorporate different learning subjects.

Hogan wrote in a Facebook post that some of the activities included in the kits are:

  •     Ready-to-mix play dough
  •     Puffy chalk paint
  •     Art supplies
  •     Emergent reader coloring/counting books
  •     Sticker books
  •     Paper mache kits 
  •     Air clay sculptures
  •     Seed sorting/plant kits
  •     Sensory bottle/bag kits

“It’s something that’s going to help pay the bills since I’m not working right now,” Hogan said. 

Hogan said her biggest challenge is finding supplies.

Courtesy of Cassidy Hogan
Hogan’s children, Calloway and Waverly, pose by “learning kits” created by their mother.

“I have to try to figure out what I can get and what I can’t get because of the shortages going on right now,” Hogan said.

Hogan created a public Facebook page called “Discovery Valley Learning Kit” where people can ask for a kit.

“When they come pick up the kits, they just get them from my driveway,” Hogan said. “It’s nice to wave out of the window or from the porch.”

Hogan started shipping kits out, in hopes of “reaching people not just in Boone,” but in the surrounding area as well.

“It’s just something that I love to do, I just have a passion for teaching,” Hogan said.

The learning kits are $20 and shipping is an additional $8.

For more information on how to get a learning kit, visit the Facebook page Discovery Valley Learning Kits.