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Little Red Schoolhouse of Metairie Celebrates 50 Years

Since 1974, the Little Red Schoolhouse of Metairie has been a warm, loving, and nurturing place for children in the NOLA community to learn, grow, and explore in a beautiful Old Metairie location. Founders Connie Richardson and Debra Schweter, then young pre-school teachers, created an early childhood program that was engaging and developmentally stimulating so that students would be prepared for kindergarten and beyond. When the school started, Connie and Debbie were only in their young twenties, but they shared a passion for early learning. They began in a little red cottage on Vivian Street with twenty-two students and served as the first two teachers. “Connie and I met as co-teachers at another center, and we knew instantly that we shared the vision to create not just a daycare but a loving learning program for young children in the community,” says Debbie. Fifty years later, the Little Red Schoolhouse of Metairie has grown to a full time Early Childhood program that cares for approximately 300 children from six weeks to Pre-K four.

Now located on Metairie Road, Debbie and Connie’s dreams of child movement, play, and exploration have been brought to life. Designed by Connie’s husband, Architect Bob Richardson, the brilliant use of space and vivid colors on the walls of the 10,000 square foot early learning building provide an exciting and happy place for preschoolers. The more recent Little Red Cottage program, designed for infants and toddlers, opened as an extension to the beloved Schoolhouse program in 2015, and provides parents in the area with access to a quality full-time, learning, and interactive environment for their newest little ones.

The Little Red Schoolhouse has stood the test of times. “Hurricanes, floods, pandemics; we’ve been through it all with our families,” Debbie states. “One of the hardest journeys for us was losing Connie to cancer in 2019.” Hundreds of families and “graduates” of Little Red Schoolhouse turned out to say goodbye to a local early childhood pioneer. Connie Richardson was awarded posthumously a Jefferson Parish Council Proclamation and Award of Merit for her forty-four years of service to young children. “My mom was known for making everyone, big and small, feel special. It has been a joy for me to meet generations of children that both my mom and Debbie have helped shape, and hear their stories”, says Megan. Megan Richardson Pinto, co-owner, and director grew up at the Little Red Schoolhouse and proudly carries on the legacy that her mother and Debbie created.

Generations of New Orleans area children have been a part of the Little Red story, and this year they celebrate 50 years in Old Metairie. “It will be a year of celebrating the past and looking forward to the future,” says Megan. The Little Red Schoolhouse of Metairie invites current and past families to attend their adult-only gala on April 19, 2024, at the Ridgeway in Old Metairie. Tickets are available at