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Les Enfants Verts Finally Have a Home

Preschool for Whole Foodies.


For parents who obsessively green every aspect of their tykes’ lives, there’s a bit of good news: A new organic preschool, Le Petit Paradis, is accepting students for the fall. Located in a former shoe store on Third Avenue near 93rd Street, the school is currently being redone with environmentally friendly wall paints, bamboo floors, and low-flow toilets. Even the puzzles will be made of wood, not plastic. Its founder, Christina Houri, a French expat and former teacher at Le Jardin à L’Ouest, was inspired to green things up by the “Al Gore movie” and images of dying polar bears, she says. Her educational philosophy combines Montessori’s (“They will learn to do their own juice”) with Bank Street’s developmental-interactive approach, and the $12,995 tuition includes total French immersion. But for many families, the best thing about Le Petit Paradis might be that it’s still accepting applications. Most preschool acceptance letters were mailed out last month. “Any preschool—green or not—is going to draw people,” says Pamela Weinberg, co-author of City Baby: The Ultimate Guide for New York City Parents From Pregnancy to Preschool. “There are not enough.”

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