When I first met Melissa Weiner, Mayor of Kidville Las Vegas, over a year ago, I knew instantly I was going to like her. With her New York City flair comes honesty, enthusiasm and fun. Regardless that Kidville was a 30-45 minute drive from my home, I knew I wanted my kids and I to be apart of her world. I admire her passion and dedication to her profession, and to the children whose lives she is involved in. We love the pre-school our twins attend, and adding Kidville to our weekly routine for some Mommy and Me time has not only given me an opportunity to bond with my boys, but also provides structure and activities that contribute to their creative process. Of course, you have all read about how much my children love the classes at Kidville. Our children are more valuable to us than gold, and so is our time spent with them. Melissa recognizes this and works to make every moment at Kidville, even when it’s just free play time, productive in a safe and fun environment.
Get to know this Vegas Woman who Rocks, Melissa Weiner.
RSMLV: How long have you lived in Las Vegas?
Mayor Melissa: I have lived in Las Vegas for just over a year and a half now. I moved from New York in July of 2011. I have family who live in Las Vegas and have spent time visiting and enjoying this amazing city over the years. I was working at the corporate Kidville locations in NYC and when they offered me the opportunity to move to Las Vegas to run their new facility at Tivoli Village, it just seemed like a natural fit. While I do get homesick for New York from time to time, Vegas has really welcomed me with open arms. I’ve met some great new friends and enjoy being able to be close to my family while exploring all the great activities and venues Las Vegas has to offer.
RSMLV: Tell me a little about yourself…your hobbies, interests, work experience.
Mayor Melissa: After graduating college I worked in the publishing world in New York as a fashion and beauty editor for several years. Although it was fun and a great experience, I didn’t feel it was the right career path. I tried to think of something that always makes me smile, and I kept coming to the conclusion that working with children would be exactly that! That’s when I decided to return to school to study teaching at Hunter College. I fell in love with Early Childhood Education and started working part-time as an Assistant Teacher at Kidville in NYC while completing my Master’s Degree. I quickly became a lead teacher and continued to grow within the company. Then, when offered the opportunity to move to Las Vegas and open the Tivoli Village location, it was just an offer too special to pass up.
RSMLV: How did you get involved with Kidville?
Mayor Melissa: I began my career with Kidville while I was in school at Hunter College earning my Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. I applied for a part-time teaching position at Kidville. I began as an Assistant Teacher, then became a Head Teacher, and then moved up to the Early Childhood Development Manager.
RSMLV: What is your role with Kidville?
Mayor Melissa: I am the Mayor of Kidville; I manage all aspects of the facility here in Las Vegas. I am privileged to teach and play and put smiles on hundreds of kids all day! I also manage all the training, programming, scheduling, hiring, public relations and marketing, with the help of our amazing corporate team. I also teach and create the curriculum for some of our classes, one of which is our pre-school alternative program called Kidville University.
Externally, I am the face of Kidville. I build relationships within the community while maintaining close relationships with all our members and work each day to make sure Kidville remains the #1 place for families in Las Vegas!
RSMLV: What makes you so happy and passionate to be at Kidville?
Mayor Melissa: What makes me so passionate about my job is that every single day I get to be a part of these little people’s lives. Each day is brand new to these children and my staff and I get the privilege of teaching them, laughing with them, learning with them and watching them grow and hit all of their developmental milestones. There is nothing more rewarding than knowing you’ve helped a child in their journey to adulthood. We also have the best families in the world here at Kidville. Even though I am not yet a mom, I always feel like I have hundreds of kids. Seeing them so happy to be at Kidville and leave with a huge smile is the ultimate reward! I also love being able to provide a place for new mom’s and dad’s to meet other parents and share stories, tips, give each other advice, etc. Many great friendships have begun at Kidville; with parents and kids!
RSMLV: What would you like those with children to know about Kidville?
Mayor Melissa: We like to call Kidville a “one stop shop for families with young children.” Our focus is on Early Childhood Development and we do all that we can to create a safe, welcoming, FUN and enriching environment for both children and parents. We offer a vast variety of classes for children, newborn to six years, with core focuses on music, art, dance and gym. Our classes operate on a 16-week semester system, offering the children more consistency and the opportunity to really dive into their interest areas. Additionally, we throw worry-free birthday parties, have a kiddy salon and have a unique boutique on our first level.
RSMLV: Any additional information you would like to share about Kidville?
Mayor Melissa: Kidville is a premium product and what we offer to our members is all about safety, fun, cleanliness and value – nothing like it in Vegas. With that comes well thought out lesson plans, crafted by individuals with advanced early childhood development degrees. We make unique projects that have a lesson incorporated within them. For example, on Earth Day we had the children make vases from used water bottles – focusing on principles of recycling and growing plants in addition to the fun of a crafting project.
Our class offerings are also very diverse. Our signature class, Rockin’ Railroad is like nothing else in Las Vegas right now. Each class features a live, four-person band, comprised of professional musicians and original music. We also have a program here called KVU, which is our pre-school alternative program. This class meets twice a week for 2 hours with the option for a third day and focuses on gradual separation, socialization, and helps to transition kids into a pre-school environment.
We also have dance classes, science, sports, gymnastics, art classes and many more!! I am always working to come up with new and exciting classes or special programs. I am currently in the process of bringing language classes to Kidville. Children as young at 12 months will soon be able to enroll in Spanish or Mandarin classes.
We love our Kidville kids and families. This is not a place where kids just pop in and out; we’re a family. We pay attention to detail, remember each child’s name and celebrate their accomplishments. I truly feel like I have the best job in the world, but it would not be possible without such a fantastic staff. I have a brilliant group of individuals who love being around children, and come to work each day very excited to see their students! We work together as a team to provide families with an amazing experience each and every time they are at Kidville.
RSMLV: What are some of the ways Kidville works with and supports the Las Vegas community?
Mayor Melissa: Not only is Kidville a place for children to learn and develop, it is also an opportunity to partner with the community and local charities to help raise money and give back. We have partnered with Babies Bounty, JRDF, Goodie Two Shoes and The Pregnancy Foundation thus far. Living in a thriving community and giving back to Las Vegas is very important to me and Kidville. We look forward to continuing to grow with the Las Vegas community and give back as much as we can.
Isn’t she amazing! I loved learning more about Melissa. I hope you did, too!
Disclosure: I do work with Kidville as a Kidville Ambassador, but I also believe that Melissa Weiner is a valuable asset to our community. I am proud to have shared her story with you today!
Great interview!! As one of her closest friends, I didn’t know that Melissa went to Hunter after her stint in the magazine business (where I was also working in the same circle!). Since we somehow didn’t meet during that time, I am so glad we did after you moved out here. Kidville is so lucky to have Mayor Melissa! My favorite part is watching parents call her the “baby whisperer.” So proud!
Lisa Cash Hanson said:
We love Melissa! And by we I mean my two year old and me 🙂 She is so great with the kids and so much fun. Plus Kidville is just the best place in the world. Matilda runs around our house singing “Rockin Railroad” LOL You’ll have to bring your own kids there to understand what I mean – and you should.
xoxox Melissa! Great interview Stefanie.
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