Since 2003, Malaika Early Learning Center has been helping inner-city at-risk children in Milwaukee receive excellent education from birth to age 5. Now, Malaika wishes to move forward, and they are doing that through the “Great-By-8” program. On March 25, 2015, members of the community attended a luncheon in honor of the new project, which included a tour of the facility.

Dennis Mueller founded Malaika with his wife and spoke about his original goals for the learning center. Mueller wanted to give inner-city children the learning opportunities that they may not have had access to because of the class they were born in.

Hupy and Abraham employees at Malaika Expansion
Malaika’s board would like to begin construction for "Great-By-8" in August 2015.

Board member Sandi Cleveland shared how important it is for centers like Malaika to exist, and how they help form the building blocks for early development. Most behavioral social cues children learn are extremely important up to the age of 8.

Executive Director Tamera Johnson outlined the amount of success that Malaika has achieved, but the reason for expanding is partially due to research. Third and fourth grade test scores are showing that reading is becoming a problem, and the staff at Malaika wishes to address those types of issues, and to ensure that students are performing at or above the level of proficiency.

“We are embarking on this new endeavor that will expand our current high-quality education program we offer for infants to 5-year-olds. We want a continuity of care for our children here so they can receive this level of education through third grade,” said Johnson.

Construction plans for the 4,600 square-foot addition include new classrooms, a parking lot, bus drop- off and more storage. Malaika’s board would like to break ground on the project in August 2015.  Jill Wellskopf, Marketing Director at Hupy and Abraham, S.C., is on the Board of Directors for Malaika Early Learning Center.


Jill Erin Wellskopf
Connect with me
Director of Marketing, Hupy and Abraham