About Us

Our School, Program, Curriculum

Al-Hadi Learning Organization offers an age-appropriate, project-based-learning platform for 2-5 year olds that fosters love of learning, community, and pride in their identity as hyphenated Americans.  Al-Hadi Learning Organization welcomes students of any race, religion, national, or ethnic origin

Our mission is to create a learning environment that fosters growth of the whole child encompassing intellectual, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual development and inspire lifelong learning in a rich, nurturing environment.

Our purpose at Al-Hadi is to partner with parents, to insha’Allah (God Willing):

  • Foster a joy in learning and discovery that will serve the child over a lifetime
  • Create a loving, nurturing, and safe environment for all learners
  • Cultivate a love for Islam and its values
  • Provide a balance of play-based and academic learning

We know the earliest years of childhood are the most critical when it comes to setting the foundation for learning.  We believe that young children learn best through hands-on, meaningful learning that occurs in a safe and loving environment.  Therefore, our program is designed for parents to have a greater involvement in their child’s education so that, together, we can encourage and support each unique child’s learning journey. In order to support the child’s intellectual, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual development, our curriculum delicately balances play-based and academic learning. Through active involvement with their environment and peers, children learn to make sense of the world around them.

Is Al-Hadi a Cooperative School?

“We are not a formal co-operative school but borrow heavily from that philosophy. Parents are strongly encouraged to take turns volunteering in class as teacher aides or in the actual administration of the school by joining various governance committees. This way, our families drive the development of the school - philosophically and administratively. Younger children become more confident with parents joining them in their educational journey as well as transition much easier into the school environment when they see familiar adult faces within the classrooms.” -Sabera Husain, Executive Director

Al-Hadi Learning Organization borrows heavily from the cooperative model and offers you some unique opportunities to participate in your child’s early educational experiences because we know and understand that parents know their children best.

We welcome but do not require parents to be involved in daily operations of the school through volunteering as teachers’ aides or serving on various committees of the school in order to perpetuate a holistic and balanced philosophy. Parents often serve as trustees, administrators, and staff of the school.  

This results in a secure, loving, and nurturing environment for children, a more solidified community, and maintains low tuition costs.

Together, we build relationships with families, students, and the community at large to support our students’ learning. Our philosophy is founded on the notion that learning is a shared journey!

We do not require participation but offer reduced tuition rates to families who help in the administration of the school.  Parent committees may include:

  • Community Outreach (marketing, building relationship with local businesses and communities)
  • Fundraising (fundraising within and outside of Al-Hadi Community)
  • Home Life (baking, organizing, sewing, etc)
  • Maintenance/Grounds (landscaping, cleaning, organizing, carpentry)
  • Long-Range Planning (needs and capacity assessment)
  • Curriculum/Instruction (planning special programs, field trips, refining curriculum)


Is Al-Hadi an Islamic school?

Our foremost goal at Al-Hadi Learning Organization is to create an environment that instills a foundational pride in their religious identity.  Therefore, our calendar, celebrations, activities and classroom rules are designed to support the religious education children are receiving at home.  So while we do not offer formal Islamic instruction in our core class instruction, we do create an environment and foster discussions about what it means to be a good human being with a keen focus on supporting parents in instilling the akhlaq (virtue, morality, manners) of proud young Muslims.  

Because we consider ourselves a community and not just a school, many parents found it convenient to bring a trained Quran Instructor to Al-Hadi and this is something we were happy to oblige.  We will be offering an optional session with a trained Qur'an instructor next year during aftercare (but on a schedule where non-aftercare children may also participate).


Our Educators

Sabera Husain
Executive Director

Sabera has been teaching both informally and formally in various educational settings for the past 14 years in Maryland and Pennsylvania. She earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from Towson University and in 2015 earned her M.Ed. in Teaching in Curriculum from Penn State University.  She is also a National Writing Project Fellow who had the privilege of mentoring Pennsylvania’s K-12 teachers through the Capital Area Writing Project at Penn State University.   

She is excited to be working alongside wonderful educators, parents, and students to create a community of learners where each grows and mature in their own ways. She strives to foster a voice in young children and cultivate a love for learning so that they all become lifelong learners.

With every student she comes across (including her own two young children) in her teaching, she become inspired all over again!


Jacqueline Perez

Jacqueline has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies and a minor in Mathematics for Teaching Education from California State University. 

Jacqueline has a strong passion to educate young minds and help these students become life-long learners, effective decision makers, and help these students flourish into well-rounded, responsible, and significant contributors to society.

Throughout the course of the past four years, she has had wonderful opportunities to teach diverse groups of students in multi-age classrooms ranging from KG-3rd grade, including English Learners, students with Special Needs, students performing both at and above grade level. 


Abida Hussain

Abida was born and raised in England where she received her first class Pharmacy Honors degree and is licensed to practice pharmacy in the United States.

Since moving to Virginia in 2007, she has contributed to the development of two Islamic homeschool cooperatives and has volunteered her time in a local Islamic school. In 2009, Abida completed a Foundation Studies Course for childhood education using Waldorf pedagogy and is currently homeschooling her third son.

In her spare time, Abida has coached a girls soccer team, has led and conducted an all-girls violin ensemble, has coached Odyssey of the Mind and has taught Music and Movement at ICS in Manassas for two years.

Abida has also been an active Sunday school Quran teacher for many years in Maryland. She has also taken multiple Islamic Hawza classes through "Islamic Literacy" to further her study of her faith. She is currently the president of WAFA (Washington Area Fatima Association), an initiative to bring religion, social outreach and activities to the local DMV community and she also volunteers for NWMI’s Mummy and Me Qur'an circle once a month. Abida currently resides in Leesburg, Virginia with her husband and four sons.


Melanie Maisey

Melanie earned her Masters of Education from Loyola University and that is also where she obtained her Reading Specialist Certificate. She obtained her Waldorf Education Teaching Certificate at Antioch New England Grad School and her Bachelors of Arts at UMBC.

Melanie comes to us with over 20 years of teaching experience in a myriad of settings. As a founding teacher in a Baltimore charter school, she is familiar with what it takes to help new schools be successful and fulfilling for both the staff and the students. She is also excited to bring her background of early childhood and Waldorf education to Al Hadi.  Melanie embraces a whole-child approach to learning and weaves music and the arts into everyday experiences. 

She lives with her husband, 2 teenage sons, 2 Siamese cats, and sometimes 4 stepsons.  She also has an adult daughter living in Manhattan.

Our Staff

Rida Rizvi

Rida Rizvi holds degrees in Economics and English Literature began her career in public policy sphere working to implement renewable energy legislation in the Mid Atlantic region at a pioneering firm for commercial solar photovoltaic installations. From there, she moved to a Fortune 200 company where she worked on deploying renewable energy through legislation or regulation in restructured energy regions nationwide. 

After the birth of her first child in 2013, she shifted gears to work on community organizing.  In 2014, she also founded Ayat's Toys, a line of ithna'asheri faith-based educational toys.  She was also a 2016 Community Leader Fellow at the Institute of Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies.  

Rida enjoys travel, reading and all types of baked goods.  She lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters.