Out program is geared to challenge and engage children, physically, socially, mentally, and spiritually. We want to provide your children with many opportunities where they can EXPLORE the world, LEARN with their hands, and GROW in faith! Creative learning takes place as our teachers play and interact with the children! We offer a variety of fun, age-appropriate but yet challenging activities, which include Bible Stories, puzzles, math, science, games, arts and crafts, sensory activities, cooking, gardening, music, blocks, literature, Kinder preparation, and a chapel time. The children also enjoy outside play and exploration under our tent-covered play ground and Gods Garden where they plant their own garden twice a year.
We use a faith-based curriculum which provides a range of age-appropriate activities, from infant to Pre-K. Each thematic unit offers plenty of hands-on age appropriate activities to use in our learning centers—dramatic play, blocks, art, music, manipulative and puzzles, math, science, and sensory play.
Our 4 year old classes work on Kindergarten readiness skills through hands-on activities and projects that help the children develop in the areas of language and communication, social emotional, problems solving, gross motor/fine motor and cognitive skills. 13 out of 16 of our 2018 preschool graduates were already reading simple text and 3 were already able to add small numbers. We are a very curriculum based center where children learn through play but through instruction as well. Every day is filled with adventure and engaging activities for all our children from our infants classroom to our After school children.
The Child Development Center offers several unique learning opportunities!
1. Open House - Parents and friends are invited to our annual open house in September! . Not only do you have the opportunity to see your child’s classroom and meet his/her teacher but you can visit all the other rooms to see what exciting things are going on! There are activities in the Big Room and in each classroom in which the entire family can participate! Refreshments are also served.
2. Reading Program - In October and March we designate 2 weeks where parents and St Paul’s church members and friends are invited to come and read to our children. The readers choose the age group and the book that they would like to read. OR we will choose a book for you!
3. Building the Cat’s Hat - March 3 is Dr Seuss’ birthday, so we celebrate his books during this month. Families are encouraged to read to their children. To further encourage reading we have a picture of the Cat in the Hat on our wall in the Big Room---except he does not have a hat! We challenge the children to build his hat tall during March by reading books at home and writing the title of the book on a strips of red and white paper.
4. Christmas Around the World - Our children at the center are all exposed to foods, traditions, clothing, music and so much more during the month of December. We are a very diverse center and have families from several different countries. This gives us a unique opportunity where those families share their own personal Christmas customs. If we are lucky they bring all the children and staff Christmas goodies from their Country. We also learn the true story of Christmas and the birth of Christ. It is an amazing and magical time.
5. After school - We offer help with homework for our after school children along with fun activities, time in their own game room and the occasional movie in our very own movie room! We also offer an amazing summer camp for ages 6-12 where we offer exploration in hands on science activities, baking, cooking, sports, theater, pottery and so much more!!
6. Caterpillar Adventure - Every spring we order caterpillars and we watch their amazing transformation to butterflies! We release the butterflies into God’s Garden! In the summer we also have some swallowtail caterpillars that feed on one of our plants in the garden. We have captured a few of those and fed them leaves and watched them spin their cocoon and turn into beautiful swallowtail butterflies! It is exciting to witness the amazing change from caterpillar to butterfly!
7. Holy Week/Easter Activities - During the week before Easter we enjoy more center-wide activities. The children learn about the meaning of Easter through making a set of 6 “Resurrection Eggs” that each contain a symbol of the story of Jesus and the events that occured the days preceding Easter Day. We do lots of activities with eggs, bunnies and chicks also.
8. Step Up Graduation - At the end of each school year we have a special program for our children and families, to celebrate the milestones and accomplishments of our children. Some of our children are “Stepping Up” to the next age group and our 5 year olds are “graduating” and moving on to Kindergarten. Each child receives a certificate from their teachers and we enjoy a time of singing and refreshments afterwards.
9. Summer Program - Our summer session runs 4 weeks in June and 4 weeks in July. Each summer we have specific themes or camps that we offer to the children weekly. The children that attend all summer long will participate in all of the “camps”. Some of our families choose not to enroll their children for the entire summer, so by offering a different theme each week this gives the option of choosing a week or 2 that is of interest to the child. We have added water play at least once a week and a end of year party for all the classrooms and their families.
10. St Paul’s Owls - St Paul’s has become the nesting place for a family of Great Horned Owls. They lay their eggs around December and the owlets hatch around March. This event has offered exciting learning opportunities for our children as they make weekly and sometimes daily trips upstairs to look at the baby owls nesting in the round atrium windows over the doors. It is fun to watch them grow and eventually learn to fly. It is usually in early April when they begin leaving the nest and we say goodbye until the next year. The inner courtyard of our church—God’s Garden— provides special and unique learning opportunities for the children. All of the classrooms plant and care for the garden. Gardening offers valuable life lessons about responsibility, cooperation and patience, as together we care for God's world and wait for the harvest! Each spring, we raise caterpillars, and the butterflies are released into the garden! Other annual traditions are Christmas Around the World (complete with passports, international snacks and parent involvement), fall and spring classroom reading program with parents and St Paul's church friends, building the Cat in the Hat's hat in March, and our Christmas and End of the Year family programs.