Tabernash church preschool gives students a head start on kindergarten | SkyHiNews.com

Tabernash church preschool gives students a head start on kindergarten

KATIE LOOBY
SKY-HI DAILY NEWS

KATIE LOOBY- SKY-HI DAILY NEWS

This is the sixth year the preschool has been offered at Church of the Eternal Hills in Tabernash.

“We’re open to everyone,” said Amy Miller, preschool director. “We’re in the church and we’re affiliated with the church, but we don’t necessarily teach religion.”

The preschool’s vision is to celebrate children and families, Miller says. Its goal is for each child to feel important, have a limitless desire to learn and to start gaining the academic and social skills they will need in school, she said.

“We have real consistent teachers who have been here for a long time,” she said. “We provide a real safe and loving environment for children and families to thrive in.”

The preschool is open Monday through Thursday and adheres to the East Grand School District calendar. Children attend the preschool one to four days a week.

It focuses on life and social skills, while preparing them for kindergarten, Miller said.

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The preschool takes children ages 2 1/2 (and potty trained) to 5 years old. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The half-day program ends at 1:30 p.m.

The church owns five acres of property and the class goes hiking and snowshoeing together. Children can climb and tumble in a gross motor room. “It’s like an indoor gymnasium,” Miller added.

Preschool teachers include Kay Irvine, Betsy Glavin and Krissy Morrow. Miller oversees the classrooms.

They also work on numbers, letters and handwriting skills. The preschool’s goal is to provide a rich learning environment for the children during their early years. Studies indicate that 95 percent of a child’s brain is developed by the time they’re 5 years old, Miller said.

They have two snacks a day, lunch and an afternoon nap.

The school is allowed to have 24 children a day and is averaging about 15 a day. About 35 students are enrolled part-time.

There is still time and room for more students to enroll, Miller said.

A full-day at the preschool costs $32; a half-day is $24. Families are billed on a monthly basis and fill out a contract for the school year. Scholarship funding is available. To register call Miller at (970) 887-3333 to schedule a tour of the facility and meet the teachers.

“We just encourage people to give us a call and check us out,” Miller said. “It’s a good social and support network for the children and families.”

Preschool makes use of grant money

Through the Qualistar Early Learning Program the preschool was evaluated last year, and received three out of four stars. It was rewarded a $6,000 grant from the Temple Buell Foundation, Miller said.

“That was to purchase new materials to further improve quality,” she said.

Items bought include new furniture, mats for the gross motor room, math manipulative games, literacy games, books and safety equipment.

“We got a ton of stuff. They all kind of fit in those categories,” Miller said.

The preschool also has received grants from the Grand Foundation, Lions Club, Town of Winter Park and Grand County commissioners for professional development of teachers, tuition assistance for families and to help fund its new playground.

” Katie Looby can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19601 or e-mail klooby@grandcountynews.com.

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