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Center To Open Enrollment January 16, 2018

The Parent and Preschool Center, located at Mellinger Mennonite Church, 1916 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster, provides opportunities for both parents and students. The school will begin accepting student applications for the 2018-19 school year starting on Monday, Jan. 29.

The center will also hold an open house for prospective families to visit the preschool from 9:15 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 7 and 8. Other hours of visitation can be arranged by calling 717-397-5717.

Classes are for children who will be ages 2 through 5 as of Saturday, Sept. 1. The school offers half-day sessions on one, two, or three days per week for children ages 2 through 5. In addition, a full-day prekindergarten program is offered from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on two or three days per week. Financial assistance is available depending on need.

The school strives to provide a loving and caring environment where students develop social skills, learn Bible stories, and become prepared academically for kindergarten. Keeping a close working relationship with the local schools is a priority as the center helps the children transition into the next stage of their education experience.

The center also provides a parent group called Connections on Tuesdays at 9 a.m., with child care for infants through kindergartners provided. A total of 40 or more women of all ages meet to enjoy fellowship, food, speakers, crafts, and learning while their children are cared for under the supervision of the Kiddie Korner and Story Hour staff.

Since 1977, the center has welcomed hundreds of parents and children from various religious and cultural backgrounds. More information is available at www.mellingerchurch.org/preschool and on Facebook. Applications may be downloaded from the website and mailed with the registration fee. Interested individuals may also contact Christine Stahl, director, at 717-397-5717 or preschool@mellingerchurch.org for more information or to schedule a visit.

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Sophie's Garden Unveiled At Early Learning Center January 12, 2018

According to Jennifer Morales, academic and behavioral support coordinator at New Holland Early Learning Center (NHELC), student Sophie Stauffer loved birds, butterflies, the outdoors, and the center's kitchen. Sophie's mother, Amy, confirmed that one of Sophie's favorite activities was watching the birds and the butterflies out the bay window of the family's Narvon home and then looking for the creatures she saw in a nature book.

Sophie would have been 8 this year had she not succumbed to stage 4 brain cancer at the age of 30 months in 2012. Her brother, Jordan, still attends NHELC's summer camp program. For the last two years, Jordan and Jennifer have discussed ways to honor Sophie. "She was so little, but she touched each one of us in so many ways," noted Jennifer.

On Oct. 13, family members and friends of the Stauffer family gathered with students and staff members of NHELC to cut the ribbon that would officially open Sophie's Garden, a natural play area located in the center's playground. The garden area where the play area is located has been at the center for a few years, but in the last month or so, it was transformed into Sophie's Garden. "Now there is an outdoor kitchen, a tic tac toe log board, and a ladybug and caterpillar made from tires by staff member Danielle Walter that the (children) can climb on," said Jennifer. "There's a picnic table and hopscotch stepping stones."

NHELC is located in the New Holland Mennonite Church, 18 Western Ave., New Holland. Center staff members who worked on the project in addition to Jennifer and Danielle included Kylah Morales, Emina Hamzic, Karina Morales, and Bethany Crane Jacke, who donated all the flowers. Church members Lois Zimmerman and Mike Bortzel prepared the ground, and afternoon kindergarten students made the stepping stones for the garden. Church member Tim Martin and Martin Murrilo, who is a spouse of one of the NHELC employees, handled logistics. Church member John Heese built the outdoor kitchen playset.

When the group gathered at the garden, Jordan cut the ribbon, while his mother looked on with tears streaming down her face. "I wasn't allowed to look at (the garden before this)," said Amy. "I found out (about the garden) on my birthday, which was Sept. 28," she added. "My son kept it a secret for two years, and that is amazing."

"This has been my dream," said Jennifer. "I am excited it's finally happening."

NHELC is a nonprofit organization that provides care and learning activities for children from ages 6 weeks to 13 years. This year, for the first time, NHELC will be a participant in the Extraordinary Give. The 2017 Extraordinary Give event will take place on Friday, Nov. 17. This year, every dollar donated at ExtraGive.org will be stretched by funds from the Lancaster County Community Foundation and other local contributors. During the event, readers who would like to donate to NHELC may visit https://extragive.org and search for "New Holland Early Learning Center."

Individuals who have questions about NHELC may call 717-354-4440.

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Warming Heads And Hearts January 10, 2018

Dawn Ranck Hower, pastor of New Holland Mennonite Church, makes it a point to get to know New Holland Early Learning Center (NHELC) students and their parents. The learning center is a ministry of the church. "I serve coffee one day a week (to parents) at 6 a.m.," said Ranck Hower, who credits Jennifer Morales, academic and behavioral support coordinator, with the idea.

"Dawn has been very intentional about forming relationships with the families," noted Morales.

As of last year, Ranck Hower had gotten to know about half the parents by offering them hot coffee at an early hour, but she still had not met everyone. In the warmth of summer, Ranck Hower, who is quite productive with a crochet hook, began a project that would help her get to know the rest.

Between August and mid-November, Ranck Hower crocheted more than 150 hats in a variety of colors, styles, and sizes for the NHELC students. While she only needed 95 hats to give one to each student, she wanted the children to have choices, so she created some hats with pompoms for younger children and beanies, similar to floppy berets, for the older students, and she crocheted them all in colors ranging from pink to black. Some were done with rainbow-colored yarn, while others sported stripes. A few of the hats were made with a plush yarn reminiscent of velour. Eagles football colors made the cut, as did Garden Spot High School's blue and gray tones. Inside each hat was a tag that read, "Made with love by Pastor Dawn."

During the week of Dec. 18, parents received a card asking them to bring their child, along with his or her jacket to match to a hat, to Ranck Hower's office. "(NHELC) takes about a third of my (work) time, but no one knows where my office is," said Ranck Hower. "So this is an attempt to help children and parents know where I am." On Dec. 18, student Damon Finerty and his mother visited Ranck Hower's office, and Damon, who lives in the Conestoga Valley School District, chose a hat in the blue and red Buckskin colors.

Ranck Hower remembers crocheting her first blanket at about the age of 7 or 8. She learned from her mother, whom she calls a prolific crocheter. "This is definitely a family thing that has been handed down," said Ranck Hower. "I crochet a lot, but she takes it to another level." She added that her mother, who is a Landis Homes resident, is well-known for her expertise in the area. "At Landis Homes, any crochet questions come to her," she said.

Now that the children of NHELC all have warm winter hats, Ranck Hower is eyeing other fiber-arts projects. She said she enjoys crocheting in the evenings while watching television with her husband, and she has already completed 100 tiny cotton octopuses that are used to calm premature babies and help lower their blood pressure readings. For February, she plans to make red hats for newborns as part of the American Heart Association's Little Hats for Big Hearts project. "They are the same hats (I made for the students), but smaller," explained Ranck Hower.

NHELC, which is located at 18 Western Ave., New Holland, serves children from six weeks old through kindergarten age. A full-day kindergarten is available. Children through sixth grade attend a before- and after-school program. Readers who wish to learn more may visit www.creatingcommunityforkids.com or call 717-354-4440.

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Setting SAIL Toward Kindergarten Readiness January 10, 2018

SAIL (Systems Aligned in Learning) now reaches 40 in-home child care providers throughout Lancaster County. The effort, which brings a variety of free resources to children cared for by those providers, is a collaborative project involving several partners led by Luthercare. In December 2017, the Lancaster County Community Foundation awarded a $30,000 grant to help expand program services.

According to William Snyder, vice president for philanthropy and community engagement for Luthercare, SAIL grew out of a call to unite toward meeting specific county needs. "The evolution of SAIL was in response to the community collective impact work of United Way of Lancaster County," said Snyder. He added that successful preparation to enter school can positively affect a child's future. "If you're ready to enter kindergarten, you are much more likely to finish high school and succeed," he said.

Luthercare, located at 600 E. Main St., Lititz, joined a number of other partners to target county school districts that showed the most need. According to Jamie Reichenbach, director of early learning for Luthercare, partners include COBYS Family Services, Lancaster County Council of Churches, the Library System of Lancaster County, and the Mid-State Regional Key, which is part of the Pennsylvania Keys for Quality Early Childhood Education.

As part of SAIL, COBYS provides a social-emotional curriculum and training to in-home care providers. The library system operates the Be-Ready-Rover, which is a child's bookmobile. "(The Rover) offers ... anything you could get in the children's section of the library," explained Reichenbach. The Lancaster County Council of Churches helps to combine healthy eating recommendations with a learning experience for preschoolers and provides one healthy snack per month for in-home child care services associated with the program. As a professional development organization, SAIL receives grant funding from the Mid-State Regional Key, a quality rating organization for the state to provide training to child care providers across the state. "The intention ... (is to help) providers obtain a Child Development Associate credential," said Reichenbach.

SAIL currently provides one full-time and one part-time bilingual mentor to work with in-home care providers. "When the mentor goes out, they look at everything ... to help that provider get ready for the state visit and the survey process," explained Snyder. "They take resources (and) lesson planning materials (with them), and they ... demonstrate effective use and modeling of those teaching techniques for those in-home providers."

Reichenbach noted that more funds allow the program to reach more of the 100 care providers located throughout the county. "We have a lot of providers in the city (of Lancaster), but we also see providers in the Quarryville area and the Cocalico School District," she said. "We know that the need is much greater than what we are currently serving," added Snyder.

Luthercare's executive director of community programs, Lorita Valente noted the importance of a program like SAIL for child care providers. "(Providers) can't send a staff member to training, (but) the opportunity to have mentors ... give them the support in- house is an amazing thing for them. The more they have the more they can give to the children for kindergarten readiness."

Readers who would like more information about SAIL may call 717-626-1171, ext. 1658.

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MOMS Club Plans Preschool Fair January 5, 2018

With so many choices to make as a parent, having a bit of help with the decision on where to send a child to school can be a godsend. The Elizabethtown MOMS Club will present its eighth annual Preschool Fair on Saturday, Jan. 20, in an effort to highlight the educational offerings of local preschools and programs to help parents make the right choice for educating their young children.

The event will take place from 9:30 a.m. to noon at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 398 N. Locust St., Elizabethtown. Admission is free. In the case of inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled for Saturday, Jan. 27.

"Preschools typically begin sign-ups and enroll for the fall in the spring of the same year, so exploring early is key to making sure you find the school that will be the best fit for your child," explained Elizabethtown MOMS Club president Erica Leilous.

Schools and organizations scheduled to take part in the event include Bossler Christian Preschool, Children's Playroom of Lancaster County, Elizabethtown Child Care Center (ECCC), Elizabethtown Community Nursery School, Faith Factory Learning Center, Fishburn Flock Christian Day Care and Early Learning Center, GEARS Kids Center, Kids Playhouse at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church, Lancaster Mennonite School, Mount Calvary Christian School, Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary School, Tiny Timbers Christian Preschool, and Under the Willow Preschool.

Registering and enrolling before schools fill up for the fall is also important, and information about enrollment and open houses will be provided by each school represented at the event. While most schools offer classes for 3- and 4-year-olds, Leilous pointed out that some, such as Elizabethtown Community Nursery School, allow toddlers to start as young as age 2. Children's Playroom of Lancaster County welcomes children as young as infants to take part in the program with their parents.

"(The fair) is a great opportunity to explore all the schools at one time, in one location, versus researching all the options on your own," Leilous stated. "It is great to have the face-to-face interaction and to meet individuals that could possibly be working with your child."

In addition to the school booths and representatives, the Elizabethtown MOMS Club will hold a bake sale at the fair, and a local home-based business consultant will have a variety of children's books available to purchase.

A table will be set up with modeling clay for children to enjoy - something that Leilous said many of the children (and parents) appreciated at last year's fair, which drew an estimated 100 attendees.

This year, attendees may also enter a giveaway drawing to win items suitable for a preschool-age child.

The Elizabethtown MOMS Club is open to at-home mothers with children of any age. Club members organize several optional activities each month in addition to a monthly meeting. For more details, interested individuals may visit http://elizabethtownmomsclub.webs.com.

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School Slates Combined Event January 2, 2018

On Tuesday, Jan. 16, preschool students at Bethany Christian School, along with their fathers, grandfathers, and uncles, will be invited to take part in a plethora of summertime activities during a combined Fathers' Night and June in January.

This year, teachers decided to combine the two annual events into one. Fathers' Night is an evening designed for dads to get a sneak peak into their child's school day. June in January is one of the preschool experiences that Bethany Christian School offers to its students.

The Family Life Center/gym will be transformed to represent a summer-like atmosphere. A moon bounce, miniature golf, a ball pit, games, and a campfire are slated for the night. This year, fathers will participate in a STEM project. Ice cream and s'mores will be served. The children will present their guests a handmade gift, and the evening will conclude with a devotion time.

Bethany Christian School, 1137 Shadyside Road, Oxford, is conducting tours for enrollment for the 2018-19 school year. Interested readers are encouraged to visit www.BethanyChristian.org or call 610-998-0877 for more information.

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Academy Holds Food Drive December 28, 2017

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Mom's House Gala Will Focus On Empowerment August 21, 2017

The second annual fundraising gala to benefit Mom's House of Lancaster has been titled "An Evening of Empowerment." The event will be held on Friday, Sept. 15, at 6 p.m. at Lancaster Country Club, 1466 New Holland Pike, Lancaster, and will include dinner and live and silent auctions. An optional social will be held on the veranda following the gala for adults age 21 and older.

To highlight the event's theme, three past program participants will share how Mom's House empowered them to break the cycle of poverty through child care, support, and resources. A recent graduate, a person who graduated in 2008, and an individual whose daughter is now in college are slated to speak.

Executive director Sara Johns, who moved from the board of directors to the head of the organization in February 2015, also has a story of empowerment. Johns became a mother at 17 and had planned to quit school, but a tour of Mom's House changed the direction of her life.

"You can be successful by getting an education," Johns recalled hearing on the tour.

The program offered by Mom's House today is similar to the one that enabled Johns to continue to attend high school. Mom's House provides child care for infants as young as 6 weeks through preschool-age at no cost to single parents. The parents are required to be enrolled in school full time, achieve good grades, and invest three hours of service each week at Mom's House. One of those hours can be fulfilled by attending a life skills workshop.

"We try to have them do things they generally need in their everyday lives (for their service hours)," Johns explained. That includes cleaning the facility at 415 S. Queen St., Lancaster, disinfecting toys, and even writing thank-you letters to donors. "The moms really enjoy making that connection," Johns said of the letter-writing task.

Currently, Mom's House serves 21 families, and 25 additional families are on the waiting list. The proceeds from the gala will help toward reaching a goal of hiring a new staff person so that an additional eight families can be added to the active clientele. A new or expanded facility may also be in the organization's future. Discussing possible locations, Johns pointed out a common misconception about Mom's House: that its services are restricted to Lancaster city residents.

"(When it started), it was strictly city-based, but we are blessed with a philanthropic community, so now families (in need) have more transportation options," Johns said. "A lot of families we serve are coming from rural areas."

Proceeds from the gala represent a significant portion of the Mom's House budget, said treasurer and gala committee chair Dan Massey. Last year's inaugural event, which celebrated the organization's 25th anniversary, attracted between 120 and 130 attendees, more than the 100 organizers had hoped for.

"We'd love to have 200 (this year)," Massey remarked.

"We would like to attract some businesses (that) would like to be community supporters," added board member and gala committee member Jean Good.

Sponsorships in a wide range of price points are available for businesses and individuals, and the committee is accepting donations of items for the auctions. The committee is planning to feature six significant items or packages in the live auction and 50 or more lots in the silent auction. Current donations include a high-end necklace from a local jeweler, a custom Renaissance-style family portrait painted by a regional artist, and gift cards and certificates.

To learn more about the gala, schedule a donation, or purchase tickets by the deadline of Friday, Sept. 1, readers may visit www.momshouselancaster.org/2017gala.

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Children's Playroom Offers Judgment-Free Support August 17, 2017

As Children's Playroom of Lancaster County enters into its 20th year, executive director Vicki Dolan said that the parenting support group remains "a community within a community." With an emphasis on developing positive parenting skills and learning the concept of positive discipline, Children's Playroom also provides socialization for young children and judgment-free support for moms and dads.

"I tried a lot of different things, and they didn't fit for whatever reason, but we love Children's Playroom," said Elizabethtown resident Katie Lechleitner. "I look forward to it every week. You not only get to share about your experiences, but you hear from others too, and you realize we're all going to be OK."

The weekly gathering begins with community play, which encourages parents to play with their children undistracted. After playtime, a snack is given out to each child to help ensure a smooth transition into the time where parents separate from children and meet in another room for teaching and discussion.

Aside from positive discipline, sessions cover a variety of relevant parenting topics such as child development, toilet training, bedtime routines, stress management, and relationship building. Some meetings include a guest speaker and others are interactive sharing times.

Denise Ebersole, who attends with her two toddlers, said that she has made Children's Playroom a priority in her schedule. "I work full time from home, but I give myself permission once a week to have this time to connect with other moms," Ebersole said. "No matter what, we plan around this."

Plus, Ebersole said that her children love the time they spend at Children's Playroom. "It's like Disneyland the first time you come," Ebersole recalled. "And the kids all love Miss Vicki. All of the staff is phenomenal. Our prized possessions are our babies, and they do a wonderful job (taking care of them)."

Dolan frequently reminds moms and dads that parenting is the most important job they will ever have, but it is also the hardest. The curriculum and discussion for parents at Children's Playroom is applicable even into the teenage years, she explained. "Discipline means to teach, so we're talking about teaching our children," said Dolan. "We talk about being kind and firm and how we need both. We can be kind but still be firm."

Hearing the experiences and perspectives of other parents can be encouraging on so many levels. "The moms learn: you're not alone," Dolan said. "Some people may be new in town or just feeling isolated for other reasons, and this may be the support they're needing." Ebersole said that going to Children's Playroom helped to ease the transition from working as a full-time professional to working from home with her children.

Lechleitner particularly enjoyed hearing from another couple in the program who had recently moved to the Elizabethtown area from China. "It was so neat to see their perspective and how positive discipline worked for them," Lechleitner said. "Parenting is universal. No matter where you're from, we all have the same goals and fears."

Parents of children age 5 and younger can register to attend Children's Playroom sessions from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 398 N. Locust St., Elizabethtown. Space is limited. There is a fee to attend, but scholarships are available.

In addition to morning sessions, Children's Playroom offers a single moms' parenting program every other Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dinner is provided, and the group follows the same format of playtime together followed by a time where parents split off for discussion while the children have supervised activities in another room.

Readers who would like to sign up or learn more may call 717-945-9348, email childrensplayroom14@gmail.com, or visit www.childrensplayroom.org.

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Education Centers Earn Accreditation August 16, 2017

Community Progress Council has announced that four of its Early Head Start and Head Start of York County classrooms have earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC accreditation is a rigorous and transformative quality-improvement system that uses a set of 10 research-based standards to recognize and drive quality improvement in high-quality early learning environments.

Serving as a York County community action agency since 1965, Community Progress Council seeks to empower individuals and families to move toward self-sufficiency and advocate for change to promote community growth. Through its early childhood programs, including Pre-K Counts, Head Start and Early Head Start of York County, Community Progress Council provides early childhood education to nearly 1,000 low-income children in York County each year.

To earn NAEYC accreditation, Community Progress Council went through an extensive self-study and quality-improvement process, followed by an on-site visit at its Cottage Place location by NAEYC assessors to verify and ensure that the program met each of the 10 program standards and hundreds of corresponding individual criteria. NAEYC-accredited programs always must be prepared for unannounced quality-assurance visits during their accreditation term, which lasts for five years.

Community Progress Council is one of nine NAEYC-accredited early childhood education centers in York County. Less than 10 percent of all child care centers, preschools, and kindergartens nationally are NAEYC-accredited.

For more information about accreditation, readers may visit the NAEYC website. Information about Community Progress Council is available at www.yorkcpc.org.

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Back-To-School Event To Feature Haircuts, Backpacks August 10, 2017

"We had seven salon chairs donated, and I just filled that last chair (with a stylist). We will have seven top stylists," enthused Drema Duncan, director and prekindergarten teacher of Preschool Pebbles, as she discussed the plans for the Scissors Snipping event she has slated for Sunday, Aug. 20. "We want local families to know they have somewhere to get (free) haircuts for back-to-school."

Scissors Snipping will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. at Living Stones Vineyard Church, 2292 Robert Fulton Highway, Peach Bottom, where the preschool is located. Professional stylists will give haircuts to children ages 3 to 10 at no charge. Children will also have the option to accessorize their new hairdos with headbands or barrettes.

To further ensure children have what they need for school, backpacks containing basic school supplies will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for those who need them.

The haircuts will be available to walk-ins, so anticipating that there may be some waits, Duncan has arranged for enjoyable things to do at no cost to participants. Two of the preschool's classrooms will be open for play - the third classroom will serve as the salon - and the outdoor playground will be accessible as well. A movie will be shown, and fresh popcorn will be served by Living Stones pastor Bud Stillman. Other snacks and beverages will be available in the church's cafe. Face painting will also be offered.

Duncan thought up the event and planned it out within a week's time.

"I have had such an awesome response in many ways so far: volunteer stylists and donations of back-to-school supplies and even gifts for kids," she said. "So many people are wanting to help, some as far as York."

Helping others and meeting needs are hallmarks of Living Stones Vineyard Church. Preschool Pebbles was launched in 2013 as a ministry of the church in order to provide a Christian-based safe, caring, and fun learning environment for children in the Southern End. The adults responsible for making that happen are Christine Lewis, who teaches the 2-year-old class; Brooke Wagner, who is the teacher of the 3-year-old class; and Patricia Giffing, who is the aide in Duncan's prekindergarten class.

"We provide a developmentally appropriate curriculum and interest areas to facilitate each child's learning experience," Duncan wrote in the preschool's brochure. "It is our desire that each child grows to love learning, learns a bunch, makes some awesome friends, learns how to be a positive part of a community, and gets to know Jesus."

The preschool is still enrolling for the 2017-18 school year. Classes are available for children who will be 2 years old by Saturday, Sept. 30, through age 5. Two-day and three-day programs are available. Classes will be held from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from September through May. Afternoon classes will be added if there is enough interest.

To learn more about Scissors Snipping or the preschool, readers may contact Duncan at 717-344-4790 or preschoolpebbles@aol.com. The school may be found on Facebook by searching for "Preschool Pebbles."

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Preschool Posts New Class August 4, 2017

Trinity United Church of Christ (UCC) Preschool, 2340 State St., East Petersburg, has announced a new class. An afternoon class will meet on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to accommodate children who are at least 4 years old by December 2017.

Students in this three-day class will learn and grow through thoughtfully planned activities that encourage them to develop academic, social, emotional, and physical skills that are important for success.

Classes will begin Wednesday, Sept. 6. To register, readers may contact Beth at 717-569-1632 or preschool@trinityeastpete.org.

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Preschool Posts Class Openings August 2, 2017

Veritas Preschool at Highland Presbyterian Church, 500 E. Roseville Road, Lancaster, is accepting enrollments for the 2017-18 school year. The school has availability in its Monday, Wednesday, and Friday preschool class for children age 3; the Tuesday and Thursday preschool class for children age 3; and the afternoon three- or five-day prekindergarten classes for children ages 4 and 5.

Veritas Preschool offers students an engaging learning environment where the curriculum is intertwined with all activities throughout the learning day. The curriculum integrates a thematic concept into all academic areas while incorporating a wide variety of hands-on learning experiences.

For more information, visit Veritas Academy to complete an application or contact preschool director Kayla Holod at kholod@veritasacademy.com or 717-925-6693.

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Nursery School Plans Open House August 2, 2017

Noah's Ark Nursery School, 1 W. Fourth St., Quarryville, will host an open house on Wednesday, Sept. 6, through Friday, Sept. 8. The open house is for children who have not yet enrolled in a playgroup, nursery or prekindergarten program.

The event will include tours of classrooms, opportunities to meet the teachers, and information about the nursery school. For more information or to arrange a meeting time, call 717-786-4919.

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Preschoolers Donate Pajamas To Foundation July 27, 2017

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Firefighters Visit Preschool June 21, 2017

Lancaster firefighter David Martin and Refton firefighters Micaela Lefever and Stew McKinsey recently visited Laurie Fulmer's and Heather Reynolds' 3-year-old preschool classes at Great Beginnings Preschool, located at the First Presbyterian Church in Strasburg. The visitors taught the children about fire safety during Community Helpers Month.

A few spots are still available in the 3-year-old classes, which will be held on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9 to 11:30 a.m. starting in mid-September.

The preschool provides opportunities for socialization and personal accomplishments, introductions to a variety of educational concepts, physical education, art, music, science, story times, individual and group play, fields trips, Bible lessons, special classroom visitors and daily snacks. Parent volunteers earn tuition discounts.

For more information, readers may visit www.straspres.org/great-beginnings-preschool or call Lynn at 717-687-6082. Parents are welcome to stop by anytime to visit the classrooms. Private tours are also available.

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Nursery School Opens Enrollment June 1, 2017

Jacob's Ladder Nursery School, 1068 Chestnut Level Road, Quarryville, will enroll for the 2017-18 school year, with classes beginning in the fall. Classes are available for children ages 1 to 5.

Readers may contact 717-548-1257 for more information.

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Preschool Openings Posted May 23, 2017

Little Lambs of Grace Preschool at Grace United Methodist Church, 85 York St., Wellsville, is accepting registrations for its 2017-18 preschool program. Classes are available for 3-year-old children.

The Christian preschool aims to provide a faith-based education in a safe and caring environment. For more information or a registration form, readers may contact Carolyn Yates at 825-1378.

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Preschool Accepts Registrations May 9, 2017

Little Lambs Christian Preschool at High View Church of God, 2470 Leaman Road, Strasburg, has just finished its first year, and plans are being made for the 2017-18 school year. Registrations are being accepted for the three classes to be offered: the prekindergarten class that meets on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; the 3-year-old class that meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays; and a new play group class for 2-year-olds, to be offered on Mondays and Wednesdays.

For more information or to obtain an application, call the church office at 687-0523.

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Hetzer Named Preschool Coordinator May 3, 2017

The YMCA of York County, Southern Branch, welcomes Jennifer Hetzer to the YMCA Discovery Time Preschool staff. Hetzer will serve as the preschool coordinator for preschool at St. John Lutheran Church in New Freedom for the 2017-18 school year.

Hetzer has been involved in early childhood education for more than 16 years. She has a Master of Arts in teaching and is a Pennsylvania- and Maryland-certified teacher for prekindergarten through grade six. Her education philosophy for YMCA Discovery Time Preschool is to provide a quality preschool program for southern York County and the surrounding communities based on age-appropriate practices and Christian beliefs.

The program includes opportunities for children ages 2 to 5 to interact socially with their peers. The curriculum for all age groups is aligned with the Pennsylvania Core Standards, providing opportunities for developing language skills, math concepts, social skills, gross and fine motor skills, and science discoveries during whole group, small group, and individual instruction to help prepare them for success in school and beyond. The preschool program aims to develop a positive self-concept for each child and empathy toward peers and the community.

The YMCA will offer at least five scholarships for the coming school year to those needing financial assistance. Classes will start on Tuesday, Sept. 5. St. John Lutheran Church is located at 175 E. Main St., New Freedom.

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