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Students Learn About Nutrition And Manners May 23, 2018

Some may believe that good manners are a thing of the past, but Loretta McClarigan, teacher at St. John's Preschool Learning Center in St. John's United Methodist Church, 3001 E. Lincoln Highway, Paradise, makes sure that the students in her kindergarten-readiness class know that they are important. The students recently practiced courtesy and taking turns during the special Winnie the Pooh breakfast the preschool held in April to complete a curriculum that included manners and information on healthy and unhealthy foods and dental health.

"(The students practiced their) manners during breakfast," said McClarigan, who added that assistant teacher Jane Horst played hostess at a pretend restaurant, seating the students one at a time.

The 14 class members ages 4 and 5 enjoyed a menu that included Winnie the Pooh scrambled eggs, Tigger's toast with Pooh's honey, Piglet's bacon, Rabbit's bananas, Owl's orange slices, and Eeyore's blue milk, made with a touch of blue food coloring. In addition to eating food, the children played pin the tail on Eeyore.

The children created place settings by coloring pictures of healthy food items on placemats that were then laminated for safe keeping. "We had Pooh napkins and cups, and we stamped all the characters on a little name card so (the students) knew where to sit," explained McClarigan.

The unit also included information about keeping teeth healthy. "We had a smiling tooth and a sad tooth, and we cut pictures of food from magazines, and (the students) had to put the pictures (either with the smiling tooth or the sad tooth)," explained McClarigan. Students also searched for hidden toothbrush kits, which each contained a toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss. Students took the kits home, and McClarigan and Horst checked up with students to see how many were brushing regularly.

Lessons on general health included a discussion on good posture. "We talked about healthy kids and standing tall and straight," said McClarigan. "We put bean bags on their heads, and they walked up the stairs (while trying to balance the bean bag so it would not fall)."

The preschool serves more than 30 children five days per week from September through mid-May. In addition to the breakfast, the school also held a pajama day and pizza day, and at Christmas, the students made gingerbread houses. The kindergarten-readiness class meets three days a week. Classes for 3-year-olds meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Readers who would like more information about the program may call 717-808-7689.


Preschool Posts Summer Camp Program May 16, 2018

Mount Zion Preschool, 2164 Mount Zion Road, York, is accepting registrations for its summer camp program for children ages 3 to 11. The camp will take place in June and July on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Camp will include play time, projects and activities based around themes, such as nature, music, dinosaurs, science and cooking. Children will have time to enjoy packed lunches.

For more information, readers may email or call 717-718-1093. Campers must be toilet trained.


Therapy Pig Visits ECNS May 11, 2018


Preschool Accepts Registrations May 2, 2018

St. Luke Preschool, located at 2666 Furnace Road, Felton (New Bridgeville), in Chanceford Township, is accepting registrations for 3- and 4-year-olds for the 2018-19 school year.

St. Luke Preschool strives to support the healthy development and growth of children. The preschool offers hands-on activities intended to provide children with academic and social skills opportunities through arts and crafts, stories and songs (both secular and Christian), and field trips.

More information can be obtained by contacting or 717-927-8411.


Learning Center Celebrates The Week Of The Young Child April 25, 2018

ABC-Early Learning Center (ABC-ELC), a ministry of Trinity Assembly of God (AG) in West Chester, celebrated The Week of the Young Child from April 16 through April 20. Each day of the week was highlighted by special activities and games for the children, including art, garden and music projects.

The week culminated with a visit by state Rep. Carolyn Comitta, former mayor of West Chester. Comitta read "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" to the children, after which she described the center as "loving, bright and happy."

ABC-ELC, now its 18th year, offers full- and part-time programs for children from birth through 5 years old in its nursery, toddler and preschool/prekindergarten programs. The curriculum includes Spanish, music, cooking and fitness classes. "Our Christian principles are built in throughout the curriculum, and we talk about values," said program coordinator Shelley Edmondson. "We do chapel on Thursdays for toddlers through preschool (students). Pastor Craig (Bode, Trinity AG's) youth minister, leads chapel for us."

The ABC-ELC facility includes an infant suite upstairs and classrooms for children age 18 months and over downstairs in the church. "We are lucky we have this great space downstairs. If it's snowing or too cold to go outside, we can still have gross motor play," Edmondson noted.

The youngsters also participate in community service activities in conjunction with Trinity AG, such as food and toy drives.

"Right around October and November, we talk (to the children) about giving to families who need extra help and support and that it's nice to share what we have," Edmondson said. "They do get the concept, and they love to bring in things (to donate), pile them up in their classrooms and bring everything up to the church."

Edmondson said that the children also witness the Boxes of Love effort first-hand each Thanksgiving, through which the church provides a complete turkey dinner to local people in need. "When we are handing out turkeys, they see families coming in," she noted. "The church is big on mission (work)."

ABC-ELC staff members said the success of the school is the result of a collaborative effort by the staff, teachers and parents, who were also recognized during The Week of the Young Child through parent and staff appreciation days.

"On Parent Appreciation Day, our staff brought breakfast to the parents as they dropped off their children," Edmondson noted. "They didn't have to leave their cars." Teachers received complimentary massages and refreshments on Teacher and Staff Appreciation Day.

The Week of the Young Child is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the world's largest early childhood education association, with close to 60,000 members and a network of 50 local, state and regional affiliates. The purpose of the observance is to focus attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.

ABC-ELC is located at Trinity AG, 1022 Pottstown Pike, West Chester. Hours of operation are Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In addition to the day care, the center offers before- and after-school care for children ages 5 to 12, as well as drop-in care and an Adventure Summer Camp. For more information, readers may call 610-692-2451 or visit or


Themed Summer Camps Planned April 3, 2018

Eastminster Preschool, 311 Haines Road, York, will offer Eastminster Summer Camps for children ages 4 to 11. Camps will begin on Monday, June 11, and each week will feature a different theme. Camps will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays.

Five summer camps will be offered. The theme during the week of June 11 will be "Yummy for My Tummy;" Camps will continue with "Hopping Through the Holidays" on Monday, June 18; "Creature Feature" on Monday, June 25; "Music Makers" on Monday, July 9; and "Keepin' Cool in the Sun" on Monday, July 16.

There is a cost for each week, with an additional one-time registration fee per family. Readers may contact the Eastminster Preschool office for more information at 717-755-0543 or


Students Learn About Dr. Seuss March 28, 2018


Preschool Sets Open House March 21, 2018

Our Lady of Consolation Early Learning Center (OLC-ELC) will host an open house on Thursday, April 5, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Schneider Parish Center, 2995 Cemetery Road, Parkesburg. Preschool for children ages 2 to 5 is offered, and before- and after-school care is available.

For more information, visit or call 610-857-1163.


Preschool Posts Class Openings February 28, 2018

Christ Lutheran Preschool, 105 S. Main St., Shrewsbury, has openings in several of its classes.

Young 3's meets on Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 to 11:30 a.m. The Young 3's class is for children who will turn 3 between Saturday, Sept. 1, and Monday, Dec. 31.

The 3- and 4-year-old afternoon classes meet on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 12:30 to 3 p.m. There are also a few spots in the 4-day and 5-day morning prekindergarten classes. Additionally, the school offers a Mommy and Me class, also known as Time for 2's, on Tuesdays or Thursdays from 9:15 to 11:15 a.m.

For more information and to schedule a tour, readers may contact Becky Stevenson at 717-235-0459 or or visit


Preschool Plans Open House February 27, 2018

Our Lady of Consolation Early Learning Center (OLC-ELC) will host an open house on Thursday, March 8, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Schneider Parish Center, 2995 Cemetery Road, Parkesburg. OLC-ELC provides preschool classes for children ages 2 to 5.

For more information, visit or call 610-857-1163.


Preschool Opens Registration, Plans Open House February 21, 2018

Eastminster Preschool, 311 Haines Road, York, is accepting applications for the 2018-19 school year. Classes are available for children ages 2 to 5, with the additional option of afternoon extension classes. A registration fee is due at the time of enrollment.

The Terrific Toddlers program is for 2-year-olds and is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 to 11:15 a.m. Children must be 2 to enter the class. Toilet training is not required.

The 3-year-old, 2-day class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 to 11:15 a.m. Children must be turning 3 by Friday, Feb. 1, of the 2018-19 school year to register for the class.

The 3-year-old, 3-day class meets on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 to 11:15 a.m. Children must be 3 by the start of the school year to register for the class.

The 4-year-old, 3-day class meets on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 to 11:15 a.m. or 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. The 4-year-old, 5-day class meets daily on Mondays through Fridays from 9 to 11:15 a.m. Children must be 4 at the start of the school year to register for these classes.

For more information or to schedule a tour, readers may contact the preschool at or 717-755-0543.

Eastminster Preschool will hold an open house on Thursday, March 1, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. for all interested families. Attendees may visit the classrooms and meet the teachers. Registration materials will be available at the preschool, and a book fair will take place in the fellowship hall during the open house.


Preschool Hosts State Representative February 21, 2018

The prekindergartners of Robeson Lutheran Preschool welcomed a special visitor on Feb. 15 to help them learn about Presidents Day and how the government works. State Rep. Mark Gillen, of the 128th district, joined the children for a story and discussion of how a law is made.

The children shared with Gillen their ideas for new laws, ranging from laws to keep animals and police officers safe to laws mandating that everyone must try soccer and have a toy monster truck. Gillen assured the children that safety for animals and the police was a priority for him and that he would think about the monster truck idea.

The children also took part in a secret ballot vote meant to show the children that their voices can be heard in government. The children were given the choice between spaghetti and pizza, and they selected their choice on a ballot and placed their vote in the ballot box. Gillen then counted the votes with the children to find that pizza was the winner.

In March, the students will have a Career Week, featuring visitors from Santander Bank, French Creek State Park and Robeson Police Department.

Robeson Lutheran Preschool is a ministry of Robeson Lutheran Church, 3520 Plow Road, Mohnton. The preschool is designed to foster a child's overall development in the areas of social awareness, emotional independence, fine and gross motor skills, and language and cognitive development. The school offers programs for children from age 2 through prekindergarten.

For more information, readers may visit or call 610-856-7613. Registration for the 2018-19 school year is now open.


Preschool Plans Open House February 16, 2018

Bossler Christian Preschool, 2021 Bossler Road, Elizabethtown, will hold a drop-in open house on Wednesday, Feb. 28, between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Families are invited to attend and bring their preschoolers, giving them the opportunity to experience learning in a one-room schoolhouse.

The preschool, which serves children ages 3 to 5, incorporates Bible stories, art and cooking experiences, science discoveries, music and movement activities, math, and language development. For more information, readers may visit or call 717-537-8192.


New Board Members Appointed February 15, 2018

The New Holland Early Learning Center, 18 Western Ave., New Holland, recently announced the appointment of two new board members from the local community. The new board members are William Johnston and Patricia Luna-Heisse.

Additional board members are Richard Thomas, chair; Dot Leatherman, vice chair; Philip Shirk, treasurer; Beth Wagner, secretary; Bryan Hower; Sue Martin; Tim Martin; and pastor Dawn Ranck Hower. The mission of the Early Learning Center is to provide quality care for children in the New Holland area while their parents work and to support the individual needs of every child. The center has been creating community for children since 1981.


Nursery School Opens Enrollment February 14, 2018

Salem Community Nursery School is currently holding open enrollment for the upcoming school year. The school will offer preschool for children who will be at least age 3 by Monday, Oct. 1. The classes will meet for two and one-half hours on two to four days per week.

All the teachers have college degrees and aim to provide the best possible learning experince in a nurturing environment. The school's goal is to prepare its students academically and socially for kindergarten.

Applications are available in the office of Fishing Creek Salem United Methodist Church, 402 Valley Road, Etters, and at


Preschool Plans Open House January 31, 2018

Mount Zion Lutheran Preschool, located in Mount Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, 2164 Mount Zion Road, York, will host an open house on Tuesday, Feb. 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. The event is open to local families with children who will be ages 2 to 4 years in the upcoming school year.

Attendees will meet the staff and tour the preschool facility. Information about the 2- and 3-year-old classes will be available for parents, as well as information about the preschool's art, theater and STEM/kindergarten readiness enrichment classes and 2018 summer camps. Cookies and light refreshments will be provided. Costume characters will be present.

For more information, readers may call preschool director Mrs. Smith at 717-718-1093.


Preschool Plans Open House January 24, 2018

Christ Lutheran Preschool, 105 S. Main St., Shrewsbury, will hold an open house on Saturday, Feb. 10, from 10 a.m. to noon. During the 2018-19 school year, the preschool will offer a variety of classes, including a 2-year-old Mommy and Me class; a two-day Young 3's class; two- or three-day 3's classes; and three-, four-, or five-day 4- and 5-year-old prekindergarten classes. The school will also offer an optional extended day program that is available on Mondays to Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Registration will begin on Saturday, Feb. 10. For more information, readers may contact Becky Stevenson at 717-235-0459 or or visit In the case of inclement weather, readers may call the preschool to see if the open house has been postponed to Saturday, Feb. 24.


Setting SAIL Toward Kindergarten Readiness January 19, 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.

Lorita Valente, Luthercare's executive director of community programs, 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.


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 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 for more information or to schedule a visit.


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 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 and search for "New Holland Early Learning Center."

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

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