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Preschool program brings new families to Renfrew school

Written on November 9th, 2009

Program has waiting list for 2009-2010 school year

A preschool program launched last year by Renfrew and District Christian School is meeting the primary objective set out for it, to bring new families into the school.

Principal Sabrina Vandersleen says the decision was made to introduce the program in the summer of 2008 to ensure a more stewardly use of the kindergarten classroom, which was only occupied part-time, as well as provide an opportunity for new families to see what the school is all about.

“(We wanted to) get new families into the building so that they could see what it was like (and) experience what we have to offer,” says Vandersleen.

Capped at five students, the program filled up within the first week of school last year and parents began registering in spring for the 2009-2010 school year. There is now a waiting list.

“The word got out there,” says Vandersleen, noting young families are interested in the program for a variety of reasons. Both parents may be working, families want their children to gain social experience, and/or they are seeking to provide their children with an “extra boost” in terms of academics. It helps that the Renfrew preschool program is offered at a “good” rate, she says.

A number of families introduced to the Renfrew school through the preschool program last year signed up for the 2009-2010 kindergarten year.

“So after one year we (have) new enrollment in our regular school,” says Vandersleen, noting she recommends other schools consider a similar initiative as it is an effective way to increase awareness of the school in general.

The Renfrew preschool program, Little Learners, is offered daily this year and is taught by the school’s kindergarten teacher.

Geared for three to five year-olds, the program takes an individualized approach to teaching each student. It follows a Junior Kindergarten curriculum with theme-based learning centres and circles.

“We will explore God’s world through science activities, music, crafts, language, and number activities,” states a program description.

The children have an opportunity to participate in sand and water play, a housekeeping centre, book centre, and gross motor activities. They also take occasional field trips.

Vandersleen says the current plan is to keep the student numbers at five, as increasing them requires additional funding and renovations to the building to meet licensing standards.

For more information on the Renfrew and District Christian School preschool program visit this page