Building Expansion Links Preschool to Grade School
“I always knew I wanted to do something with young kids,” Jenna Hicks, preschool director at Central Lutheran School, explains. Certified to teach children birth through third grade, she wanted to teach in an early education program and give students the best start in their educational journey. In the three years since Mrs. Hicks started at Central, they’ve tripled their staff size as their student population has grown.
“I enjoy interacting with the kids at their level and enriching their learning through creative play. It’s fun to bring in academics and the biggest joy is when that light comes on for the little one. They’re so proud. It’s fun to be in that moment.”
The future looks bright for Central as the school embarks on a building expansion that includes a new wing for early childhood education. The staff looks forward to growing their learning space in a new building, which will give them greater access to the facility and put them in closer proximity with the kindergarten and first grade.
“We’ll be close together so we can work together,” Mrs. Hicks notes “We’ll have our own play area to play and create. This will allow us to expand and we’ll be able to grow the classes,” Mrs. Hicks says. “Right now, we’re very limited because our classrooms are small and we have to leave for snack or go to other rooms. We’ll be able to focus on an early childhood setting and it will link us to the grade school.”
Central broke ground for the new building on August 12, 2016 and anticipate starting the 2017-2018 school year in their new classrooms. This will enhance their preschool program and give them more space to continue additional programs like Minds in Motion, a brain development program that enhances student learning and focus. Started this year by veteran teacher Miss James, this program has been a great addition to the preschool curriculum.
But even though Central’s preschool is looking forward to the future building expansion, they haven’t forgotten a crucial aspect of what they’re doing in these children’s lives—laying a foundation of faith at an early age. Last school year when one of the preschoolers was diagnosed with leukemia in Mrs. Hick’s class, another student told her, “I pray for him every night.”
“Our goal is to bring in many areas, but most importantly to continue to help them grow their faith,” Mrs. Hicks adds. “You want to see them sharing that with their families. We want them to know that Jesus loves them and to use the gifts he’s given them.”