Children from 18 months to 5 years old will soon be able to attend preschool at another local church.
Ascension Lutheran Church Cleburne will open its Next Generation Pre-school in January. Open enrollment is underway now.
The preschool is an outreach ministry of the church, Preschool Director Lisa Waits said, that will be available to both families of the church and other residents of the community.
The name of the school comes from Psalm 78:4, Waits said, which reads, “We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.”
“We look at this as a ministry to reach our community members,” Waits said.
The purpose of the preschool is to provide a safe and nurturing environment for children to grow physically, mentally, socially, emotionally and spiritually through developmentally appropriate activities in order to develop a positive Christian self-image and prepare them for the transition into kindergarten, according to the church’s website.
There will be four classes offered in different age groups:
• 18 months: The focus of the class is socialization and separation from their parents. Toddlers will learn about spatial awareness, sensory development, building vocabulary and body awareness as they participate in various activities throughout the day.
• 2-year-olds: Students learn about shapes, colors, numbers, spatial awareness and sensory development as they participate in various activities throughout the day.
• 3-years-olds: As well as reviewing shapes, colors and numbers, students are introduced to capital letters and begin learning to write their name. Teachers also begin exposing children to various print concepts. They begin working with small manipulatives to develop fine motor coordination as we learn to handle scissors, glue and pencils.
• 4- to 5-year-olds: Shapes and colors are reviewed and teachers begin to establish higher-level math concepts. An emphasis is placed on oral language development, reading readiness and concepts of print. Fine motor skills such as cutting, gluing and proper pencil hold are also developed.
What’s different about their preschool compared to others, Waits said, is they are open five days a week and all-year round and offer extended day care in the mornings and afternoons.
“We’re preparing them for kindergarten,” she said. “Most of your learning and foundation happens in the first four years of your life.”
They will also teach Bible stories each week, she said.
Preschool teacher Dianne Walker said the Christian-based school will be beneficial for the community as a whole.
“We’re going to be teaching kids about God’s love, and then hopefully that will pass down from generation to generation,” Walker said.
Pastor Eddie Scheler said they love the Cleburne community and thought the preschool would be a way to reach the next generation.
“With all the new houses being built, we thought this would be a way to be a blessing and the congregation to be a blessing to those kids too,” Scheler said. “We want to tell the next generation the praise worthy deeds of the Lord.”
Some children don’t know who Jesus is and the stories of the Bible, he said.
“We’re going to be talking about prayer and the Bible,” he said. “We want to make the community stronger. We’re asking for 50 kids. If we can impact 50 families to serve and worship, we think it will make the community a better place. I think it’s a win-win for the family, the church and the community.”
The church will host an open house from noon to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 15 at 205 S. Ridgeway Drive. Downtown businesses will sell some of their products and food, as well as an appearance from Santa Claus.
For information about the preschool, call 817-645-9452 or visit ascensioncleburne.org.