We strive to find, to see, and to encourage the best in each person in our community.
By providing a warm, nurturing environment in which we respect and delight in the gifts of others, we build confidence as well as compassion, cooperation and kindness.
Our play-based curriculum gives children time to explore, create, make choices, and solve problems at their own developmental level with teacher support.
Experienced and caring teachers provide a balance of teacher-initiated projects and lessons as well as child-directed activities in order to meet each child at his or her potential.
The Twos attend each week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:15 to 11:15 (beginning in the 2017-18 school year). Children must be two by September 1 of the year they attend. There are two teachers with 10 students. While general concepts are introduced, children develop such important skills as playing with friends, sharing toys, expressing ideas, listening to a story in a group, and resolving conflicts peacefully. Stories are read each day, songs are sung, and playing is a big part of the day.
All 3s classes have 12 children with two teachers. Children in the threes begin to expand their ability to play with others, to listen in a group to new ideas, to try new projects, and to look beyond themselves to learn about the natural world. They work on art projects, play games, complete puzzles, and learn new things each day. They begin to make plans for their days and love to make choices in their classrooms such as pretend play, painting, sharing toys, using play-dough or blocks or beginning a parade. Teachers plan hands on activities to spark interest, expand language, and encourage new thinking.
The 2 day 3s (Pebbles) are children who turn 3 in late summer or fall, and are 3 by December 31st in the year of attendance. These children attend on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 to 11:45.
The 3 day 3s (Buds) are children who turn 3 in late Spring and through the summer prior to attending the class. The class is in session on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 to 11:45 (beginning in the 2017-18 school year).
The 3 day 3s (Dewdrops) are children who turned 3 in January through Spring prior to attending the class. They come to school Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 to 11:45.
All efforts are made to balance the boy:girl ratio. There are 12 students in each of the 3 year old classes with two teachers.
The 4 day 4s (River Rocks)often attended our 2 day 3s class the previous year. They turn 4 in the fall in which they attend and are all 4 by December. They attend Monday through Thursday from 9 to 12. If there is sufficient interest and readiness, some of the children can attend the “plus Friday” group as well in which some of the class comes on Friday for small group activities and play.The 5 day 4s (Sprouts) have birthdays in the late spring and summer in which they turn 4 just before school begins. These children attend Monday through Friday from 9 to 12:00.
The 5 day 4s (Raindrops) have birthdays in January through Spring prior to attending the class. These children attend from Monday through Friday 9 to 12.
The four-year-olds become much more expansive in their play and creativity. We see large group projects and play. Fine motor tasks become more involved and friendships are more solidly formed. Four-year-olds continue to receive guidance and help to play kindly, inclusively and fairly. Teachersbuild many themes around the letters of the alphabet to introduce those who are ready to learn letters and their sounds.
However, the day is still play-based and many of the 4’s are more excited about the dinosaur activities than they are about the fact that it begins with “D.” Science concepts are introduced from shadows to magnets to plant growth. These children begin to learn about their larger community and cover a wide range of numeric concepts. Four year olds are offered many opportunities to experiment, create, build, and problem solve.
The Kindergarten program is either a half or full day program (your choice), ending at 2:15 Monday through Thursday and 11:45 on Fridays. If you choose the half-day program, dismissal is between 11:45 and 12:00 each day. Children in our Kindergarten class must have their fifth birthday between January prior to attending kindergarten and December while in the class. Our students move on to both private and public schools. They leave First English to attend 1st grade, pre-first, or an older kindergarten upon graduation depending on their birthdays and the policies of the accepting schools. The teachers and administration work with the area private schools to complete referrals and schedule observations as needed.
The Kindergarten is a special place where children can still play, be creative and spend lots of time outdoors. However, they are also beginning to read through phonics instruction, repetitive books, and sight words. Interesting stories are read and explored. The children have opportunities for dramatic play on their own and to act out stories with the class. The science program includes reading and real life experiences. Math covers a wide range of skills including number awareness, counting, place value, shapes, time, money, addition, patterns and more. All of these skills are provided in hands on activities with opportunities to make choices and be creative.
Music is an integral part of early childhood education. The songs and skills learned at this age will be carried through the rest of their lives. At Felp, music resonates continuously in the classrooms, be it randomly or guided! Our licensed Music Together Teacher comes into each classroom once a week, from the 2’s class through kindergarten. This learning program incorporates singing, guitar, scarves, shakers, finger play, chants, visual rhythmic cues and dance as basic tools to teach children about the concepts of music. Most importantly, MUSIC IS FUN! Fun is the glue that holds it all together. Children often come home singing all the songs learned at school!
The classrooms and hallways are often full of artistic creations by children. They love to paint, glue, draw, cut, tape, and more to create. Each week, the art teacher comes to work in the classrooms with both of the 4s classes and the Kindergarten. She reads a story and offers a new art project for the children. They often use new mediums or learn a new technique. They use watercolor, tissue paper, printing techniques to create wonderful works of art. Each time, the process is more important than the product and the child is able to express their own ideas. Each piece is then unique and special.
Once a week, the 4s classes and Kindergarten are visited by our Spanish teacher. She comes with songs, games, hands on materials and pictures. The children really enjoy this time and in no time, you hear them enthusiastically labeling things by their colors; “rojo!..azul!..” While no child will be fluent Spanish speakers, this offers the children the beginnings of learning a new language as well as an understanding that there are other languages. At this age, the teacher focuses on the correct pronunciation of new words in Spanish. It is enjoyable and meaningful.
We believe that each child should have time to exercise their bodies, enjoy the outdoors, explore nature, and have time to play and run. Each day the classes spend time on our playground, complete with a big sandbox, places to climb, monkey bars, tunnels, slides, and a house for pretend play. The children play freely, making mulch pies, digging tunnels, watching bugs, chasing, climbing and skipping. When the weather does not permit us to go outdoors, we take the students to Fellowship Hall, which is a large indoor space . In that space, children can ride trikes, climb, tumble on mats, walk the balance beam, and more. While we love to be outside, the children have come to enjoy rainy days when they can try different equipment and move their bodies in different ways.
First English Lutheran Preschool began in 1964 when a congregation member had the inspiration to offer quality child care in the neighborhood. The program began under the supervision of the Christian Education committee of the congregation, and the school has grown greatly in the years. From its beginning, the school has welcomed people of all faith traditions, while honoring the Christian character of the congregation.
While continuing to respect and welcome all faith traditions, the school cooperates with the church to offer components of Christian Education in the preschool program. These components have been planned to respect all individuals, and to ensure that lessons will be developmentally appropriate for children at various age levels. The components of Christian Education include the following elements:
- Chapel services take place each Friday. Pastor Burggraf or another church staff member leads a 10 minute service that includes songs, a Bible-related story, poems, and a prayer. Often, the pastor uses puppets with the children. The school has scheduled the chapel service for the last minutes of the day so that parents have the options of staying for chapel themselves or picking up their children up early if they do not wish their children to participate in a Christian chapel service. (We request that parents alert the school concerning any arrangements for early pick-up on Fridays.)
- Each month, the pastor visits the 2s, 3s, 4s and Kindergarten classrooms for a short story or lesson related to God’s love. The stories are simple and sweet. Parents know ahead of time when the stories will be offered. The stories take place at the beginning of the day; therefore, parents may come and observe or they may choose to come in late if they do not wish the children to participate in these stories.
We are pleased about the level of cooperation between the congregation and the preschool. The congregation has invited the school community to be part of many activities that the church offers, such as service projects reaching out to the community, the Fair Trade fair, and fun events like movie nights and holiday parties. By combining our efforts for projects such as collecting for the needy, we come together with our common interests and concerns. Additionally, the school has invited congregational participation in fund-raisers, and in special events like the Strawberry Festival.
The congregation always offers an invitation to preschool families to become better acquainted with the church and its resources. Together, the school and the church are building a relationship of trust, cooperation, and respect.
A Special Invitation from Pastor Don
The congregation is so happy to provide the setting for the FELP program. We realize that families involved with the preschool come from a variety of religious backgrounds. If you participate with a church, synagogue, or mosque, we want to encourage you in that participation. If, however, you don’t have an involvement with a house of worship and are looking for greater meaning in life, we invite you to visit with us. Our congregation offers Baptism for young children. We have weekly Christian Education for children and adults. We offer an opportunity to worship with friendly people.
We are glad you have decided to join the preschool family. Please feel free to participate with any projects where the school and congregation join forces to help needy people in Baltimore. And if you don’t already have a church home, we hope you will visit with us on Sunday. We’d love to see you.