Nobody thought to prepare moms for first day of preschool


February 16, 2000|By Donna Koros Stramella | Donna Koros Stramella,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

REMEMBER YOUR first day of school? I have no recollections of my own first day, but I can recall those of my two daughters with amazing accuracy.

My youngest was 3 years old when I dropped her off for the first day of preschool. All morning, she was enthusiastic, dressing quickly and rushing through breakfast. Her bubbly mood continued in the car, as she chatted about the new friends she would make.

When the teachers met her at the door of Harundale Presbyterian Preschool, she produced a big smile. But as I gave her a quick hug and kiss before leaving, she began to cry.

My friends had prepared me for this reaction. "No matter how excited they seem, it's still a difficult transition," they had cautioned. "But the best response is to leave quickly. They'll adjust better."

But as I looked down into tear-filled eyes, I wasn't so sure. The teacher finally managed to interest my daughter in some toys, but the tears continued to stream down her face.

I stood in the hallway for a good 10 minutes after school started. Then I moved a few feet away to the parking lot, where I had a good view of the classroom through the windows.

By now, my daughter was playing happily with two other girls. Her tears were gone, but mine were just getting started.

My friends had prepared me for my daughter's transition, but they'd left out something important: mom's.

Scenes like that have doubtless been played out many times at Harundale Presbyterian Preschool, which has served the community for more 30 years and is planning for the next session.

The preschool is accepting registration for the 2000-2001 school year, offering classes for children ages 3 and 4. The registration fee is $35.

Three-year-olds meet from 9: 30 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with a monthly tuition of $70. Four-year-olds meet at the same hours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with tuition of $92. The school year runs from September through May.

The preschool has served the community for more than 30 years, with early childhood teachers providing age-appropriate lessons in a Christian environment.

The lesson plan includes sessions on colors, shapes, letters and numbers. Students perform hands-on science experiments with water, ice and magnets.

"We really just touch the surface," preschool Director Pat Messmore says. "But the kids always get a lot of fun out of the experiments."

Special events like Silly Sock Day and Hat Day are sprinkled throughout the year. Field trips to a pumpkin farm, as well as spring and fall walks, are also included. The year ends with a picnic at Lake Waterford Park.

The preschool is at 1020 Eastway, next to the North County library. Information: 410-766-4338.

Parent programs

Glendale Elementary School at 105 Carroll Road has scheduled two programs for parents tonight -- one for those considering volunteer opportunities in school, the other on parent skills in helping children manage anger.

Volunteer orientation will be held at 6 p.m., offering an overview of volunteer opportunities at Glendale and details on the county's code of conduct for volunteers. The session is suggested for parents who are considering getting involved in the school, as well those new to the volunteer program.

A workshop on anger management will follow at 7 p.m., teaching parents coping mechanisms for managing anger that can be passed on to the family. The session is part of Glendale's Second Step program, an effort aimed at teaching children to solve problems cooperatively, consider the feelings of others and manage anger in a positive way.

Child care, refreshments and door prizes will be offered during the workshop.

Information: 410-222-6404.

...a few good students

The county school system's Office of Guidance and Counseling will sponsor a program on educational opportunities in the military from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow in the Glen Burnie High School auditorium.

Representatives from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard will provide details on educational and career opportunities.

The program is open to high school students throughout the county, as well as their parents. Information: 410-222-5282.

Boosters' events

The Harundale Booster Club, which supports the Harundale Youth Sports League, will hold an indoor flea market from 8 a.m. to noon on Feb. 26 at the building of American Legion Post 40 on Fifth Avenue. Table rental is $15.

The next Booster Club meeting is planned for 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Corkran Middle School media center. The group will discuss plans for events including a spring dance and the Little League's opening day parade -- the date of which has not yet been decided.

Information: Keith Wiedenhoeft, 410-766-2915; or Ed or Colleen Pettus, 410-379-5412.

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