Nursery school has room to grow in church building


January 19, 2001|By Christy Kruhm | Christy Kruhm,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THIS PAST YEAR was a time of growth for St. James Nursery.

Since 1974, thousands of 3- and 4-year-olds have gotten a head start on their education by attending preschool at St. James Nursery in Mount Airy.

When last fall's enrollment surpassed classroom space, the school made it a priority to expand the number of classes available to area children.

An addition to the nursery school building or portable classrooms were deemed not feasible. So the school looked at using existing properties in the community, said Ellen Bonde, St. James Nursery director for 14 years.

In a "unique community effort," Mount Olive United Methodist Church offered St. James Nursery use of its facility, said Bonde. For a fee, the nursery school moved into Mount Olive's facility on Gillis Falls Road in September.

"The move couldn't have been easier," said Bonde.

The building was the former home of Cabbage Springs Nursery School, and had just been painted, and had new windows and doors.

With the addition of the St. James annex, enrollment increased to 220 pupils, three classes were added and the school's pre-kindergarten program was expanded.

The growth of the nursery program has also meant an increase in staff. Teachers include: Shirley Thomas, Robin Cordani, Phyllis Garnand, Michelle McBryde and Michele Moore. Teacher assistants are Pam Medairy, Kim Miller, Christine Balka and Liz Greiner.

Bonde, who has been in education for 32 years and is an early-childhood specialist, is excited about the expansion of the pre-kindergarten program.

"A gift of time" is how Bonde described the yearlong preschool program designed for 5-year-olds not ready to attend kindergarten. The children have been identified as needing a year to grow because of a variety of factors, such as social immaturity, the need to further develop motor skills, sequencing and auditory skills, or color and number identification.

To help parents better understand school readiness, St. James Nursery is offering a free lecture, "Ready or Not ... It's Off to School They Go!" The two-hour lecture will be presented by nationally recognized early-childhood education consultant Linda Pass Halverson beginning at 7 p.m. Jan. 30 at St. James Nursery, 202 N. Main St., Mount Airy.

Halverson will speak to parents on school readiness, and how it could affect their child's school success.

Information: 301-829-0014.

Benefit dinner

Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Company is promising an evening of food and fun during its annual bull and oyster roast.

The dinner will be held Feb. 17 at the Firemen's Activity Building, Route 27 and Twin Arch Road.

Dinner will be served from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are $25. Those attending must be age 21 or older.

Information: 301-829-1510.

Italian dinner

A traditional spaghetti and meatball dinner, with salad, garlic bread, iced tea and coffee, will be served at St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church.

Sponsored by St. Michael's Knights of Columbus 10525, the annual spaghetti dinner is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 27 at the church hall, 1125 St. Michael's Road, Mount Airy. The Knights of Columbus Ladies Auxiliary will tempt offer homemade desserts.

Information: 301-829-0380 or 410-489-7667.

Christy Kruhm's Southwest Neighbors column appears each Friday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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