Little Angels Early Learning Center
Little Angels Early Learning Center Updates from Director Katie Grady:
As I reflect on my years with People’s United Methodist Church and Little Angels Early Learning Center (LAELC), I think about numbers, expansions, and the support of this congregation. This August marks the start of my 13th year as teacher/director of Little Angels. In 2005, I started with just 2 part-time, school year only teachers, 2 morning-only classes, and 14 children.
The next year we had enough demand to offer our 1st afternoon class; and have been growing ever since. In 2012, listening to the needs of our community we restructured the Parent’s Day Out program to be a full day, full or part-time Christian childcare facility, in addition to Oregon School District 4K and our Christian Preschool. This is when Little Angels Christian Preschool (LACP) was renamed Little Angels Early Learning Center (LAELC).
This spring Little Angels Early Learning Center was presented with the option to expand yet again, this time with our 4K program, by offering a second morning session. The Oregon School District was looking to change the location of its DLL (Dual Language Learning) 4K classroom. For those that do not know, this means that there are children in this class that are learning 1 different language (Spanish, German, Hmong, French, etc.) at the same time as they are learning English (ESL -English as Second Language or ELL-English Language Learner are terms that have been used in the past). Through various committees it was decided that opening our walls and doors to welcome these young learners and their families fit with the direction and mission of the church.
We worked with the Trustees, Church Council, and our Board of Directors to get bids and choose a contractor to complete the opening of the wall between classrooms 5 and 6 (creating our new 4K classroom), add shelving in many rooms, move our supply room to the children’s library, and to shorten the peninsula in the nursery (ensuring safety and visibility of children). LAELC has some funds in an account for large ticket purchases, repairs, and/or improvements from “good” enrollment years, and this is what will be used to pay the contractor.
While the construction by Justin Staskal is complete, we are now in the process of having Gerard Pehler paint the two 4K spaces and the adult meeting rooms, followed by Matt and Tracey Sundell stripping and waxing the floors. (These final 2 steps are part of the church’s annual maintenance fund).
LAELC staff would love to have you stop down to check out the changes to the lower level any time after August 15th, when we are ready and set for the school year to begin. We do have our Back to School Night (Open House and supply drop-off for enrolled families) on August 15th from 5:30-7:30pm.
In closing, I must say THANK YOU three times. THANK YOU for believing in my leadership skills and passions in working with this age group. THANK YOU for your understanding as we have transitioned/changed some of the original plans for the church building to accommodate our expansions. And THANK YOU for your prayers and support of our programs. We also ask that you keep us in your prayers as we begin the 2018-2019 year with 3 4K classes, 3, preschool classes, and a very full childcare room, 11 employees, 3 regular substitute teachers serving 89 students and their families.