Poster - Worship Slides

Poster - Front-and-Center Slides

Poster - Event Slides

Well, this is the wrap up for the end of the school year—we are one week away from our last day as I write this. It’s always a time of mixed emotions for us as we all look forward to the adventures of summer, but we have to say goodbye to many fun memories and relationships made during the school year. For some families, we can look forward to seeing them again next year or in upcoming years as the little siblings will be coming back. It’s always so nice to know we will still be seeing them regularly again, but for those who are on their last child at Open Arms, it is quite hard. We really develop relationships with these families, so year-end is indeed bittersweet.

The last part of April and the weeks in May have been filled with all kinds of events. After Easter week was done, we had our Friendship Parties scheduled just before conferences. In our classroom, we have a Kindness Jar for each class. This is to encourage kindness and friendship. When a teacher sees a random extra act of kindness, we have the child put a kindness bead in the jar. If a child comes to a teacher to tell us about a kind thing another child did for them, they get to put a bead in the jar. Once the jar is full, we have a Friendship/Kindness party complete with pizza, ice cream and games and lots of fun. The kiddos had a blast while we also encouraged kindness and friendship. The following week was garden week and Jessica and Lani had to take charge since I had to go back to Oklahoma to plan my mom’s funeral. They organized planting activities for the kids and made fun garden crafts, then ended the week with a field trip to the Garbage Garage. They also got the Mother’s Day gift from the kiddos all painted and ready to go for the following week. I am so grateful to these ladies as they took over and I could be with my family without any worries.

The next week was Mother’s Day week and it was, of course, filled with preparations to get ready for our special Mother’s Day Tea. I want to say a huge thank you to all the ladies at Saint John’s who prepared delicious and beautiful food for the event and for those of you who came to help on the day of! Like I said before, this could not be successfully done without your help! With thirty—or more, with siblings!—preschoolers in a room, it can feel overwhelming and chaotic, so the more hands working, the much more successful it is. It may have felt crazy busy that day, but it was a happy chaos and one that the moms were so happy to be a part of. They told us over and over how much they loved the day, and the fact that their child “served” them all sweet treats when they got their plates was just some of the precious and funny memories they will remember as their children grow up. The kiddos painted photo clip frames complete with a handprint as a gift to their mom, along with a special card made by them. My son is an artist and he sketched a portrait of each preschooler that we attached to the frames. The moms were very surprised at this gift, and so were the kiddos. After we had eaten and had our time inside, we went out into the new garden area to release our butterflies. This was a beautiful day in so many ways … we may have all gone away exhausted, but it was so rewarding and worth it. Thank you, ladies, so much, again, for all your help! I cannot tell you how grateful I am and how happy I am to have this connection between the preschool and the church!

We also had our Spring Program which was a hit! Thank you so much Tom for running the sound for us! I admit I was rather nervous about what would happen on the stage since we only had two practices! I have to say, the kids did wonderfully and had a great time, which is most important. We had a few kiddos who were so nervous that parents were on standby “just in case.” As it turned out, those kiddos did beautifully and didn’t show any nerves on stage at all! Our skits were Chicken Little and The Little Red Hen, and let me just say, we may have future actors and actresses in this class!

Now we enter our last week of school. Graduations will be on Friday May 24, with picnic parties after each one. Our three-year-old class picnic is on Thursday.

Thank you all at Saint John’s again so much for supporting Open Arms! It’s been so fun to watch the program grow and even more fun to meet so many great families and work with their children. Have a safe and fun summer! Blessings to you all!

Kandy Wise is the Director of Open Arms Preschool, a ministry of Saint John’s Lutheran Church. You may reach her at 482-1357 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions about the Preschool.