Poster - Worship Slides

Poster - Front-and-Center Slides

Poster - Event Slides

Happy Spring everyone! I have to say that we are all so happy to be here and healthy a year after the world shut down. We all felt a strange “air” on the Friday before spring break this year since it was the anniversary of everything changing overnight. We have been blessed with a great year, and we are not taking it for granted. Everyone has done so well with precautions and thoughtfulness around all illnesses, and we are so grateful.

I am going to start off with our best news! We got our Colorado Shines rating score and I’m proud to say that we are a Level 4 out of 5! We were not far from a Level 5 and I feel confident that we will reach it at the next checkpoint in three years. There are not a lot of Level 5 programs out there, and the only other preschools in the area at Level 4 are with the school district, so we are thrilled with this score. It has been a long road that required a lot of extra hours to accomplish, but here we are! We now have a Quality Improvement Plan that will be reviewed and updated annually to show continued effort to improve our program. We have learned so much through this process and even though we’ve improved the preschool in so many ways, we will continue to always be working to find new and better ways to operate the program and work with the children and their families.

February flew by in a flash, and we are now officially in spring, which is full of fun learning experiences for the kiddos. The kiddos finished February by creating Eric Carle-inspired art. It was a multi-step, multi day process to complete, but they loved this project. Their work is on the bulletin board in the hallway. The children painted multiple papers to create their own unique paper designs, then they chose the art piece they wanted to create, then they cut out the pieces and put them together in collage fashion just like Eric Carle. They did a great job and really enjoyed the entire process.

March is full with Fairy Tales, Nursery Rhymes, Dr Seuss week, Dinosaurs and Easter. We had a lot of fun with princesses, kings, queens, dragons and castles during fairy tale/nursery rhyme week. There are just so many fun things to do with this theme that I can never get it all squeezed into a week! Of course, Dr Seuss week is full of silly fun and learning all about rhyming, and it is complete with a snack day of green eggs and ham. (It’s always funny to hear parents tell us how their kids will not eat scrambled eggs at home, but after green eggs and ham, they decide they like them!) Dinosaur week was extra fun this year. The staff got a little excited about it and created an amazing “dinosaur cave” in the classroom. It was complete with flying pterodactyls, vines and trees, galaxy and star lights and of course a lot of dinosaurs. We even had sound effects like it was the Jurassic period. The kiddos were paleontologists for a day. They created their own fossils in clay, then poured plaster into the clay to create a mold just like the scientists do when they make plaster casts of dinosaur bones. We also “hatched” dinosaur eggs by slowly dissolving them (science experiment) and finding the baby dinosaur inside. We even had a lava flowing volcano! This is a favorite week for staff and kids alike. The last week of March is full of Easter fun complete with egg coloring and egg hunts. The Bible story each week revealed a new story of Jesus and his journey to the cross and what it means for all of us. The kiddos even got to use their palm leaves to act out the people as Jesus rode in on the donkey. I am amazed at how well the kiddos retain these stories and can retell them back to me by the end of the week.

I want to thank anyone who has supported the preschool in various ways. Thanks to Joyce Hart for putting together a Thrivent Action Team to purchase and fill out graduation books for the Pre-K kiddos this year. It’s a special way to send the kiddos off each year as all staff members write personal notes in each student’s book. We send instructions for the parents to have every teacher throughout the child’s life sign the book up until they graduate high school. Thanks also to Jim Bernecker for fixing the ladder on the playground recently! We were so excited to see it back in working order—the kiddos really missed playing on it! I have said it before, but it’s worth mentioning again how much we love the sinks in the classroom. I really believe that the time and work put in by Eric Gardner, Grant Wolf and Zach Stephens on that project can take credit for the good health we’ve enjoyed this year so far. We are humbled by the kindness of those who have jumped in over these last years to build the preschool program back up. Thank you all for your generosity and kindness!

Enjoy the spring season of new life and blessings. I do hope you all are well and pray it continues that way. God Bless!

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 with any questions about the Preschool.