Special to The Clinton Courier
A new preschool, The Children’s House, will open in Clinton on August 8. With a philosophy that children learn best through relationships and play, the school will welcome children ages three to five years old to be nurtured by trained teachers who will rely on gentle classroom guidance and community problem solving.
School directors say each class will spend a large portion of the day exploring the grounds of the school and following their natural curiosity while being supported by teachers to extend their thinking and skills. Being immersed in nature will allow the children to construct knowledge about how the world works, embrace new challenges, and solve problems creatively. They will be exposed to practices of care for the earth through everyday activities like gardening, composting and cooking.
The Children’s House is a joint ministry of Safe Harbor Family Church (United Church of Christ) and the Episcopal Church of the Creator. Ricki Smith, director and lead teacher of the preschool, holds a master’s in early childhood education from the University of Mississippi and a Bachelor of Arts in human development from Washington State University. She also has twenty years of experience teaching and directing preschools in Washington state and in Mississippi.
The Children’s House will be open year-round, with one week of closure in the winter and one week in the summer, plus Federal holidays. The school says that class sizes will be kept small, to ensure individualized instruction is provided to each child, and the planned student-teacher ratio will be eight to one. Breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack will be provided each day, and the preschool will serve a nutrient-dense, plant-forward menu.
This spring and summer, The Children’s House will be offering a free monthly “Play and Learn” event for families interested in learning more about the preschool. At these events, families will be able to meet the director, explore the grounds and observe an outdoor classroom. For more information, visit The Children’s House on Clinton Raymond Road on Facebook and at thechildrenshouseonclintonraymondroad.org.