Rev. Brown prepares to welcome ‘early-fives'

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:13

    SPARTA-It's been four years in the making and it will soon be a reality. Construction of a new preschool at Our Lady of the Lake Church n- jokingly referred to as "de-construction" by Monsignor Paul Knauer -- has been underway since December. The convent building, which had been home to two sisters, has been vacated and is in the final stages of becoming the home of the new Our Lady of the Lake Reverend Brown Preschool and Parish Center. The idea of creating a preschool was envisioned by Barbara Campione, principal of the Rev. George A. Brown Memorial School, about four years ago. Campione felt there was a need within the community to create a quality program for children who were close in age to the Oct. 1 cut-off date for kindergarten. She believed that children whose parents preferred to have them wait one more year before entering kindergarten could also benefit. She saw a lack of options available for children in this age group. The Reverend Brown Preschool is the realization of her desire to see this need met. The Rev. Brown Preschool will offer an "Early Five-Year-Old Class" from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday beginning Sept. 9. The class will be designed to accommodate the needs of this group and prepare them to enter any kindergarten the following year. A "Pre-K Four-Year-Old Class" will be offered from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and a "Pre-K Three-Year-Old Class" will be offered the same times on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The school will implement a faith-based curriculum which corresponds with the New Jersey state standards. The curriculum is developmentally appropriate and meets the guidelines of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. "Learning through play in a warm and nurturing environment is the key to encouraging literacy and mastering pre-math, pre-reading and pre-writing skills at the pre-K level," said Luci Saltos, director of the new preschool. "Social/emotional skills, fine/gross motor skills and music and art will be incorporated in each class throughout the school year." Registration packets are available at the rectory office at Our Lady of the Lake Church and at the Rev. George A. Brown Memorial School office. Parents may contact the church office at 973-729-6107 for more information or to have a registration packet mailed.