By Airi Nomura – Loveland, Colorado … HMS Richards Adventist School’s preschool program is back and growing.
Last year, the preschool program was suspended due to the pandemic, and many families were choosing to keep their youngest children at home.
Since its reopening in August, the program has seen a steady influx of students. Currently, there is only one full-time and a few part-time openings available.
Kristie Smith, preschool director and kindergarten teacher, reflecting on the influx, said, “I see God working as we keep getting more students. We are expecting two more in the next month. We need to have a certain number of students to be able to pay for our teacher’s salaries, and the Lord just keeps sending the students that we need to have here.”
The preschool program is partly combined with the kindergarten class; the unique curriculum allows the preschoolers to learn in a fun and advanced educational environment.
“We have kids in this classroom from ages three to six. For some subjects, such as math, we separate students according to age level, but for most subjects, they are combined,” Smith said.
She also explained that the teachers can adapt the curriculum for each student’s individual needs, but the combination allows younger students to work on a higher level. “Since the preschool students are often in the same class as the kindergarten students, I am able to challenge them more as they are ready,” Smith remarked.
The HMS preschoolers and kindergartners take full advantage of their unique location on Campion Academy’s campus. They walk and explore the grounds of the campus every day, as they learn outside of the classroom.
“We do a lot of outdoor education. We are learning about different types of plants or trees, and [we] identify them by their leaves,” said Smith. “We often go on letter walks, where we go over to the church, and we get to find things that begin with the letter that we are learning about.”
When asked what she loves about the school, one of the preschoolers shared, “I like being at my desk and learning. I enjoy playing with my friends, eating lunch, and playing on our playground.”
One of the greatest needs preschool and kindergarten classrooms have is substitute teachers. If you feel you could help meet this need, please email [email protected]
–Airi Nomura is a Campion Academy senior; photo supplied