CHAMPLAIN - Families on the prowl for a Pre-K program for their 4-year-olds will be able to visit St. Mary's April 6-8, and see a new program in the works.
"We're going to be adding the 3-year-olds to the program," explained teacher's aide Ann Pinto.
"We thought there was a need for it in the community," she added. "We had a lot of inquiries from parents interested in a 3-year-old program and we thought it would be good for the community and good for the school."
Pre-K teacher Mary Anne Shaughnessy said she hopes parents will visit the school during the open house to see the learning environment they offer.
"The thing about St. Mary's is it's in the regular school, so we they have a lot of resources available," she explained. "It's got a group of people who work there and it's a very caring and loving environment."
Shaughnessy said for parents who choose to visit the school, with children welcome to attend as well, the best time would be from 9-11:30 a.m. or 12:30-3 p.m.
"You could stay all day, you can stay 10 minutes, you can stay an hour," she said. "Just enough so they can see what the program is like."
Since there is currently no program for the 3-year-old age group in place, both Pinto and Shaughnessy said seeing the Pre-K program will give a good idea of what will be available in the fall, as they plan to have a similar structure.
"Any activities that we could do together, like play in the playroom and things like that, we could probably do," Pinto said of the new program. "But the 3-year-old program would be a lot less structured than the 4-year-old program."
Shaughnessy said the program will give a good introduction to what kindergarten will be like for the children.
"They're part of the school here," she said. "They're included in everything from little prayer services or ceremonies, to the Catholic Schools Week," she said. "They are doing gym and library and music ... just like you get in kindergarten."
For more information about the open house, or the Pre-K program, call St. Mary's Academy at 298-3372.