Creative Expressions Artwork Auction

Annual Young Artists’ Exhibit and Silent Auction Reception

April 29, 2012 @ 12:15pm
5010 Six Forks Road ~ Raleigh, NC 27609

The School of Grace Preschool and Grace Lutheran Church invite the community to celebrate children’s creative expressions of artwork.  Preschool children ages 6 months to 5 years will have their artwork displayed for sale.  In addition, preschool families and church members donate visual arts, jewelry and more for the silent auction.

The purpose of The School of Grace is to empower children and families to reach their greatest potential and to enjoy the richness of the preschool years.  Proceeds from the art sale and silent auction provide tuition scholarships to children of refugee families and families in need.

Refreshments are served and hands-on activities for young children will be available.  Join us as we celebrate the creative expressions of young children!

The School of Grace, Where Teachers Really Care

-Mary Beth K.

Our daughter began at The School of Grace as the ‘baby’ of the baby class. She was 6 months old and, after having made her arrival into the world a little early, somewhat delayed in relation to her gross motor skills. Her verbal skills, however, suffered no such problems. She spent most of her early days at school perched in the Bumbo seat, Excersaucer or on the hip of one of her amazing teachers, as she happily babbled to the other kids!

One of the many things that has impressed me about The School of Grace from the beginning is their willingness to work with Caroline (and her parents!) to help better develop these gross motor skills. Once Caroline turned one we began seeing a physical therapist and Lynn and Mary were always eager to hear updates of how things were going and quick to ask what they could do in the classroom to help continue the exercises we were learning in physical therapy. Their never ending patience, persistence and encouragement were a huge boost not only to Caroline, but to us as we all began to watch her grow and become more and more independent. Now, Caroline is an extremely active participant in the ‘Turtle’ class, scaling the slide’s ladder on the playground, climbing up the steps to wash her hands in the bathroom, and often attempting to haul herself up on top of the lunch table (with Lynn’s patient chorus of “let me help you sit in your chair” in the background). Continue reading

Paying for Preschool

Much easier than it sounds
By Dr. Kate G.

Being completely honest, I am cheap. I will scan the aisles for good deals, I live for consignment sales, my toddler gets second hand toys as gifts for holidays, and I am never too embarrassed to ask for the college student discount that I technically no longer qualify for (we are all students of life, right?) However there is one area that I refuse to try to cut costs on and that is my child’s education. As with every educated consumer, I have taken the time to educate myself on what is considered a quality and what I am willing to pay for it. Learning through experience has taught me a great deal in a short amount of time.

Knowing what you want: Going back to work after having our daughter was tough- really tough. I grew up with a nanny. From the time I was 8 weeks old I was lucky enough to have a grandmother-type figure in my life, every week day, from breakfast to dinner. As I re-entered the work world, I wanted that for our daughter- a constant that nurtured her and her developmental needs. The idea of full-time daycare out of the home was never an option. However, the cost of in-home care is expensive- trying to find that young, retired grandmother-type that is willing to work for $7-$8 hour no longer exists. So when my time came to go back to work my husband and I looked at each other with the dreading question of who is good enough to take care of our child? We had enough money to pay a sitter $8/hour for 32 hours a week. We thought this was pretty good, then we learned what $8 can get you:Continue reading

May Your Easter Be Blessed

-Lynn H., Director

Our preschool walk toward Easter has been significant. In Chapel, Associate in Ministry, Ellen, has led the children through the life and ministry of Jesus, focusing on his message to follow God’s call and love one another. In Music, I have had the joy of sharing an assortment of “Jesus” songs, including Jesus Loves Me, Jesus in the Morning, and Jesus Loves the Little Children. During our Palm Sunday celebration, we waved felt palm prawns, sang about Jesus and paraded through the halls. During our Easter celebration (which was a bit premature due to our Spring Break this week), we continued to sing about Jesus and, this time, danced with multi-colored scarves to express our joy that Jesus is alive! Each class has also celebrated with colorful art projects, treats and egg hunts.

Is it all necessary? Not really. We could skip the egg hunt, art and treats. We could skip the parade and dance. We could even skip the Bible story and learning about Jesus. However, everything combined gives us a greater understanding of how amazing God is to have sent his son, who lives for us and with us, who encourages us to love each other as God loves us.

We do this every day in preschool. The teachers share Christ’s love as they praise children for positive behavior, as they encourage problem solving between children, as they smile, hug and focus on each individual. The parents share this same love as they provide support, volunteer and model positive relationships within our family. The children make this love a complete circle as they share who they are, show compassion for their peers and live life with passion.

Sharing God’s love isn’t anything we reserve for Easter. Easter celebrations, however, remind us that God loves us so much that He sent His son who sacrificed everything for you and me. As we celebrate the recognition of this love, we teach children that God’s love is alive and vibrant. God’s love is to be shared joyfully and sincerely.

Last week, a toddler came running up to me with arms outstretched. As I knelt to receive the child, I was given a surprisingly strong embrace, an enormous grin and a sloppy kiss planted on my nose. I responded with an equally strong embrace, an equally enormous grin and the words, “I love your hugs!” The child replied, “I love you!” Of course, I then gave an extra squeeze, accompanied by the words, “I love you, too!” Continue reading

2012/13 Registration has Begun!

The School of Grace Priority Status Registration for next school year, 2012/13, began January 4th.  This means that anyone who is currently enrolled and their siblings, along with Grace Lutheran Church members, get first choice when registering for classes next year, as long as the registration forms are received by January 31st.  After January 31st, all registration forms are processed on a first come, first served basis with forms from the community.

Note that, even in January, registration forms are date stamped as they are received.  This means that if more people with priority status register for a class than there is capacity, whoever turned their form in the earliest gets placed first.  The priority status means you get priority over anyone without status who is registering.

Anyone may register beginning in January.  If you don’t have priority status, you may still turn in a registration form.  All forms that are received during the month of January will be processed during the first week of February.  We will continue to accept registration forms until all of our classes are full.  Then we begin waiting lists for each class.

For more information about the parent participatory preschool, which serves children ages 6 months through 5 years, visit  To set up a tour, contact Lynn Hess at or 787-4740.

The School of Grace Begins Another Exciting Year

August is a great time to get ready at The School of Grace. We begin the month with a week of summer camp, greeting old friends and making new ones. For many children, this is similar to preschool orientation, when they get a taste of what the school year will offer.

The Parent Workday is next, when staff, parents and church members work as a team to clean the classrooms and prepare the playgrounds for the beginning of the school year. Who would imagine that sanitizing toys and washing windows could be fun? We combine this event with breakfast, making what would seem like a task, more social. This time, the adults are greeting old friends and making new ones.

Then the staff converges for the back to school Teacher Work days. We begin the week with a staff meeting: sharing stories from the summer; developing a curriculum focus for the year, and discussing the nuts and bolts of the upcoming year. Throughout the week, staff prepares their classrooms and makes home visits. The home visits are truly my favorite part of the week because we spend time in each child’s home getting to know them. Over the years, we have found that taking time to meet with each child in his/her own environment makes the transition into the school year much smoother. When a child arrives at school, he or she already knows the teachers and is ready to jump right in! On Thursday night, the parents arrive for Parent Orientation. We begin with a large group meeting where we get to know each other and learn the philosophy of the school. This year, the staff presented a light hearted skit depicting aspects of a preschool day and tips for parents. Then the parents head to the classrooms to learn about their child’s class and sign up for Helping Parent Days during the school year. Our teacher workdays end on Friday with a day of Infant/Child/Adult CPR and First Aid training.Continue reading

We Are Fortunate to be a Parent Participatory Preschool

There are so many things that are unique and special about The School of Grace Preschool in Raleigh. As a teacher and a parent, one aspect that I am particularly excited about is the parent participatory program at our school.

Parents agree to spend the morning with us in the classroom once or twice each month. Parents are not there to work in the classroom, but rather to spend the morning participating in their child’s learning and development. Every parent I have encountered has expressed nothing but joy in having the opportunity to help the teachers and the children with our daily activities. Parents read, assist with art projects, build with blocks, make creations with play dough, shop for groceries and cook in the kitchen. To sum it up in one word, they play.Continue reading

Why do parents participate in their child’s preschool?

Why Do Parents Participate?

By Megan E.

I have been asked to write a bit about the Parent Participatory aspect of our son’s preschool, The School of Grace. My oldest son began attending the school in January 2010 at 4 years old, and finished up there this past May. Previous to signing him up, he had been home with me the whole time and I had very little experience with any sort of preschool, meaning neither of us had any idea what to expect. I wasn’t so sure what to make of the Parent Participatory aspect myself at first, but we have come to love it and I’m happy to share my opinion on this program.

First, what is “Parent Participatory?”

Well, at it’s most basic level it’s simply a program requiring parent participation. At School of Grace, this means that we drop off our children inside the building every morning and pick them up on the playground when school is over, instead of doing a carpool. It also means helping out in class as “Helping Parent” a couple of times a month, as well as once a year events such as helping out at the fund raising yard sale or helping to clean the classroom during Parent Work Week.Continue reading

Why We Don’t Have a Carpool Line

By Brittany Notch – a parent of two preschoolers at The School of Grace and one graduate

I have been a School of Grace parent for almost five years.  Several parents throughout the years have asked why we don’t have a carpool line.  The pros to a carpool line are obvious: a speedy drop off and pick up.  Having three children, I understand how the idea of a carpool line could be convenient and less of a hassle as opposed to walking into the classroom when dropping off and picking up children.  However, the “hassle” is well worth every extra minute.

When dropping my children off, I get to speak with his/her teachers and learn their plans for the day.  Schedules are displayed in the classrooms, giving me great ideas for fun and creative activities at home as well.  I also have the opportunity to speak with other parents, form relationships, set up play dates and get the gist of what everyday life looks like in other people’s homes with small children.  In a sense, it is a fabulous parent support system.  When I drop my children off in their classroom, hug and kiss them goodbye, I feel as though I am communicating to them that The School of Grace is a safe place; that I am comfortable leaving them there but will return in a few hours.  Continue reading

Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ Campaign

According to a June 14, 2011 article in the News and Observer, first lady Michelle Obama has set new standards as part of a national initiative “to encourage child care centers to promote healthy habits starting with the littlest Americans….that promote healthy eating, exercise and limited time in front of TV, computer and other screens.”

“The first lady’s Let’s Move child care checklist stresses five principles:

  • Provide one to two hours of physical activity daily.
  • No screen time for children under 2.  Limit screen time for older children to no more than 30 minutes per week during child care, and ensure children have no more than one to two hours of quality screen time per day.
  • Serve fruit and vegetables at every meal, eat family-style when possible and no fried foods.
  • Provide access to water throughout the day, and do not serve sugary drinks.
  • Support mothers who want to breast-feed by providing mother’s milk to infants and welcoming mothers who want to breast-feed their children during the child-care day.”

While this initiative is geared toward full day child care centers, at The School of Grace, we are already following similar standards as a half day preschool program:

  • All children experience outdoor exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes per morning.  Teachers have alternate plans for movement indoors during inclement weather.  In addition, children often participate in stretching exercises as they prepare for Circle Time and other special programs.  In Music, all songs include either fine or gross motor movement, or both.  Physical Activity is a natural part of our curriculum.Continue reading