The North Bend Eagle


 

Little Lamb preschool welcomes little ones

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 9/12/12

What began a vision has become a reality.

North Bend’s second preschool has opened. With 15 three-year-olds and nine five-year-olds eagerly anticipating their first day of Little Lamb Preschool at St. Peter Lutheran Church, their excitement was matched by the new teachers, Kiley Frana and Kristy Voss.

Little Lamb PreschoolLane Petersen gets some help from his dad Todd during a scavenger hunt in the preschool room the night before classes started.

The Rev. Calvin L’Heureux said that the Visionary in Planning Board decided it was an excellent opportunity for the church with Martha Settles retiring and closing her preschool last spring.

“It is an opportunity that God was opening the door for us to do this,” L’Heureux said.

The congregation voted overwhelming support for the project and a board was selected to organize the preschool made up of Jennifer Karnatz, Bruce Williams, Settles, Jules Emmons and L’Heureux. Settles and Emmons, with over 50 years of preschool experience between them, are writing the curriculum. It will be Christ centered, with plenty of stimulation for the young minds and bodies.

L’Heureux said that they had to make minor changes to the classroom, and the playground area had to be redone to make it more friendly to little ones.

Frana will be the director of the preschool and teacher of the older group that meets Monday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, 12:30 to 3 p.m. A native of Blair, she has her degree in early childhood development from Wayne State College and has taught preschool in day care centers in Omaha and Wahoo. Her husband, Kevin, is from Cedar Bluffs and works in Lincoln. The Frana family lives north of Malmo.

Since 2005, Frana has been a stay-at-home mom with a licensed day care in her home. She has three sons, Austin, 7, a first grader at North Bend Elementary; Hayden, 5, who will be attending Little Lamb Preschool; and Brecken, 18 months, who will be going to his grandparents while mom is at school.

The mission of St. Peter’s Little Lamb Preschool is to bring Jesus to as many preschool age children as possible by providing them with a Christ-centered education. L’Heureux said it will not be a Lutheran theology, but “Jesus loves you” lessons.

Frana said she expects that the children will know Jesus as their very best friend and that the preschool will provide opportunities and experiences for children to explore, think and learn in age-appropriate ways that equip them for success in kindergarten and beyond

Kristy Voss is teaching the two 3-year-old classes (M/W or T/Th 8:45 to 11:15 a.m.) that each meet two mornings a week. She and her husband, Jeff, live on the family farm northeast of North Bend. Voss has her bachelor’s degree in education with a 7-12 English endorsement and master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. She taught for four years before her children were born. The mother of Rebekah, 7; Sarah, 6, both students at NBE; and Jonah, 3, who will be attending Little Lamb Preschool; Voss has been active in her children’s activities.

“My dedication to this new school runs high as a teacher and as a mother,” Voss said. “The children will be taught in an inviting, fun atmosphere with a Christ-centered curriculum.”

The teachers and board will be working together to coordinate lessons for the preschoolers.

“Kristy and I have sat down with the preschool board and have come up with themes/topics that we would like to learn and teach to the children,” Frana said. “We are incorporating the theme throughout the whole classroom. Then we find books, articles, art projects, math/science ideas and incorporate them into the theme or topic that we will be doing for the week. If our theme is fire safety, in the house area we have firemen dress up clothes. In the block area we have fire trucks and firemen people. In the book area we have books about fire safety. In the puzzle area we have puzzles that have fire trucks, and in the sand/water table we will have laminated flames with the letter ‘F’ on them and the children can put out the fire using spray bottles. So, the children will have lots of resources around the room for that theme.”

North Bend’s two preschools will not be competing against each other. The other preschool, run by the North Bend Central school district, will teach 4-year-olds. St. Peter’s Little Lamb Preschool will teach 3-year-olds and 5-year-olds that opt not to enter first grade at North Bend Elementary.

L’Heureux and the teachers, as well as the congregation, are all looking forward to this new adventure for St. Peter Lutheran Church.

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