Resurrection Lutheran Weekday Preschool (RLWP) opened its doors in September 1997 at its current location in Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church in North Arlington. Originally housed at Christ United Methodist Church, the school moved to its current home when the hosting church relocated and its former preschool closed. The preschool staff has a long history of working together with Martha Foster as Director.
The purpose of Resurrection Lutheran Weekday Preschool is to provide young children and their families an opportunity to participate in an early learning experience within a Christian framework. The school recognizes that each child is a unique individual, and with that in mind, the program provides a balanced emphasis on the mental, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual growth of the child. The school embraces the philosophy of "learning through play."
The goals of the preschool are to help each child:
- Develop a good self-concept
- Have a wide variety of learning experiences
- Learn to independently choose activities which interest them
- Have opportunities to develop individual talents and to explore materials creatively
- Develop social skills which make work and play with others a satisfying experience
- Develop physical skills suitable to their age and growth pattern
- Feel comfortable with the immediate environment of home, school, church, and community
The preschool strives to be a fun and special place where children get to experience things they might not do at home and explore their natural curiosity. In addition to the play-based curriculum, regular movement and sciences classes are incorporated into monthly activities. Field trips are scheduled several times a year to local destinations. In addition to the special learning experiences, the children often enjoy riding a yellow school bus that is chartered for the occasions. Vision screenings, teacher conferences and class photos are also offered during the year. Students also enjoy using the fenced outdoor playground.
RLWP is a Christian-based preschool and a program operating under the auspices of Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church. However, given the diverse religious backgrounds of the school community, religious instruction is not offered in the course of the morning program. Blessings are offered before snack time and holidays are acknowledged including those from other students' religions.
Additionally Bible Bunch is offered to potty-trained three and four year olds through a ministry of the church. Students may sign up to stay for an additional hour once a week for Bible lessons and crafts led by the church's director of Christian education. At Christmas time, participating students perform a Christmas pageant for their parents.
The preschool believes that children succeed best when their parents are actively involved in their education. Parents are encouraged to share in this experience and to take an active role in their child's program at the preschool. Many opportunities are offered throughout the year for parents to be active participants in the preschool community such as the annual playground spruce up, parent coffees, Halloween Parade, school-wide Thanksgiving feast, and chaperoning field trips. The school does not convene any annual fundraising campaigns or activities.
Through the years, parents and their children have been involved in several community service projects to benefit local organizations as well as teach young children the importance of being a part of a larger community. Every year, families are offered the opportunity to participate in a secret Santa program to benefit local charities. Once or twice a year, family volunteers also donate used clothes and support the church's service project of a clothes closet for families in need. RLWP has also helped local pediatric clinics when in need. A few years ago when the David M. Brown Planetarium in Arlington was at risk of closing, preschool families made donations on behalf of the school to help save this educational space and annual field trip destination. Thanks to the families who donated, RLWP is listed as an official "Friend of the Planetarium."
Operation and Licensing
The Preschool is administered by the Weekday Preschool Committee which includes church representatives, parents, and officers of the Preschool. Annually, as a church-based program, RLWP goes the necessary inspections and submission of documents to maintain its religious-exemption from state licensure. These include fire safety and environmental inspections as well as maintaining health and security standards for staff.