Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December Events

December is an exciting and busy month at the ELC!

Here are some reminders about the last couple of weeks before Christmas break:

* If your child's class is having a Christmas party, it will either be next Tuesday, the 11th, or Wednesday, the 12th. Please check with your child's teacher for more information.

* The annual Christmas Program is next Thursday, December 13, in the conference center. It will begin at 11:00 a.m. School will dismiss immediately following the end of the program at noon. If your child is in one of the baby rooms, please make arrangements to pick them up at noon.

* The ELC will be closed for the Christmas holidays beginning on Friday, December 14. They will reopen for the first day of the new year on Wednesday, January 9.

* The four-year-olds are doing a Christmas mission project. Please send a new preschool toy or stuffed animal in with your child by December 10. They will be distributed at a party at Children's Hospital on December 12. 

The ELC staff would like to wish all of our preschool families a blessed holiday season.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanksgiving Feast

Thursday, the four-year-olds had their Thanksgiving Feast at the ELC.

The children were very excited about their feast. They have been learning about Thanksgiving all week long.

The parents of the four-year-olds sent in different kinds of both traditional and fun Thanksgiving food.

Many of the parents also helped prepare the classrooms for the feast, which was a lot of work!

The kids, the parents and the teachers all had a wonderful time at the Thanksgiving Feast!

*Just a reminder: There is no school at all next week. We hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving holiday!*

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Community Helpers Recap

A couple weeks ago was Community Helpers week at the ELC. All of the children were able to see presentations from several professionals who work in our community. It was a fun week for all!

Vestavia Fire Department.

Community Helpers parade.

Railroad conductor.

Officer Love and Hans.

The children also saw a librarian, a doctor and a dentist during that week.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Veteran's Day - No School!

In observance of Veteran's Day on Monday, November 11,  the ELC will not be open.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Community Helpers Week!

Today begins Community Helper Week at the ELC! Tomorrow will be our parade featuring all of our little community helpers but for now, here are some pictures of Officer Jay Harrington (the son of our own Mrs. Karen!) from the Anniston Police Department. Thank you for visiting, Officer Harrington!

Trying out the bullet proof vest.

Mrs. Sara's class with Officer Harrington.

Don't forget to send a bag of wrapped candy with your child for the parade tomorrow (no peanut products, please). We can't wait to see all of our sweet children dressed as their favorite community helper!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


This week is picture week at the ELC!

If your child is in a five-day class, he/she will have his/her individual picture made on Friday, October 26. All other classes will have their individual pictures made on Thursday, October 25.

Next week is Community Helpers week. We will hold a parade on Tuesday, October 30. Your child can dress up as their favorite community helper that day. Please send one bag of wrapped candy (no peanut-flavored candy, please) with your child before Tuesday for the parade.

Wednesday, October 31, is the last day possible to mail out care packages to the soldiers for our mission project if we want it there by Christmas. Please don't wait too much longer to send your items in!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Our Kindergarten Teacher

Beginning next fall, Kate Smith will be the new Kindergarten teacher at the ELC.

Kate has been at the ELC for the past four years and she currently teaches four-year-olds. Before having her own children (she has three, ages 8,6 and 4), she taught the third grade for two years in an inner city school in Knoxville, Tenn., and four years in Arkadelphia, Ark. She was just 21-years-old when she first began teaching.

Kate opted to stay at home with her children when they were very young. During that time, she formed a monogramming business. She specialized in making diaper bags and burp cloths.

In March, 2008, Kate and her husband moved their family to Birmingham, Ala. They became members at Shades Mountain Baptist Church and Kate began working as a preschool teacher at the ELC.

In her spare time, Kate enjoys working in her yard, making crafts and reading.

Kate is very passionate about her job and is a favorite among the students, parents and staff. "I love seeing the light bulbs go off in their heads and smiles on their faces when reading clicks," she said.

In her new role as the Kindergarten teacher next year, Kate is looking forward to being able to add on to what she is currently doing with the four-year-olds in order to take her class to the next level. She is excited about being promised a smaller class size (no more than 12, versus 20 or more in a public school setting), which will allow her to give more focused attention to each of her students.

"With the resources available, the supportive church and staff and the great parents, what a privilege to be a part of this new adventure at the ELC," Kate said.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

And the big news is...

The Early Learning Center at Shades Mountain Baptist is getting a Kindergarten class!!!!

Beginning in August of 2013, the ELC will start offering a private Kindergarten.

Details about this new addition will be coming in the next few months leading up to registration. If you are interested in this option for your five-year-old, start thinking now about sending him/her to the ELC for another year. Spots will fill up quickly!

The entire team of teachers and staff are excited about and encouraged by the direction in which the ELC is headed!

For more information, please call director Cynthia Turner at 205.823.0550.

Monday, October 15, 2012


The ELC has some BIG news that will be announced this week!

Here are two hints to hold you over till we make everything official:

* There will be a huge addition to the ELC program next school year.


* All parents of young preschoolers will be interested in this exciting news!

Stay tuned...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Mission Project Update

The Chaplain had the honor of a visit from the Command Chaplain last week. The Command Chaplain "shadowed" him and his assistant during their daily activities with the unit. 

The Command Chaplain gave a great brief to the Commander & joined the Wednesday night Bible study. He was very moved that he & the men prayed for him. He said he was visiting an Infantry Battalion Captain Chaplain because he remembers being deployed in that role and no one ever came to support or encourage his Unit Ministry Team. He felt very encouraged and supported!

The week was capped off with 4 baptisms! To God be the glory, great things HE has done!

This is a letter about the progress the mission project at Shades Mountain Baptist Church (and the ELC) is making overseas. 

While the soldiers now have plenty of toilet paper, here are some more items that are needed:

Wipes (both large and travel size)
Triple blade razors
Unscented hand/body lotion for the winter months
Crystal Light or other brands of drink mixes (individual packets for 16 ounce water bottles)
M&M's (the weather is cool enough to send them now!)

In order for these care packages to be delivered by Christmas, they need to be mailed out no later than November 1. A lot of good items have been brought in...please keep 'em coming!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What we're up to this week

The students at the ELC are working hard and having fun this week!

The four-year-olds are reviewing their numbers and vowels. They were also able to observe a real bird's nest for Birds week!

The three-year-olds are creating lots of Fall artwork!

Check the blog weekly to see what is going on in the classrooms at the ELC.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Picture post!

Here are some pictures of the wonderful team of teachers at the ELC.

*We are missing photos of one of the baby classes (Mrs. Lauren and Mrs. Betsy) and the two-year-old teachers (Mrs. Brandi, Mrs. Cori and Mrs. Natasha).

The four-year-old teachers: Mrs. Sara, Mrs. Emily, Mrs. Jamye and Mrs. Kate

Baby teachers: Mrs. Beverly and  Mrs. Allison

Baby teachers: Mrs. Joni and Mrs. Dawn

Baby teachers: Mrs. Dottie and Mrs. Cathy

Three-year-old teachers: Mrs. Nancy, Mrs. Melinda, Mrs. Christy and Mrs. Karen

Friday, October 5, 2012

Guest Post: Mrs. Tiffany

Mrs. Tiffany is the Computers teacher at the ELC. She has agreed to do a guest spot for the preschool blog.

This year has started off WONDERFUL and I just know it is going to get even better in computer land!  I am so very excited about what the 4 year olds have retained from last year and how fast the 3 year olds are learning to correctly use the computer and mouse!  I can tell that all of them are getting extra computer time at home!
I am pleased to be doing a mission project this year for our soldiers overseas.  Both my PawPaw’s and my Daddy all served in the Air Force, so the military holds a very special place in my heart!
 There are so many brave and strong men and women serving in foreign lands right now that are NOT receiving ANY mail and when I heard about this mission project I just knew that my 4 year old classes could take on the task of making computer cards for them. 
I asked each 4 year old, “What would you say to a soldier overseas that is protecting us and our country and may be lonely and missing their family and friends”?  Explaining to them that some of the soldiers are not receiving any mail, their responses were priceless.  I typed up their “exact” response and printed it on paper so they could see all the letters, put it front of their keyboard and let them type what they had said.  Once typed we added clip art and viola, a card for a soldier was born!  They have turned out AWESOME!  I can not wait to put the care packages together and send them off!  Can you imagine being a lonely soldier away from home and opening a package with cards made for YOU by 40 kids!
We are going to be collecting items the soldiers are requesting to put together care packages, if you would be interested in sending in some items, please see the post below for a full list of items that have been requested. 
I will put a copy of their card in the computer books that your children are creating this year and you will get to take it home the day of the art show.
I thank you for allowing your child to attend the ELC and for allowing me to be part of their day, I feel very privileged to be part of their lives.

                        Much love and many blessings,    
                                  ~Mrs. Tiffany

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mission Project at the ELC

The ELC is currently working on a mission project for our soldiers with a chaplain in the army and a former member of Shades Mountain Baptist Church. He has called to attention the need for cards, letters and care packages to be sent to those soldiers who might not have as much support from back home.

The classes at the ELC are working to make and distribute cards and letters to show their support and appreciation. The correspondence and care packages should be delivered in time for the holidays. The soldiers are expected to return home in February.

The list for requested items is as follows:

Unscented hand lotion
Men's razors (avoid single blade)
Small bags of potato chips or other salty snacks
Small bags of dried fruit
Chewing gum
Baby wipes or hand wipes (large sizes)
Current magazines that men would enjoy
Toilet paper (something stronger than army issue 1-ply)

If you are interested in donating items for this mission project, you can bring them straight to the ELC (or send them with your child if they are currently enrolled at the ELC). For more information and for a full list of the soldiers' names, contact Cynthia Turner at cturner@shades.org or 205.823.0550.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October Events

October is a busy month at the ELC. Here is what is going on in the next few weeks:

Monday, October 8 -- School is closed for Columbus Day.

Thursday and Friday, October 25-26 -- Individual school pictures. If your child comes to school on Fridays, they will have their picture made on October 26. All other classes will have their picture made on October 25.

Monday, October 29 - Friday, November 2 -- Community Helpers week! The ELC will learn about and honor our community helpers during this week. The children will hear presentations from, among others, a librarian, a policeman, fire fighters, and a doctor. There will be a more detailed list of who will be presenting on what days in the near future. There will also be the annual Community Helper Parade on Tuesday, October 30. Please send your child dressed as their favorite community helper!

October is a fun month at the ELC!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Description of Special Activities

There are special activities available every day at the ELC.

Music: Taught by Mrs. Stacey, all classes ages two and up are allowed to go to music class for 30 minutes once each week. The children sing songs, play games and learn basic music principles. They also prepare for the Christmas and Spring programs during music.

Spanish: Taught by Mrs. Stacey, all classes ages two and up are allowed to go to Spanish class for 30 minutes once each week. The children learn basic Spanish words, such as colors, numbers, greetings, etc.

Wiggles: Taught by Mrs. Nancy, Wiggles is available for all three-day classes ages two and up. The children meet in the gym at the CLC where they play games and learn skills that utilize their physical ability.

Computers: Taught by Mrs. Tiffany, each child in either the three- or four-year-old classes are able to attend computer class for thirty minutes once a week. She teaches them basic computer skills in a fun and safe way.

Chapel: Every student at the ELC is invited to attend Chapel each Thursday after morning carpool. Mrs. Stacey leads the children in singing Christian songs. They then listen to a Bible message led by Mr. Scott.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Classes and age groups at the ELC

The Early Learning Center at Shades Mountain Baptist Church offers many class options ranging in age from babies to four-year-olds. Aside from the baby classes, all ages are offered two, three or five days a week. The four-year-olds also have a four day option. Below is a breakdown of each class currently offered this year at the ELC.

The Early Learning Center offers four different age classifications for the baby classes. All baby classes are offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.
2-9 months -- Mrs. Lauren and Mrs. Betsy are there to ensure that the youngest of the ELC students learn that their new preschool is a safe and loving environment.
10-16 months -- Mrs. Beverly and Mrs. Allison are there to help their babies explore God's world around them through music, play and stepping outside the walls of the classroom.
17-20 months -- Mrs. Dawn and Mrs. Joni provide the same environment as the 10-16 month olds, but they also begin adding in-class activities and they are able to enjoy the indoor playground.
21-24 months -- Mrs. Cathy and Mrs. Dottie's students do all the same things as above in an "older babies" group setting.

The two-year-old classes are offered for two (Tuesday and Thursday), three (Tuesday - Thursday) or five days (Monday - Friday) from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. The two-year-olds learn their shapes, colors and begin letter recognition. They also focus on a fun, preschool-relevant weekly theme. They attend music each week. The three and five day classes attend Wiggles, as well. They also are able to play on either the covered outdoor playground (downstairs) or the indoor playground (when the weather is too cold) each day.
Two day teacher: Mrs. Cori
Three day teachers: Mrs. Beth and Mrs. Brandi
Five day teacher: Mrs. Natasha

The three-year-old classes are offered two (Tuesday and Thursday), three (Tuesday - Thursday) or five (Monday - Friday) days from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. These students learn to recognize their letters and numbers. They also focus on a fun, preschool-relevant theme each week. The three-year-olds are able to attend computers, Spanish and music. The three and five day classes also attend Wiggles. They, too, can play daily on either the downstairs or indoor playground.
Two day teacher: Mrs. Nancy
Three day teacher: Mrs. Melinda
Five day teachers: Mrs. Christy and Mrs. Karen

The four-year-old classes are offered three (Tuesday - Thursday), four (Monday - Thursday) or five days (Monday - Friday)  from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. The four-year-olds focus on learning their letters, numbers and sight words through fun and preschool-relevant weekly themes. After Christmas break, they are separated into reading groups once a week. The main objective for the four-year-old teachers is to prepare their students for kindergarten. These students are able to go to the upstairs outdoor or indoor playground on a daily basis. They attend computers, Wiggles, Spanish and music each week.
Three day teacher: Mrs. Jamye
Four day teacher: Mrs. Sara
Five day teachers: Mrs. Kate and Mrs. Emily

*For more information, please contact the ELC by calling 205.823.0550 or emailing the director (Cynthia Turner) at cturner@shades.org or the assistant director (Melissa Shockey) at mshockey@shades.org.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Welcome to the ELC!

Welcome! This post officially marks the Early Learning Center's kickoff into the blogging world!

Please follow us as, starting Monday, we will do a daily entry that in some way relates to our wonderful preschool.

Whether you are thinking about sending your child to preschool for the first time or you are a parent of a student already enrolled, check back for frequent updates about all things ELC!

We cannot wait to start informing you of all our preschool has to offer. It is a long list and we are certain you will be impressed.

Our mission at the ELC is to combine learning and fun in a nurturing and Christian environment so that he or she may have the best preschool experience possible.

We fully intend to live up to our mission in every way possible through our talented team of teachers and our amazing director and assistant director. This blog will focus on how we continue to accomplish that each and every day.

2012-2013 ELC Team

Check back Monday for our first daily post!