By: Christy Means-Smith | Category: Education | Issue: October 2008
Teacher Audrey Tidwell with students at the Mustard Seed Learning Center, a preschool celebrating 30 years this month.
October 26 marks a very important anniversary – it is the day the Mustard Seed Learning Center celebrates 30 years of continuing academic excellence and achievement. Mustard Seed Learning Center is a preschool for three- and four-year-old children and is a “seed of knowledge in a Christian environment.”
Established in 1978, the program is based upon the individual needs of each student. This is partially accomplished by the small class sizes – the teacher/student ratio is at a 10 student per teacher maximum – and is also due to the loving dedication of the director, teachers and staff. All of the teachers are certified, and they partake in an annual CPR and first aid training refresher session. Teachers also complete 20 hours of continuing education in early childhood development each year.
The preschoolers study language, music, art, science, math, the outdoors and more. Activities are numerous and are designed to introduce new ideas, improve motor skills and coordination, build confidence, and show students how to work with others. Walking field trips are frequent and include excursions to parks, fire stations, garden centers and other places of interest.
“All of the staff are very close and work well together,” says Mary Jo Masterson, director of Mustard Seed Learning Center. “The children are the best part; helping them to grow and learn is priceless. And, very often, the children develop friendships that continue throughout their school years and beyond.”
Mustard Seed keeps parents informed through conferences that occur twice per school year. There is also a monthly newsletter that lets parents know about study themes, upcoming events and other relevant information. Parents are viewed as playing key roles in their child’s education, and learning messages are sent home regularly to describe the various activities and progress. According to Masterson, Mustard Seed is blessed with an exceptionally innovative and supportive school board.
On Sunday, October 26, the Mustard Seed Learning Center will be holding Mustard Seed Day at the First Presbyterian Church after the 11 a.m. service. The children will sing a special song for the service, and the anniversary party will take place directly after. Students, family, friends and alumni are encouraged to attend this day of food and fun.
Mustard Seed Learning Center stays consistent with the Claremore school calendar, observing most of the same holidays. Children must be three or four years old by September 1 to enroll, and immunization records and a registration fee are required at the time of enrollment. School days and hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday or Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for three-year-olds, and Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for four-year-olds. Afternoon classes are available if enrollment warrants.
The school is located inside the First Presbyterian Church Life Center building, 102 E. 4th St. in Claremore. For a visit or tour, call Mustard Seed Learning Center at (918) 342-4585, or go online to www.mustardseedlearning.com for more information.