A Brief History
Ardmore Presbyterian Weekday Preschool
In 1948 a new venture in Christian Education was started at the Ardmore Presbyterian Church with the opening of a daily Kindergarten program in an old stone house which formerly stood at 11 W. Montgomery Avenue. This new program, to have a Weekday School for 4-5 year olds, “a school where children would be exposed to a curriculum which was religious in its teachings,” was a dream of Allan MacLachlan Frew, then minister of the church. As one of the first schools of its kind in the nation and the very first church supported preschool in the state of Pennsylvania, it continues to be a unique Main Line institution, emphasizing a Christ-centered approach to educating young children.
Mrs. Hubert Lyons was named the first director. With a small enrollment of ten pupils, it doubled in size in the first four months. The preschool continued to grow and in 1957 was able to accept 78 children when it moved into the then new and much larger Christian Education Building.
The original goals and purpose continue today, “to set an atmosphere of love and happiness, and a desire to bring these children to a realization that they are a part of God’s world – to know His love, to seek to follow Christ, and to use Bible verses, songs and stories in work and play.” Today this Christian tradition continues, incorporating a traditional preschool program including Kindergarten readiness skills.
New fundraising, volunteering and staff-support programs were begun in 1985. These programs include presentations by the children at Thanksgiving and Christmas, field trips, visits by community helpers, the traditional Gingerbread bake, creative movement class, community outreach by children, periodic vision, hearing and speech screening, teacher education activities and events, parent involvement in classrooms, and an active Parents’ Group. Over the years the 3-year-old program and Mothers’ (Parents’) Day Out and Extended Days have been added to further enrich the early childhood experience.
The APC Weekday Preschool, originally formed as an outreach for its members and staffed by its members, has evolved into a community of children and staff from many different Christian denominations. Each day our very special staff and administrators seek to create a loving and warm environment for the children and their families. The Preschool has as its primary goal to care for the children entrusted to us during their crucial and formative early childhood years.