Gail Addison Guss, Board Chair | Park Forest Preschool | August 6, 2019
In homes across the Centre Region, children and families are beginning to prepare for those first days of school that are just a few weeks away. As they have done for fifty-three years, a group of young families are also happily anticipating the first days of school for their two-, three-, or four-year-old at Park Forest Preschool, located in the Park Forest United Methodist Church. These families, with hopes and dreams for their children, are entering a quality early childhood program that makes a critically important early experience available. This tuition-free, community-supported program makes this opportunity possible for children who might
not otherwise be able to have this wonderful beginning at school that prepares them for kindergarten and life.
Park Forest Preschool has three classrooms serving income-qualified families. Each classroom is staffed with a lead teacher, an assistant teacher, and a volunteer. Curriculum is planned to develop cognitive capabilities, build social skills, and support emotional development as well as physical growth. Beautifully equipped with numerous books, games, educational toys, art materials, and a fun playground, we focus our mission on providing a high teacher-to-child ratio so that every child receives the attention he or she so richly deserves. With so much individual attention, each child’s needs can be met by the classroom teachers or specialists who work in our classrooms. Children receive a nutritious breakfast and lunch every day. Every family has the benefit of our clothing room, which has clothing for children of all ages, a weekly parent education/support meeting, an emergency fund, and strong relationships with teachers and our director.
Research has confirmed that quality early childhood programs reduce dropout rates, special education placements, poverty, crime, and can even impact the very architecture of the brain. Half of the school readiness gap is obvious by age two. With 59% of eligible children in Centre County not having access to a quality early experience, we are proud to provide, with community and United Way support, the kind of program that prepares children and their families for school and beyond.
Please visit us by calling 814-231-8492 or on our website at parkforestpreschool.org.