Riverbend Christian Preschool has been serving southwest Edmonton since 1994. Conveniently located across the street from elementary schools St. Mary and Earl Buxton in Riverbend, a strong reputation of quality early childhood programming has been built with families and the community for over 20 years. As an outreach mission of the Riverbend Lutheran Church, programming emphasis is on discovery and play-based learning in a Christian environment, and on building relationships with children and their families.
Located in the walk-out lower level of the Riverbend Lutheran Church, Riverbend Christian Preschool has a larger-than-average classroom, natural light, and a warm atmosphere. Students are provided with many learning opportunities, with a balance between teacher-directed and child-led activities. Learning centres are set up to intentionally engage students and aide in all areas of their development.
At the science centre children learn about cause and effect, predictions and problem solving with activities such as magnets that have been frozen in ice. Students are excited to see what the water and sensory table holds and have enjoyed the differing colours and textures. Materials such as kinetic sand, beans, coloured rice and “snow” are measured, poured and squeezed.
The art centre is stocked with a variety of materials with which students are encouraged to express their creativity with art projects that are process-based, rather than being focused on a pre-determined end product.
Students who desire some library time can snuggle up in the cozy RAY-LAX chairs and enjoy an assortment of books. A fine motor centre includes small manipulatives that encourage early numeracy skills, such as placing spiders on webs to match a digit, and sorting and classifying. Social skills are continually practiced throughout the classroom, especially in the construction and block centres as well as the dramatic play area where co-operation and communication are particularly important! Outdoor play is also made a priority when the weather conditions permit. The large grassy (or snowy!) area right outside the door is a wonderful place for the children to work on gross motor skills and enjoy the natural environment.
Other regular classroom activities include Show and Tell, where students have the opportunity to build their confidence, self esteem and develop communication skills, music time, large group activity and exercise which includes a cool-down to teach students to bring their heart rate down after physical activity and develop relaxation strategies. For literacy learning, the child-centred Jolly Phonics curriculum is used to gently introduce students to letter sounds with fun songs, actions and stories.
The teachers at Riverbend Christian Preschool are participants in the student’s learning, involved in the children’s play to facilitate their learning and “scaffolding” their play to new levels. “I wonder.” is a phrase often heard in the classroom as staff challenge the students to expand their thinking. With the lead teachers being university educated, Riverbend Christian Preschool is committed to providing a quality program to make the most of the student’s precious early years, and strives to use Play, Participation and Possibilities: An Early Learning and Childcare Curriculum Framework for Alberta as the programming guide.
An inclusive program, Riverbend Christian Preschool has developed relationships with organizations such as Seden Centre, GRIT, Community Options, Over the Rainbow, CASA and Maier Centre to meet the needs of their students. PUF funded students can be accepted at Riverbend Christian Preschool through these organizations.
Parent and family engagement is also prioritized at Riverbend Christian Preschool. Parents are kept informed about activities through communication tools such as a dedicated website specifically for the current year’s families. Families are invited to participate in special activities through the year such as Costume Parades, Christmas and Easter Concerts, Mother’s Day Teas, and Coffee & Conversation events as well as other events hosted by the Riverbend Lutheran Church. While parents are not expected to fundraise, complete committee duties or be regular volunteers in the classroom, they are welcomed to be part of the daily activities in the classroom if they so desire.
Families who register at Riverbend Christian Preschool are choosing a licensed, not-for-profit preschool whose staff truly see it as an honour and a privilege to be serving children and families. Registration Opens online at www.rbcpreschool.com on February 1st, and Open Houses are scheduled for February 6th from 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM. For more information, call or email Melissa Bentley at 780-668-2498 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the Facebook page for more photos and announcements.