A couple of years ago, Cathy Reilly made us want to go back to nursery school as she described her experience as a teacher at St. Paul’s. Cathy, who has been teaching at the 47-year-old school since 1992, returns to tell us about what the parents think about the little preschool in Forest Hills/Wakefield DC.
by Cathy Reilly
St. Paul’s Nursery School presented Zoja with a whole new experience. As a child from Slovenia with a new baby sibling at home, she walked into a new school where everyone spoke English, not Slovenian. Zoja loved being near her mom. But she really wanted to join with the other children in making play doh, and painting or playing dress up. Says her mom, Mateja Blaj:
Like many new parents we were reluctant to put our two and a half year old daughter in school for the first time. We did a lot of Google searches and decided on St. Paul’s. We were pleased to meet the parents of the older class at the introductory meeting where everyone spoke so highly of their experience. But still, “would it be true for our kid?” Then September comes and “here we go” all the excitement and expectations. We were turning a new page in our lives.
And eventually after surviving the separation…woo-hoo the kids just do not stop. They develop so many skills, such great social touch, and so much talent in art, in sport and in new ways of playing. Every day you leave at noon, thinking: this is a great place, I love them! So yes: “See you tomorrow.” It is one of the best experiences ever for our whole family.
St Paul’s welcomes families who live in and outside DC. It offers an intimate setting, with two classes serving children ages two and a-half and up to pre-K or Kindergarten. Class is in session 9 a.m. to noon each day, with a “lunch bunch” Tuesdays and Thursdays for the older children.
After a bumpy arrival from South Africa, St. Paul’s provided a safe familiar haven of play and sociability for our two little ones when they needed it most. The two classrooms are so well appointed for both imaginative and active play. My husband and I also found a community of families who welcomed us to the neighborhood, helped us to navigate our new surroundings and ultimately became friends. I cannot recommend St. Paul’s enough.
And from Allison Lowry Evans, who lives in the neighborhood:
My family was lucky to find St. Paul’s for our two youngest children. Each day our children were welcomed into a warm and nurturing environment created by the caring teachers whose love for the children is palpable.
St. Pauls Nursery School, at 3600 Ellicott Street NW, still has a few openings for the fall. Call 202-966-0214 and visit stpaulsnurseryschool-dc.org for more information.
And is your neighborhood school/organization doing something great? Do you think the neighbors should know about it? Tell us about it!