Welcome to


For Parents




For information about class availability for the 2017-2018 school year or to get information about registering for the 2018-2019 school year please call 412-486-5591 or email us at preschool.office@stpaulsumc.com.


Click here to view or print the Preschool Parent Handbook

Click here to print an Emergency Contact / Parental Consent form

Click here to print a Permanent Record Form

Click her to print Child Health form



The United Way
Did you know that if your employer participates in the United Way Campaign, you can designate the funds you donate to go to St. Paul's Preschool?  Simply obtain a United Way Contributor's Choice form from your employer and specify our preschool's code,
941482, and the monthly or annual amount you wish to contribute.

Preschool Parent Book Exchange:

We have two shelves in our Conference Room dedicated to a parent book exchange!  Please bring any books you have that might be of interest to other parents.  These can be great novels you read or interesting parenting books.  After you donate your book(s), check out the ones on the shelves donated by other parents.  You might find a special "treasure" just waiting for you!  This is a great way to recycle books and share with other

The articles below deal with the importance of reading with children.


Taken from an article from Early Moments


10 Reasons Why You Should Read to Your Kids


What's the most important trait you'd like to develop in your child? If you're like most parents, intelligence is probably at the top of your list. We all want bright, smart children, which is why we spend so much time choosing the right schools and making sure teachers are exceeding expectations. But remember: as a parent, you have the power to boost your children's learning potential simply by making books an integral part of their lives.


We all know reading to our kids is a good thing-but are you familiar with the specific advantages your toddler or preschool-age child can receive by being exposed to the merits of reading? Below are some benefits that highlight the importance of reading to your child between the ages of two and five.


1.       A stronger relationship with you. As your child grows older, he'll be on the move- playing, running, and constantly exploring his environment.  Snuggling up with a book lets the two of you slow down and · -                                           ­ recaptures that sweet, cuddly time you enjoyed when he was a baby. Instead of being seen as <'4chor e or a task, reading will become a nurturing activity that will bring the two of you closer together.





2.       Academic excellence. One of the primary benefits of reading to toddlers and preschoolers is a higher aptitude for learning in general. Numerous studies have shown that students who are exposed to reading before preschool are more likely to do well in all facets of formal education. After all, if a student struggles to put together words and sentences, how can he be expected to grasp the math, science, and social concepts he'll be presented with when he begins elementary school?





3.       Basic speech skills. Throughout toddlerhood and preschool, your child is learning <iritical language and enunciation skills. By listening to you read One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, your child is reinforcing the basic sounds that form language. "Pretend reading"-when a toddler pages through a book with squeals and jabbers of delight-is a very important pre-literacy activity. As a preschooler, your child will likely begin sounding out words on his own.





4.       The basics of how to read a book. Children aren't born with an innate knowledge that text is read from left to right, or that the words on a page are separate from the images. Essential pre-reading skills like these are among the major benefits of early reading.





5.       Better communication skills. When you spend time reading to toddlers, they'll be much more likely to express themselves and relate to others in a healthy way. By witnessing the interactions between the characters in the books you read, as well as the contact with you during story time, your child is gaining valuable communication skills.



6.        Mastery of language. Early reading for toddlers has been linked to a better grasp of the fundamentals of language as they approach school age.





7.        More logical thinking skills. Another illustration of the importance of reading to children is their ability to grasp abstract concepts, apply logic in various scenarios, recognize cause and effect, and utilize good judgment. As your toddler or preschooler begins to relate the scenarios in books to what's happening in his own world, he'll become more excited about the stories you share.   ·





8.       Acclimation to new experiences. As your child approaches a major developmental milestone or a potentially stressful experience, sharing a relevant story is a great way to help ease the transition. For instance, if your little one is nervous about starting preschool, reading a story dealing with this topic shows her that her anxiety is normal.          -     -






9.       Enhanced concentration and discipline. Toddlers may initially squirm and become distracted during story time, but eventually they'll learn to stay put for the duration of the book. Along with reading comprehension comes a stronger self-discipline, longer attention span, and better memory  retention, all of which will serve your child well when she enters school.





10.    The knowledge that reading is fun! Early  reading for  toddlers  helps them  view books as an indulgence, not a chore. Kids who are exposed to reading are much more likely to choose books over video games, television, and other  forms of entertainment as they grow older.


Books have the power to benefit toddlers and preschoolers in a myriad of ways. As a parent, reading to your child is one of the most important things you can do to prepare him with a foundation for academic excellence.






Reading Aloud with

Children of All Ages

 Derry Koralek



"THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT ACTIVITY for building knowledge for their eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children," stressed Becoming a Nation of Readers, a 1985 report by the Commission on Reading.


Learning to Read and Write: Developmentally Appropriate Practices for Young Children (1998), a joint position statement of the International Reading Association (IRA) and NAEYC, echoes Wells (1985) and Bus, van IJzendoorn, and Pellegrini (1995): "The single most important activity for building these understandings and skills essential for reading success appears to be reading aloud to children."

Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children, the 1998 report of the Committee on the Prevention of Reading Difficulties in Young Children, recom­ mended three key practices to support language and literacy development. The first calls for adult­ child shared book reading times that involve talking about the book and other topics.


Derry Koralek is editor of Young Children, NAEYC's journal. This article is based in part on The Read Aloud Handbook(5th ed.) by

J. Trelease  (New York: Penguin Putnam, 2001) and Much More

than the ABCs: The Early Stages of Reading and Writing by J.A. Schickedanz (Washington, DC: NAEYC, 1999). It was compiled for Reading Is Fundamental (www.rif.org).

Illustrations © Diane Greenseid.


It's important to read aloud to children of all ages

•  Reading aloud presents books as sources of pleasant, valuable, and exciting experiences. Children who value books are motivated to read on their own.

•  Reading aloud gives children background knowledge, which helps them make sense of what they see, hear, and read. The more adults read aloud to children, the larger their vocabularies will grow and the more they will know about the world and their place in it.  •

•  Reading aloud lets parents and teachers be a role models for reading. When children see adults ex­ cited about reading, they will catch their enthusiasm.

•  Reading aloud can introduce books and types of literature-poetry, short stories, biographies­ children might not discover on their own.

•  Reading aloud introduces the language of books, which differs from language heard in daily conversations, on television, and in movies. Book language is more descriptive and uses more formal grammatical structures.

•  Reading aloud lets children use their imaginations to explore people, places, times, and events beyond their own experiences.



•  Reading aloud gives children and adults something to talk about. Talking supports the development of reading and writing skills.

•  Reading aloud supports the development of thinking skills as children and adults discuss books, articles, and other texts they read together.

•  Reading aloud is fun.






Read aloud early, later, and as often as possible

•  Reading aloud 'is important from infancy through the high school years. Families and teachers can create and continue a tradition,

introduce and reinforce the pleasures of

reading, and, as children get older, set the stage for meaningful conversations about numerous topics.

•  Read aloud at a predictable, scheduled time that fits with daily routines at home and school. And read aloud spontaneously-when adults and children are in the mood for a story.

•  Families can increase read-aloud opportunities by asking older siblings to read to younger ones; teenage babysitters to read while caring for children; and grandparents and other relatives and friends to read during their visits. Teachers can do the same using volunteers and other visitors to the classroom.

•  Read aloud at home and in school and when away from home or the classroom-at the doc­ tor's office, on.the bus, while waiting in line, outdoors, on a field trip.



Reading aloud is more than saying words


•  Talk about what you are reading-before, during, and after a read-aloud session. According to the IRA/NAEYC position statement (1998), "ft is the talk that surrounds the storybook reading that gives it power, helping children to bridge what is in the story

and their own lives."

•  Use the text to discuss real-life experiences and issues. Stories and books can be springboards to meaningful discussions about many different topics.

•  Make the book come alive. Vary your expressions and tone of voice to fit the plot. Use a different voice for each character. Pause when appropriate to create suspense.

•  Read for as long as children can pat attention. Gradually read for longer periods of time as1heir attention spans grow.

•  Involve the listener in deciding what, when, and how long to read. Invite active participation during and after the reading.

•  Follow up after reading a book. Offer materials for art projects and dramatics. Look for more books by the author or on the same topic. Plan an activity that builds on what you have read.



References                  •

Bus, A.G., M.H. van Ijze ndoorn , & A.D. Pelligr ini. 1995. Joint book reading makes  for  success  in learning t read: A meta-analysis  on int ergenerational transmission of lite rac y.Review of Educational Research   65: 1-21.

Commission on Reading. 1983.

Committee on the Prevention of Reading Diffic ulties in Young Chil­ dren. 1998.

Int e rn a t io nal Reading Association (IRA) and NAEYC. 1998. Joint position statement. Learning to read and write: Developmentall y appropriate practices for young childre n. Washington, DC: NAEYC. Also available  online  at www.naeyc.org.



©  Reading  Is Fundamental, Inc. Reprinted with  permission from






READ ALOUD so toddlers can

•  continue to associate reading with warm, pleasant feelings while learning about words and language.

•  expand their listening skills.

•  build their vocabularies with words they understand and can use.

•  consider books as fun and valuable play materials.

•  make links between pictures and stories in books and things and events in their world.

•  remember and join in with repetitive rhymes and phrases.

•  begin creating pictures in their minds while listening to stories.

•  begin understanding a few print concepts, such as pictures and print are symbols for real things, and that we read words, not pictures.

•  have fun!



Choose books toddlers like


•  Toddlers are learning to cope with feelings. Look for books with characters handling typical emotions and experiences.

•  Toddlers feel competent when they can participate. Read-books with rhymes and predictable words they can remember.

•  Toddlers can pay attention-for a while-if they are interested. Read wordless picture books and story­ books with brief, simple plots and only a few words per page.

•  Toddlers are curious. Read books about special interests and books about new people, places, and events.

•  Toddlers are increasing their vocabularies and listening skills. Read books a few levels above their current vocabulary that introduce new words and


ideas. Also look for books with lots of pictures of things to name.

•  Toddlers are beginning to make sense of concepts such as size, color, shape, and time. Read simple picture-concept books that reinforce their learning.

•  Toddlers are learning self-help skills. Read books

about daily routines such as using the toilet, washing hands, and taking a bath.


•  Toddlers are doers. Read books with flaps to lift and

textures to feel.                                          ,  ,,Y


Try these ideas


•  Use the tips for babies that are also appropriate for toddlers.

•  Read the same books again and again, if asked. A toddler will let you know when he or she has had enough of a book.

•  Read slowly so the toddler can make sense of what's happening in a story.

•  Offer crayons and paper to.occupy toddlers who find it easier to listen when they are busy.

•  Vary your voice to fit the characters and plot.

•   Use puppets and other props related to the story.

•  Repeat interesting words and phrases.

•  Stop often to comment, ask questions, and look closely at the illustrations.

•  Encourage a toddler to join in: turn pages, name things in pictures, make sounds, repeat rhymes and phrases, and think about what might happen next.

•  Talk about the pictures and point out details a toddler might miss.

•  Talk about the book and how it relates to a toddler's real-life experiences.

 Reading Is Fundamenta,l Inc. Reprinted with permission from

www .rif.org .




READ ALOUD so preschoolers can

•  continue to associate reading with warm, pleasant feelings; learn about words and language; and expand listening skills.

•  pay attention to the language of books and begin to notice how it differs from spoken language.

•  listen to the sounds in words and notice how some are the same and some are different.

•  build their vocabularies with words they understand and can use.

•  gain background knowledge about a variety of topics.

•  talk about the characters, settings, and plot and relate them to their own lives.

•  learn more about print concepts, such as print is spoken words written down, the letters in words are written in a certain order, and written words are sepa­ rated by spaces.

•  have fun!


Choose books preschoolers like


•  Preschoolers feel good about their growing skills and accomplishments. As they learn new concepts and self-help skills, read stories with characters who are having similar experiences.

•  Preschoolers have good memories. Read stories with simple'-plots children can retell in their own words (to themselves, a stuffed animal, or a friend) and pattern books with repetitive and predictable rhymes, phrases, and story lines that let children participate.

•  Preschoolers are building their listening skills and attention spans. Read longer picture books and begin to read chapter books that last for several sessions.

•  Preschoolers are curious. Read information books on topics of interest. Information books give facts and explanations, and introduce new people, places, and things.

•  Preschoolers have vivid imaginations. Read folk tales and books with animal characters that think and talk like humans.

•  Preschoolers are learning about the sounds of letters and words (phonemic awareness). Read poems and books with rhymes and alliteration.



Try these ideas


•  Use the tips for younger children that are also appropriate for preschoolers.          ,.,

•  Introduce the book: read the title, author, and illustrator; look at the cover; talk about what the book might be about; suggest things to look and listen for.

•  Run your finger under the text; pause at the end of sentences.

•  Answer questions related to the book; save other questions for later.

•  Talk about the story during and after a read-aloud session.

•  Use information and reference books to answer children's questions.

•  Ask children to look closely "at the pictures to help

them understand the story and make predictions about what might happen next.

•  Repeat interesting words and rhymes while reading a book and at a later time.

•  Pause and wait so children can say the word that ends a repetitive or predictable phrase.

•  Stop to ask thinking questions: "What might happen next? Where did he go? Why did she do that?"

•  Follow up on the story. Invite a child to talk, draw, paint, or pretend to be one of the characters.

•      Preschoolers know a lot about their own world. Readbooks that let them use their knowledge to understand new information and ideas.

© Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. Reprinted with permission from

www.rif .org.


Please visit our calendar section for special events planned for October



You will need:

Black round paper plate

Hole punch

White yarn



Punch holes around the edges of the plate

Cut the yarn and tie it into a know through one of the holes

Using the cut yarn begin threading it through each hole  back and forth into a web like pattern.

Get your spiders ready to place.  You may find felt spiders at Dollar Store to use or you can use the plastic spiders.

Place spiders on the web or under the web.


You will need:


Paring knife

Tempera paint


Cut the potato in half.  With the pairing knife cut a pumpkin face into the potato halves.  Let potato out to dry for around 30 minutes. 

Put orange paint on a paper plate and dip potato into the paint.

Stamp the paper to make pumpkin faces.


You will need:

paper plates

white and black cardstock or construction paper

black marker

glue stick


white crepe paper



Cut the white crepe paper into streamers

Cut out a black mouth and eyes (you can also use the black marker for the eyes and mouth)

Cut out arms from the white construction paper

Glue the mouth and eyes to the paper plated (or if using the black marker make the mouth and eyes on the plate)

Glue the arms to the back of the paper plate

Glue the streamers on the back bottom part of the plate

Put a hole in the top of the plate to run the yarn through

Tie off the yarn so you can hang your ghost.



In the office at both the McKnight Center and Ferguson Center we have a list of commonly available snacks that are free of peanuts, tree nuts and eggs.  We invite you to stop in and take a look at this list.  You can also access the list by going to: http://snacksafety.com/snackguide.


                                   SNACK IDEAS


Some parents have asked for suggestions on what type of snacks to bring for their child's snack day.  Here is a list of some simple snack ideas. 

Trail Mix - a mixture of whole-grain cereal, dried fruits, sunflower seeds and dried coconut flakes.  You can also add in raisins, cranberries and pretzels.

Small box of raisins

Fruit - please remember that grapes if served MUST be cut in half.  Bananas, apple slices, berries are all good choices.

Mini bagels with cream cheese.

String cheese

Yogurt tubes


Whole wheat pretzels and crackers



You will need:

Wheat hot dog buns

Sunflower butter

Peeled banana

Spread the inside of a whole-wheat hot dog bun with 1 1/2 tablespoons of sunflower butter.  Place a peeled banana inside and slice down the middle.


You will need:

plain yogurt

honey or agave

100% orange juice

100% pineapple juice

freezer pop mold

Pre-freeze the popsicle mold

Mix the honey or agave with the plain yogurt

First layer yogurt mixture in the bottom of the popsicle mold.  Freeze for 4-5 minutes

Second layer orange juice.  Freeze again 4-5 minutes till hard enough to add next layer

Third layer pineapple juice.  Insert popsicle stick and freeze until hard.


You will need:

1 (16 oz) package Vanilla Candiquik coating

24 fresh strawberries

Mini chocolate chips

Melt candiquik in tray according to directions on package.

Place a large piece of wax or parchment paper on flat surface

Dip strawberries in melted Candiquik Coating, remove and allow excess coating to pour off onto the wax paper to from the "tail" of the ghost; slide the strawberry back and set on wax paper to dry

Before coating has fully set, place two mini chocolate chips on as the eyes.  For the mouth, cut off the tip of a mini chocolate chip and place on the strawberry with the bottom side facing up


You will need


Mimi chocolate chips

Large chocolate chips

Cut bananas in half.  Push mini chips in as eyes and a large chip to serve as the mouth.


You will need

large carrots

Hummus dip either homemade or bought


fresh parsley

Cut the carrots into 1/2 inch thick slices.  Place a small piece of parsley on top of the round edge of the carrot for the pumpkin stem.  Use a toothpick to secure the parsley to the carrot.

Fill the  hummus dip on a flat dish and place the carrots in for easy dipping.



Room on the Broom - Julia Donaldson

The Itsy Betsy Pumpkin - Sonali Fry

Llama, Llama trick or treat - Anna Dewdney

Ten Timid Ghosts - Jennifer Barrett O'Connell

Sophie's Squash - Pat Zietlow Miller

Fall Mixed Up - Bob Raczka

When The Leaf Blew In - Steve Metzger

Happy Halloween Little Critter - Mercer Mayer



Dear St. Paul's Preschool Families

I would like to welcome you and your child to St. Paul's Preschool.  This 2015-2016 school year marks our 44th year as an early childhood educational center.  I have been a part of this program for the past twenty-one years, first as a classroom teacher (15 year) and most recently as the director (seven years).

It is important for you to know that we view you as your child's first and most important teacher!  We want to work in partnership with you as we share information about your child and make decisions together about your child's care.  This helps us be able to provide consistent care between home and school, resulting in your child feeling comfortable, safe and respected within our facility.  Good working relationships with families enable the teaching staff to be more responsive to each child's needs.

Our program philosophy clearly states that "parents are an integral part of our program.  Their input and information about their child is continually sought and valued.  Parents are involved in every part of the St. Paul's program."

We ask that you walk your child into the classroom each day because the teaching staff and I enjoy sharing information and saying hello to you.  Each class will have an area displaying your child's work.  Please visit this area often with your child!  At eh end of each day, a staff member will give you a summary of what has happened during the day so we encourage parents to arrive at least five minutes before dismissal time.  If you are a working parent and cannot pick your child up after class, a detailed and personal email will be sent to you by the teacher after class enabling you to receive the same information about your child's preschool day.

There are many ways to become a part of the program.  Here are a few:

*Become a member of the Parent of Preschoolers (a parent group which meets once per month in the evening)

* Become involved in our annual fund raiser, the Santa Express (Many activities to prepare for this major event can be done at home)

*Become a classroom volunteer (party parent, library parent, classroom helper, equipment and repair helper and/or field trip chaperone)  These positions are detailed in your Parent Handbook found on our website: www.stpaulspreschoolumc.org

*Attend an Open House evening event during the year

*Attend a Family Sing-a-Long event during the year

*Record "books on tape" for our classroom listening centers. (This can be done at home)

*Share your family's culture with the class (special foods can be sent for snack time, special games, songs and dances can be taught, and special ceremonies or traditions can be explained)

Volunteering in the preschool is so important for your child.  Your involvement early in your child's life sets him/her on course to succeed academically because you are showing that you value education.  Staying connected to the school can give parents ideas of how to expand what their child learns in school.

Being involved with St. Paul's Preschool also helps parents connect to other people.  You will be able to make new acquaintances, get to know friends better and help your own self-confidence increase.

Volunteer sign up sheets will be given out at the Parent Orientation meeting in August.

Please remember that St. Paul's Preschool has an Open Door policy.  Parents and family members are welcome to visit at any time during the school day.  We encourage you to contact the office (412-486-5591/preschool.office@stpaulsumc.com) or your child's classroom teacher to set up a time if you would like to spend the day with us!

Together we can provide the very best learning and growing environment for your child!


I'm looking forward to knowing you and your child this year!

Laurel Webster

Laurel Webster, St. Paul's Preschool Director


Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children