St. Paul's Nursery School now welcomes 2-year-olds

Addition comes during school's 45th anniversary celebration

Cutting the ribbon to announce the start of a program for 2-year-olds at St. Paul’s Nursery School are teacher Margaret Wong, teacher Linda Moore, Assistant Director Jeanne Bartko, Director Margee Ready, teacher Lisa Ferrio, First Selectman Michael Tetreau, teacher Laurie Ehlers, teacher Stefanie Richthammer, 2-year-olds program leader Lisa Bond and the Rev. Judy Rhodes, rector.

Cutting the ribbon to announce the start of a program for 2-year-olds at St. Paul’s Nursery School are teacher Margaret Wong, teacher Linda Moore, Assistant Director Jeanne Bartko, Director Margee Ready, teacher Lisa Ferrio, First Selectman Michael Tetreau, teacher Laurie Ehlers, teacher Stefanie Richthammer, 2-year-olds program leader Lisa Bond and the Rev. Judy Rhodes, rector.

Leaders of St. Paul’s Nursery School have answered calls from parishioners and clergy to expand programming to include 2-year-olds.

“We were happy to do it, we ran with it,” Director Margee Ready said. “We have found there is a real need in the community. Very few schools offer it.”

The launch of the 2s program coincided with the school’s 45th anniversary, and was marked with a ribbon cutting Oct. 28.

St. Paul’s Nursery School, 661 Old Post Road, was established in 1969, and now serves children ages 2 to 5. In 2010, St. Paul’s was awarded re-accreditation from the National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs, a division of the Association for Early Learning Leaders.

The school has a capacity of 160 children, with 17 teachers leading a play-based curriculum.

“We believe young children learn through play. Play helps children to begin to socialize and share, to learn through their senses and hands-on experiences, to build upon ideas and concepts and to develop their creativity and problem-solving skills,” said Ready, who started teaching at St. Paul’s right out of college in 1974.

Activities, which are both directed by teachers and initiated by children, include large muscle equipment (inside and out on the school’s playground), large and small blocks, art activities using a variety of media, musical activities, dramatic play areas, manipulative toys, trucks and trains, sand and water play, group discussion, reading, science activities, exploring and observation activities, snack time and field trips.

“We are so lucky to be right in the center of town because we have so much right at our doorstep,” Ready said. “We go on a lot of walking trips — to the library, the Burr Homestead, the beach, we walk through the Town Hall — there are so many things that we can do with the children, right here on our little campus. We’re very fortunate to be where we are.”

Lisa Bond, a teacher at St. Paul’s Nursery School since 1999, will lead the program for 2-year-olds.

“I want children to feel as though they’re in a loving, warm, nurturing environment where they can learn and play at their own pace,” Ready said of her goal for the school.

When former students reflect, “I want them to feel it was almost like home, a comfort place where they made wonderful friends and enjoyed their teachers,” Ready added.

Information is available at stpaulsfairfield.org or 203-255-1902.

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