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Youngsters flourish socially, academically at Madison UMC Preschool

Three-year-old Jason Edgecomb enjoys play time at Madison United Methodist Church Pre-School. Madison UMC's address is 127 Church St. (CONTRIBUTED)
Three-year-old Jason Edgecomb enjoys play time at Madison United Methodist Church Pre-School. Madison UMC’s address is 127 Church St. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Since 1985, Madison United Methodist Church Pre-School has nurtured children’s spiritual, social and intellectual growth.

Curriculum covers religion, language, math, social studies, science, arts and crafts and physical education, preschool director Denise Gribbin. “We help each child develop to full potential … and provide a caring Christian environment.”

Currently, 55 children attend.

Among special programs, Patriotic Week observes Sept. 11 with a red-white-and-blue parade and military tribute led by Rev. Travis Wilson and children’s ministry director Cynthia Stewart.

Pre-schoolers enjoy an Easter parade and egg hunt. For Halloween, the costumed children and parents trick-or-treat in downtown Madison. At Thanksgiving, they collect food for shelters.

For Christmas, the youngsters “celebrate Jesus’ birth through crafts, Bible stories and hymns,” along with their Christmas Concert, party and “Giving Tree,” Gribbin said.

The children enjoy “Doughnuts for Dad,” “Wacky Wednesday,” Mother’s Day and “Pajama Day.” Also, Madison fire and police departments bring a fire truck and police car and give a safety talk.

Buttermilk Alley is a favorite route for nature walks. Children’s Ministry volunteers lead chapel on Tuesdays. “Music is an important element,” Gribbin said.

Several of the 11 teachers have education degrees; some have other degrees. All teachers have extensive childcare experience. Assistant director Jane Allen has taught there more than 25 years.

This “special group of teachers is truly dedicated to a loving environment,” Gribbin said.

Parents Glenn and Jen Detulleo have enrolled all three children: three-year-old Benham; Ebba, now eight, enrolled at age 4; and Berlin, now seven, at age three.

After moving to Madison, the Detulleos had searched unsuccessfully for a preschool. “I walked through the doors at Madison UMC and knew I had found the one,” Jen said. “Teachers are all so friendly.”

The Detulleos like the “nurturing environment” and an emphasis on interacting with others while away from parents, Jen said.

Sessions are Tuesday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monthly fee is $185 with $60 registration fee. Registration is open to 16 months through four-year-olds.

For more information, call 256-726-8863, email to dkgribb@gmail.com or visit madisonum.org.

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