Gary Salyers: The Logus Road Preschool shares our Church classroom facilities and contributes to the Church for utilities and other expenses. The Church has always considered the Preschool as one of our missions and has been pleased to contribute to the education of these young children.
There has been a preschool in our Church since the 1960's. The first was a co-op program run by parents with some Church members. In 1977 the Church formed a committee to organize and run our own Church supported Logus Road Preschool. We hired a teacher and 1977-78 was our first school year. The Church Preschool Committee became the governing board. The Board grew and changed over the years as we hired staff, collected tuition, and paid the expenses of the program. We had excellent teachers including Nancy Sharrett, Kim Gilliam and Susan Johnson. The reputation of the Preschool was very good and enrollment always nearly full. However, after more than 25 years, the Preschool Board passed the responsibility off to someone with the time, education and experience to make the program even more successful. Cheryl Forsberg was asked to take over the program and she accepted the challenge.
Cheryl Forsberg: In the spring of 2008, I was approached by the Clackamas County Head Start Pre-Kindergarten Program (OHSPP) about operating a Head Start Preschool at Kairos United Church of Christ. At the time, I was director of Marylhurst Early Childhood Center, a large preschool serving middle to upper income families. The challenge of working with low income families was intriguing to me, and I was looking for a new challenge. Therefore, I formed Early Childhood Education Management Services (ECEMS). My goal was to develop community partnerships to provide the best possible early childhood experience for children ages 3 through 5.
With that in mind, ECEMS contracted with OHSPP to enroll preschool children at Logus Road Preschool. OHSPP provides parenting support through home visits, access to health and dental care, and assistance in locating resources for housing, food, and clothing. North Clackamas School District provides transportation to get children to and from school, and Kairos United Church of Christ provides a warm and welcoming environment.
Since 2008 our program has improved and evolved. We are now a licensed childcare program with the Oregon Office of Childcare. We use the Teaching Strategies Gold Assessment tool to measure and assess children’s development. We utilize Zoo-Phonics to teach letter recognition and sound and the Second Steps Program to support social/emotional development in children. Finally, we provide a nutritious lunch through the USDA food program.
Over the years, we have increased our class size from 30 (15 children in a morning class and 15 children in an afternoon class) to 34 children. As the pressure of testing and assessing children trickles down to preschoolers, we work hard to remain true to our philosophy that play is the hard work of young children.
Drop in and visit our classroom and you will see a sensory table, an art easel, a science center, a games and manipulatives area, a large block/construction area, a library, a writing center, and tables for theme centered activities and projects. Check in often because we change materials on a regular basis. We work to create an environment that provides lots of learning experiences through self-exploration. Most importantly, our classroom provides lots of opportunities for children to learn to work and play together through listening to others’ words and speaking with a strong voice. Then we work with children to develop a variety of strategies to resolve problems including: taking turns, sharing materials, trading toys, practicing patience while we wait, asking for help, etc. (Wouldn’t the world be a better place if some adults had learned these skills?)
We feel particularly blessed to work with the congregation at Kairos-Milwaukie. Everyone is warm, welcoming, and supportive of our program. We believe that we do important work with important people. We are grateful for your support and interest in what we do.