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Photos: Mary's Little Lambs 2024 preschool graduates

The long-running preschool had students in its three-year-old and four-year-old classes this year.

ESTEVAN - Another year is coming to an end at Mary's Little Lambs preschool in Estevan.

The long-running early learning centre, which has programs for three and four-year-olds, is hosting its spring concert and graduation on May 14. Mary Lawrence said the program is a very important part of May, as the children are always so excited to perform the songs teacher Patti Ksenych has taught them throughout the year.

"Mrs. Ksenych plays guitar and sings, and she shares this wonderful musical talent with the children," said Lawrence. "The children always sing loud, all the parents and grandparents clap even louder, especially when their child comes out to be capped with their special grad hat and receive their diploma."

The preschool has classes for three and four-year-olds. This year they had 10 three-year-olds, who gathered on Wednesday mornings. Twenty-three kids are age four and ready to graduate. They have 12 in the class that meets Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and 11 who come in the afternoon on those same days.

The year will finish with a picnic on May 15 for the three-year-olds and May 16 for those who are four. Watermelon and freezies will be enjoyed by everyone. Then the children will collect their copy of their Memories to Treasure DVD, which is a compilation of the pictures taken of each class and put to music. 

"This is a treasured keepsake of their year at our preschool," said Lawrence. "All in all, it was a very successful year, both enrollment-wise and with the children we were blessed to have in our program. Mrs. Ksenych knows she will miss all the children going on to kindergarten, but will welcome all those returning to us in the fall."

While Mary's Little Lambs' focus is to prepare children for their upcoming kindergarten year, they also use a lot of play and creativity in their program. For example, the April theme is space, so the children use their imagination to take a trip through space to the moon in their pretend rocket ship.

In March, they went on a dinosaur bone hunt, and using their imagination is an important part of those activities. Ksenych also makes use of puppets in some learning concepts, and they even offer a beginning French program.

"She uses French Fuzzy Bear, who introduces the children to some basic French phrases, numbers, letters and songs," Lawrence said.

With spring here and warmer weather, there are many activities and learning concepts held outside. Weather permitting, they have the children involved in things like hunting for emerging insects, learning about plant growth and planting their own bean seeds. The children were so excited to see their bean seeds had sprouted already and each child will be taking their seedlings home on the last day of school. A track and field day included many outdoor games and races with ribbons for everyone.

Lawrence said the children made great friends during the past year.

"Friendships, we have been told, continue sometimes for years and years," Lawrence wrote. "We are so thankful we can offer such a positive preschool experience, an experience where the children learn many skills and concepts that provide them the necessary stepping stone to their all-important kindergarten year."

They have received a lot of feedback over the years from many kindergarten teachers and other professionals in the school system about their preschool curriculum

"We have also had many parents over the years tell us how thankful they are that their children began their learning journey with our preschool and our program and how impressed they have been with how their children have progressed during their time at our preschool," said Lawrence.

The preschool is looking forward to another good year in 2024-25. They will continue to take registrations through the spring and summer, but the morning classes fill up fast.

"We offer an excellent alternative for the parents who feel they would like more personalized care for their child's first 'away from home' learning experience, and feel a home-based preschool is a better fit than having their child go into the large and rather intimidating school system at the very young age of three or four," Lawrence said.

The preschool thanked the parents who enrolled their students at Mary's Little Lambs during the past school year. They know the children are excited to see themselves in the paper, and they know all the parents look forward to seeing this special in the Mercury each year.