Welcome Skagit Art Preschool!

The corridors of St. Paul’s will soon be reverberating with the sounds of children at play — which is to say, “at learning” — with the opening of Skagit Art Preschool this summer

The preschool will be hosting a ribbon cutting and open house this Wednesday, June 28 from 6 pm to 8 pm. You can check out the preschool’s Facebook page for details, and to follow the unfolding story of an early learning program with a unique mission: To support the child’s Freedom to Play.

Instead of the more traditional classroom, the preschool (located in the education wing of St. Paul’s) is divided up into “Design Studios” that create “a child-centered place to explore the arts.” Founding Director Maura Carey Martin describes the goals of Skagit Art Preschool as the following:

* provide an Art Design Studio environment in the classroom.

* enrich Design Studios with art materials at child level for unprescribed exploration of artistic mediums

* sustain child's play by rotating themes through the Design Studios culminating with multi-media projects, presentations, and performances.

* include the Natural World as an Outdoor Classroom year-round, 60+ minutes a day per 4 hour program. (See WAC extreme weather policy)

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Maura Carey Martin, Founding Director of Skagit Art Preschool

Martin brings a career in both education and the arts to her role as Founding Director. Her bio on the preschool website speaks to her experience and knowledge.

Maura Carey Marlin has been an advocate for young children and the arts in Skagit Valley since 1997. She is a wife and mother, teacher, director, and caregiver who has worked with families in the public school system, private schools, and non-profit organizations for generations. Maura is known for her volunteerism and passion for supporting children's programming in the performing arts and is a proud member of the Lincoln Theatre. For 3 years Maura lived in Brooklyn Heights, and worked as a Childcare Director, Instructional Specialist, and Area Business Director for multiple large childcare centers throughout NYC. She holds a degree in Early Childhood Care & Education, a Bachelor of Arts in Education with Teaching Certification, and a Master's Degree in Theatre from Western Washington University.

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Anyone who has recently ventured beyond the Parish Hall and into the south wing of St. Paul’s has probably enountered the brick & mortar equivalent of the “new car smell” — the odor of fresh paint. There are three Design Studios (aka, “classrooms”) being prepared for children 3 to 5  years of age. The program will initially operate Monday - Friday from 9 am to 1 pm, and will support a curriculum centering on the natural world, music & art, and dramatic play. 

Oh, to be a kid again!

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Skagit Art Preschool recently announced the hiring of its Lead Preschool Teacher, Sophia Price, whose background includes running her own preschool/homeschool, teaching music, voice, and piano to children, performing onstage, and the most challenging career of all: raising five children! To learn more about what fuels Sophia’s passion for education, visit her Facebook page, Parsnips and Paisley

St. Paul’s is thrilled and honored to provide a space for what we consider a form of ministry to our community: a safe place for children to gather and experience the world through creative design and play. Jesus would have appreciated that. We can’t wait for the magic to happen…and begins with the June 28 ribbon cutting and open house. 

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Come and see — and bring a friend! You just might encounter a mythical creature...or at least create a story or play with one in it. 

stpaulmv@comcast.net