Stepping Stones Preschool Story

Stepping Stones Preschool
a Ministry of Harrisburg United Methodist Church

The preschool ministry at HUMC began in 1987 as a Mother’s Morning Out program. Pam Prentice was the original teacher and she had a class of various ages that first year.  Over the years the program evolved from a Mother’s Morning Out into a preschool program for three, four, and five year olds.  Since then, the  preschool has served thousands of children in the Harrisburg and surrounding communities. Somewhere along the way (I can’t recall the specific date), we became Stepping Stones Preschool, a ministry of Harrisburg United Methodist Church. We currently have 80 students and 10 staff members. 

The mission of Stepping Stones Preschool can be found on our school logo!  

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” 

Psalm 119:105

As a Christian preschool, our most important goal is to instill the truth of God’s Word into the hearts of our students. Through our Bible time which is called, “Kingdom Kids” we use stories from the Bible and songs to teach our students about God’s marvelous creation, His love for His children, and His precious Son, Jesus Christ, the Savior to all who believe. Each week we end Kingdom Kids by  singing “I Have Hidden God’s Word in My Heart” as a reminder of these truths. 

Throughout the school year, we participate in a variety of service projects. These service projects help the  children learn the value of compassion, generosity, and stewardship. These experiences cultivate a heart for serving others and embodying Christ’s love in tangible ways.

Some of our service projects include:

Souls for Christ Shoe Drive – A mission team from our area travels to  El Salvador each December for an event called,  “Day of the Child”. At the event, which is sponsored by a church in El Salvador,  families are presented with the Gospel of Jesus Christ through songs and short skits. They are also provided with a meal and each child is given one pair of shoes (likely the only pair they will get all year), some clothes, and a toy. Our preschool sends about 100 pairs of shoes for this event each year. 

Gyero Care Center – The Gyero Care Center is an orphanage in Nigeria. The 100 children who live there typically only get one meal a day. Our preschool raised $1,200, which provided each child with 2 meals a day for a whole month!

Food Drive – Once or twice each year, we collect food for the Harrisburg Food Pantry. We typically collect “kid friendly” items such as canned soups and fruit. 

Sam Wallace Memorial Trike-a-Thon – This is a special opportunity for our Stepping Stones students to have a little fun, while raising money for the Sam Wallace Memorial Fund. Sam Wallace, the son of Jim and Lisa Wallace, died on February 22, 2011 when he was 13 years old. The Sam Wallace Memorial Fund was established in his memory to provide financial support to families of children with chronic medical conditions. The Trike-a-Thon is a fun-filled event where the kids bring their riding toys from home and pedal around a fun and safe course complete with a Trike Wash, Gas Station, Repair Shop, and a Snack Shack! Over the years we have been privileged to help 14 children and their families! This year’s recipient is a young man named Mason, who has recently been diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma. Mason has a long, hard battle ahead of him, but he has a strong faith and an extremely supportive family to help him through!

Of course, as a preschool, another one of our primary goals is to promote the cognitive development of our students to prepare them for Kindergarten and beyond. Through play-based activities and hands-on experiences, our students are exposed to fundamental concepts such as language, math, science, and art. By engaging in interactive learning, they develop critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and a thirst for knowledge that serves as a strong foundation for future academic pursuits.

Another important component to our preschool program is fostering social and emotional development. In a warm classroom setting, children learn to interact with peers, share resources, and communicate their thoughts and feelings effectively. They also develop important social skills such as cooperation, empathy, and conflict resolution, which are essential for building positive relationships and navigating the complexities of the social world.

In addition to spiritual, cognitive and social-emotional development, we also strive to promote the physical development of our students.  Our FitKids program is a fun and engaging way to introduce children to the benefits of staying active. The curriculum includes a variety of gross motor activities designed to develop particular skills.  Students also learn essential social skills such as cooperation, teamwork, and communication while engaging in physical activities together. 

As you can see, Stepping Stones Preschool plays a vital role as we endeavor to educate the youngest members of our community! The learning that takes during the preschool years lays the groundwork for a lifetime of learning and success.

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PO Box 970
4560 Hwy 49 S., Harrisburg, NC 28075
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(704) 455-2311

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