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Three-year-olds hit the books page 2
Fredericksburg Academy announces preschool program for 3-year-olds, which has become more popular in recent years.

 Ryan Keener reads a Clifford the Big Red Dog storybook to a baby doll on his lap at the 3-year-old preschool class at the Caroline County church.
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Date published: 11/29/2011

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The class for 3-year-olds will be capped at 14 students and have two teachers. Children will attend enrichment classes such as music and movement, art, physical education and foreign language.

Tammy Brady, who will be the class's lead teacher, said early childhood education is vital.

"When you work with a young child, you're developing the person," she said. "It's a critical period in their development where learning is effortless."

Brady, who has a degree in education, has been teaching children ages 3 to 5 for nearly 20 years.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children says children benefit most when their teachers have high levels of formal education.

"Teachers who have specific preparation, knowledge, and skills in child development and early childhood education are more likely to engage in warm, positive interactions with children, offer richer language experiences, and create more high-quality learning environments," according to NAEYC's early childhood program.

EXTRA ATTENTION

Moss, who has taught at Fredericksburg United Methodist Church's preschool for 12 years, says 3-year-olds learn about colors, shapes, numbers and some letters.

They also take music and physical education every week for 30 minutes each.

"There's a big difference between a sitter and what we're doing here," she said.

Asked why she thinks preschool is popular, Miller --a parent of four children, ages 1, 3, 5 and 7--said with a laugh: "I think some just want their kids out of the house."

It's also a good option for parents like her with several children, she said.

"With my 3-year-old, it's very hard for me to work with him one-on-one at home because there are so many other children and so many other needs," she said. "So it was good for him to have a little extra educational attention at school."

Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402
Email: jbranscome@freelancestar.com


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Many Fredericksburg-area churches offer preschool for 3-year-olds, including Round Oak Baptist Church in Caroline County and Fredericksburg United Methodist Church.

Round Oak Baptist Church's preschool for 3-year-olds, which meets three days a week, costs $110 per month.

Fredericksburg United Methodist Church's program for 3-year-olds, which meets two days a week, is $120 per month. The Methodist Church also has preschool classes three times a week for older 3-year-olds for $165 per month.

Parents interested in Fredericksburg Academy's new preschool for 3-year-olds have several pricing options per school year. They are:

$9,000

For five days a week from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.

$6,000

For five days a week from 8 a.m. until noon.

$6,700

For three days a week from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.

$4,500

For three days a week from 8 a.m. until noon

$5,000

For two days a week from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.

$3,500

For two days a week from 8 a.m. until noon

Parents can fill out applications at fredericksburgacademy.org.