More Grace Community School Testimonials

Again, we want to say THANK YOU for all the testimonials you sent in! We love hearing from you. (See our previous post here. Here are a few more:

”My son started going there at the beginning of the summer and will be continuing for this school year. Grace Community is his first experience with school and he loves it there. It is nice to know my son is going to a school where is he excited to learn and is developing a fondness for school. The staff and teachers are very friendly, and we love the different theme weeks!” – Jessica M.

Testimonial Photo 1


”I can’t tell you how glad we are that we found Grace Community School. Going back to work after having a baby is so stressful, but that first few days, seeing how quickly my son took to the teachers made the transition so easy! I love the theme day pictures and more than anything, I love that I can tell how much the staff loves my little guy! We recommend Grace to everyone!” – Tiffany Z.

Testimonial Photo 2


“My daughter loves Grace Community School and all the teachers that she’s had.” – Sandy M.

Testimonial Photo 3


“My 3 year old daughters feel right at home Grace Community School. They have only been attending school for a short time but are already learning so much. Plus, you can’t beat the price!” – Katie S.

Testimonial Photo 4


There are more testimonials to come!

New Playground Equipment!

New Playground Equipment

You heard correctly: all nine Grace Community School locations will be getting renovated playgrounds complete with new play sets.

Here are some images of what each location is getting:

Skyline New Playground Equipment
Skyline
Port Charlotte New Playground Equipment
Port Charlotte
Naples Park New Playground Equipment
Naples Park
North Fort Myers New Playground Equipment
North Fort Myers
North Fort Myers New Playground Equipment
North Fort Myers
Fort Myers New Playground Equipment
Fort Myers
Lehigh Acres New Playground Equipment
Lehigh Acres
Bonita Springs New Playground Equipment
Bonita Springs
Cape Coral Miramar New Playground Equipment
Cape Coral Miramar
Golden Gate New Playground Equipment
Golden Gate
Golden Gate New Playground Equipment
Golden Gate
Golden Gate New Playground Equipment
Golden Gate
Golden Gate New Playground Equipment
Golden Gate

This is so exciting! Final delivery and installation of the playground sets will take place in the upcoming months. We can’t wait for you to see the new playgrounds.

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Announcement: Christmas Celebration! 2016

illuminated christmas tree among snow covered pine trees at night.

Can you hear those sleigh bells jing-jing-jingling? We can! Very soon our students will begin practicing for Christmas Celebration! 2016 — the annual Grace Community School Christmas program! You are really going to love this show. We have lots of new music and dance routines for you.

Also: If your child is in the Grace Community School Dance Class, your child will participate in a memorable dance recital taking place during the show, complete with costume. Your GCS location will have information about that soon. Would you like your child to be in the dance recital? Let your location know — if you sign up now your child will have time to practice the routine for the recital.

2016 Christmas Program Locations, Dates, and Times

December 3 – Estero High School

11:00 Fort Myers
1:00 Bonita Springs
3:00 North Fort Myers / Cape Coral (Miramar)
5:00 Lehigh Acres
7:00 Skyline

December 10 – Gulf Coast High School

Naples Park (time to be announced)
Golden Gate (time to be announced)

To Be Announced

Port Charlotte

Mary and Joseph

Stay tuned to Grace Community School’s blog, email list, and social media for Christmas Celebration! news, including details about the new Christmas Whale Shirt we are working on!

We’re on Pinterest! Click here to discover our cool educational Pins, fun kids activities and recipes, and other neat stuff.

Thank You For Your Testimonials!

Recently we sent out an email to our email list asking for you to tell us what you thought about Grace Community School. The results were overwhelming! Here’s a sampling of the testimonials we got back:

”My child has been with Grace since she was 6 weeks old. She is now almost 3. I have had peace of mind knowing that my child is being taken care of with compassion and love. Also the things she has learned and can do from what she has been taught already is PRICELESS. ABC’s, Almost counting to 20, can count to 10 in Spanish, knows all kinds of songs by heart. I LOVE GRACE!!!!” – Jennie V

Grace Community School student


“There are no other schools where a child can get such a good education for such a great price and with fantastic teachers. Every teacher in the school knows my son’s name. He loves going to school where learning is made fun. I love that he is exposed to religion, music, art, sports, a foreign language, teachers that are like family, and that he has learned so much while having so much fun. This school has it all! We are family at Grace Community School!!” – Kristin R.

Grace Community School Student 2


“My daughter has been in Grace Community School since she was 6 months old and we both love it! She is always happy and playing with all the toys and kids. The teachers are very sweet and caring, always paying attention to the children and their needs. Theme days are always fun as well since they get to take pictures.”

Grace Community School Student 3


”We love Grace Community School for many reasons… Our daughter loves her teachers, she is happy at Grace Community School and she has learned so much. At 3 years old she is reciting the pledge of allegiance, she is counting to 20, she knows the alphabet and recites it daily and pronouncing each letter. She is learning to speak Spanish, too and so much more. Not to mention that the cost for everything Grace Community offers is extremely low in comparison. They have great hours, they serve a healthy breakfast and lunch with snacks twice a day. We Love Grace Community School!!!”

Grace Community School Student 4


Those are just a few of the more than forty testimonials you sent us! We’ll continue to put these up on our Facebook and Instagram pages, and remember you can send us your testimonial via our website. Thank you!

Grace Community School Kindergarten

Kindergarten at Grace Community School! It's never too early to start planning ahead.
Kindergarten at Grace Community School! It’s never too early to start planning ahead.
Are you ready for kindergarten? It’s never too early to start planning! The pre-K year goes by so quickly. Finding a kindergarten program for your child can be stressful. Let us help! Good news: Grace Community School has kindergarten! Don’t worry about going to School Choice; your child can continue with Grace Community School in the safe, friendly environment your child is used to. Why should you choose our kindergarten program?

Is Learning Important to You?

Grace Community School students graduate pre-K reading — something public school students often don’t achieve until the 3rd grade, if then. The Grace Community School kindergarten program has demonstrated results. If learning is important to you, and you want an uncompromising education, this is the way to go. This is an advanced program! The phonics instruction at Grace Community School gives kids what they need to succeed, in reading and other areas. Students who have attended our school since they were young graduate our preschool program reading multiple grade levels ahead of public school kindergarteners. Our kindergarten graduates are reading at a third-grade level. The average public school kindergarten graduate cannot even be tested for reading skills! That’s why we have to give our kindergarteners a 1st-grade standardized test.

Grace Community School Kindergarten is an advanced program that will help your child excel in every area!
Grace Community School Kindergarten is an advanced program that will help your child excel in every area!
The Grace Community School math program continues into kindergarten, too. Your child will move seamlessly from the pre-K Math Circles right into the kindergarten levels. Our kindergarten students learn their addition and subtraction families, story problems, and more. Get a comprehensive list of what is learned here.

Our musical graduation program is a highlight of the school year!
Our musical graduation program is a highlight of the school year!
It’s more than just academics. All our learning instruction is done with fun games and interactive activities, including our famous theme weeks. There are parties, dress-up days, and special events throughout the entire school year. Get weekly photos including digital photo copies through the GCS Memories program. Grace Community School kindergarten finishes in a musical program complete with graduation ceremony and diploma presentation.

What Does Grace Community School Kindergarten Include?

Grace Community School Kindergarten includes:

  • all care 6:30 am to 6:00 pm, including before and after school care
  • breakfast, lunch, snack and drinks
  • yearbook
  • Bible instruction
  • the advanced reading and math program
  • weekly photo program
  • spring and Christmas programs

Music Classes — along with Karate, Dance, and Art Classes — are available to our kindergarten students.
Music Classes — along with Karate, Dance, and Art Classes — are available to our kindergarten students.
And of course, our special classes — Art Class, Dance Class, Karate Class, and Music Class — are also still available.

How Much Does it Cost?

Here’s the really awesome part! Everything is just $85 per week. That price stays the same throughout the whole school year, including many days that public school is closed.

What Do I Need to Do?

Let us know you want your child to stay here for kindergarten! Sign-up forms are available at your Grace Community School location.

Your Child Deserves the Best

Your child deserves the best education possible! Grace Community School Kindergarten makes that dream a reality.
Your child deserves the best education possible! Grace Community School Kindergarten makes that dream a reality.
For more than thirty years, we’ve been providing the ultimate in early childhood education. We want to make things easier and better for you and your child. You can find out more about Grace Community School’s learning programs at our official website.

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Get Your Gracie the Whale Plush Toy!

Gracie the Whale plush toys just $15.
Gracie the Whale plush toys just $15.

Gracie the Whale plush toys are here!

Gracie the Whale has been a big hit with our students ever since she visited our schools before the last programs, and now Gracie can come home with you!Gracie the Whale Plush Toy 3

For a limited time. you can get your very own Gracie the Whale plush toy at Grace Community School for just $15. These large, high-quality, extra-cuddly plush toys are flying off the shelves.Blank Landscape 2

Send Us Photos of Your Child With Gracie!

We’d also like you to share photos of your child and his or her Gracie plush!

Here’s how you can send us your Gracie photo:

Direct message our Instagram account @gracecommunityschool
Email your photo to <photo@gracecommunityschools.com> Tweet your photo to @GCSchool
Post on our Facebook page

We may feature your photo on our social media!

We love Gracie!
We love Gracie!

Grace Community School American Kenpo Karate Program

The Grace Community School American Kenpo Karate Program combines martial arts, physical exercise, and fun!
The Grace Community School American Kenpo Karate Program combines martial arts, physical exercise, and fun!

The Grace Community School American Kenpo Karate Program has been teaching kids martial arts and self-discipline for nearly twenty years. It is our most established special class, and still one of our most popular! Each week our karate instructor, Mr. Pete, comes to every GCS location and does half hour classes for all participating students. Our karate class runs year-round, and while space is limited, we are accepting new students.

Students who participate in martial arts programs like Grace Community School’s have improved reflexes and focus, among other benefits.
Students who participate in martial arts programs like Grace Community School’s have improved reflexes and focus, among other benefits.

One objection we often hear from parents is, “I have enough problems with my child roughhousing and fighting at home without adding karate to the mix!” What we have seen is the exact opposite. What if you could do something to help your child with aggression and improve many other areas of their life, for just $10 per week? You can! The Grace Community School American Kenpo Karate Program builds discipline and self-control. Students who participate in martial arts programs like Grace Community School’s have improved reflexes and focus, among other benefits. Kids need to move, and martial arts are a great outlet to help young bodies get exercise and get rid of pent up energy in a constructive way.

Kids need to move, and martial arts are a great outlet to help young bodies get exercise and get rid of pent up energy in a constructive way.
Kids need to move, and martial arts are a great outlet to help young bodies get exercise and get rid of pent up energy in a constructive way.

Self-discipline has far more than just physical benefits. Students have a sense of accomplishment when they find themselves mastering their bodies more and more. This builds confidence. Possessing more self-discipline and confidence improves other areas of life like school work and interpersonal relationships. The American Kenpo variety of karate the GCS karate program uses is characterized by an emphasis on self-defense and self-discipline, not attacking. It teaches kids to avoid trouble whenever possible, but to be ready to handle it should it arise. This goes along with Grace Community School’s moral training, including the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Much like Grace Community School’s Reading Circles and Math Circles, the Grace Community School American Kenpo Karate Program is in levels. Kids initially earn stars (up to 8 stars), then work their way up through a series of belts. Karate stars are celebrated with certificates. Students earn stripes as they master a particular belt, then celebrate with a ceremony before taking home their belt.

Grace Community School has a whole-life curriculum, combining academics, non-denominational Bible lessons, and fun extracurricular activities: Karate Class, Music Class, Art Class, and Dance Class. Find a FAQ section and more information on our website. Sign up for one class, or all four! We look forward to helping your child have fun and exercise while building self-discipline, confidence, and physical skills.

2016-2017 Grace Community School Theme Week Schedule

Ever wanted to know ahead of time when special dress-up days are coming? You can!
Ever wanted to know ahead of time when special dress-up days are coming? You can!

At Grace Community School, the learning AND the fun don’t stop! We have year-round theme weeks that include special days like parties, dress-up days, and special activities. Check out the schedule below to see all the fun coming up.

See what fun is coming up next with the 2016-2017 Grace Community School Theme Week Schedule!
See what fun is coming up next with the 2016-2017 Grace Community School Theme Week Schedule!

Downloadable PDF —> GCS-2016-2017-Theme-Week-and-Event-Schedule

Remember, you can also access a special Google Calendar to see our theme weeks and special events at www.gracecommunityschools.com/calendar.html

Holiday Week Facebook Graphic
Theme weeks like Holiday Week keep learning fun. There is always something new to do!

Keep the 2016-2017 Grace Community School Theme Week Schedule handy, and you’ll always know what is coming next!

Hey, did you know that we’re on Instagram? Follow us there to get the best of school photos, behind-the-scenes videos, and school news!

Ready, set, HUT 🏈

A photo posted by 🐳Grace Community School🐳 (@gracecommunityschool) on

 

The Joy of Reading

Reading is one of life's great joys! The best way to instill a love of reading is to make reading easy and enjoyable.
Reading is one of life’s great joys! The best way to instill a love of reading is to make reading easy and enjoyable.

How Do You Get Kids to Love Reading?

I love reading. I have ever since I was a child. A love of reading has been a part of my life for so long that sometimes I feel like it’s always been there. This isn’t actually true.

I came from a very literate family. My mom and dad are both readers. As I grew up, we always had books everywhere. I knew reading was something I was supposed to do. I picked books off the shelves at home and made an attempt to read them. It wasn’t as easy as my parents made it look! At school, I also tried to read. I was met with frustration until my kindergarten teacher showed us something that made everything easier: words are made up of sounds. You can look at the letters in a word, and know that these letters represent the sounds you need to say to make the word. If you can decode the words into their component sounds, you can read the word!

All of a sudden, reading clicked for me. Instead of frustration, it was fun. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was learning to read using phonics much as the students at Grace Community School learn.

One story that happened soon after illustrates how this translated into my love of reading. My family went on a camping trip, and my mother brought along the first book of the Chronicles of Narnia. I considered this a big grown-up book. She started reading it to my brothers and me. I was very interested in it and kept begging mom to read more. When my mom didn’t read to us from the book as much as I wanted, I took the book myself and looked at the pages. To my surprise, I found out that with phonics, I was able to read most of the words! I soon completed The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and raced through the other Narnia books.

I haven’t looked back. Reading has been one of the great joys of my life. If I weren’t a good reader, that would not be true.

Kids don't have to wait until kindergarten or elementary school to learn how to read!
Kids don’t have to wait until kindergarten or elementary school to learn how to read!

Our modern early childhood education system has moved away from the proven phonic methods of reading instruction and substituted things like the “whole language” method and the “print-rich environment.” Current educators have this idea that you can just surround a child with books and magazines and printed labels and posters (that’s the print-rich environment) and they will just naturally become literate. That did not work for me. It took someone who cared enough to show me the right way to read. To teach me. The environment didn’t teach me to read, a teacher did! You can’t learn to read by osmosis; it just won’t work. Reading to your child is good and can help instill a sense of wonder. There is something about hearing the written word spoken aloud (I also enjoy audio books!), but this can’t replace having the skills necessary to read. As a consequence of abandoning phonics, children don’t learn to read until elementary school, if ever. We don’t need to wait!

Instill a Joy of Reading the Grace Community School Way

Reading is something anyone can learn to do, but they need the correct tools. Now as a grown-up, I help kids learn to read at Grace Community School. We start with the basics, just like my teacher and later my mother did.

Unlike me, kids don’t have to wait until kindergarten to learn to read! Grace Community School students as young as two years of age learn that each letter of the alphabet has a sound. The alphabet is broken down into five groups. Vowels are the first group. Once the vowels and their sounds are learned, the children move on to the next until they master the entire alphabet and its sounds.

Learning certificates celebrate children's achievements and keep parents informed.
Learning certificates celebrate children’s achievements and keep parents informed.

This is all at an individual pace, so it doesn’t matter if your child just started at Grace Community, they will begin at the beginning — and we don’t hold kids back, either. They can go as quickly or slowly as they need to. After this the kids learn to put the sounds together (these are called “blends” We send certificates home to help you celebrate your child’s achievements.

Grace Community School’s own letter book program is next. There are 32 books covering all the alphabet, each with blends for the letters the book covers. This book system along with one-on-one phonics instruction produces children who can read fluently, and who as a consequence love reading!

The joy of reading lasts a lifetime. Unlock your child’s full potential and create a life-long joy of reading with a Grace Community School education. Find our more about the GCS Reading Program here, and if you enjoyed this article, please click one of the share buttons below. We appreciate it!

 

Have a Blast With the Grace Community School Kids During Song and Dance Week!

Song and Dance Week Video ThumbnailCheck out our YouTube video playlist below. As you can tell, the kids did a great job learning our special song, Meghan Trainor’s “Better When I’m Dancin.”

We even did some glow in the dark dancing!

We have found that the best way to keep kids interested in learning is to make it fun! This is one reason why every week is a theme week at Grace Community School. Song and Dance Week is just one of almost thirty different exclusive theme weeks we have for our students. Every single week has its own activities, art projects, themed educational activities, and coloring papers. Many of these weeks also have dress-up and other participation days.

Awesome dress-up days (like you see here from School Spirit Week) allow for maximum participation by Grace Community School students.
Awesome dress-up days (like you see here from School Spirit Week) allow for maximum participation by Grace Community School students.

One question parents ask frequently is how they can keep up with all our planned activities. In addition to signs and notes in each location’s office and elsewhere, there are other resources to keep parents informed:

The learning never stops, and neither does the fun!