What is Grace Community School?

What is Grace Community School?

What is Grace Community School?

We’re glad you asked! While you can “settle” on many things, you don’t want to settle on childcare. Since 1986, Grace Community School has been offering the best childhood education that money can buy. We are the Southwest Florida community’s recognized leader in early childhood education.

Infants and up at Grace Community School!
Infants and up at Grace Community School!

We accept children from infants through age 11 (for after school and summer camp), with full-day Pre-K and Kindergarten programs.

Instead of Daycare, Why Not School?

We’re different! Instead of babysitting, our school days are filled with active, engaging, intensive learning; organized games, music instruction, and more.

Child with Math Achiever certificate
Grace Community School’s advanced learning program gives your child the tools to succeed.

We are proof that a program can be academically advanced, developmentally appropriate, and fun at the same time.

Bright children graduate from Pre-K at Grace Community School reading at the fifth-grade level. Even average children are reading at the first-grade level, as proven by nationally-recognized standardized tests. This is because our phonics education program is second to none.

Child with reading books
Our Preschoolers Can Read, and they are very proud!

At Grace Community School, children learn to read as young as three years of age. Students not only learn the letters but more importantly the sound that goes with each letter, along with a clue word to help them remember. By breaking the alphabet down into smaller sections and providing individualized instruction, children learn quickly and progress through the Reading Circles at their own pace. Because the kids learn at their own pace, they are never pushed too fast or held back; the instruction is always right at the child’s individual level. The result: kids who read! The certificates and books the kids take home keep parents informed of their children’s progress, and the kids love them!

Grace Community School also has advanced math instruction along with a variety of certificates and levels to celebrate our student’s mathematical achievements. Karate, dance, and music classes are available, too! Most importantly, Grace Community School provides daily non-denominational Bible instruction and curriculum-integrated character development study – an uncompromisingly Christian education.

Child on monkey bars
The best education and the best playgrounds!

There’s More!

We have Kindergarten, too! You can choose Grace Community’s top-notch learning program, which builds upon what your child has learned during Pre-K, continues the fantastic Bible instruction, and helps your child to achieve ever-higher levels of academic and developmental success. Just think about how advanced your kindergartener will be after graduating from Grace Community’s Pre-K and Kindergarten programs. You can continue giving your child the education and care he or she deserves, including Grace Community School’s reading program. An uncompromising education shouldn’t be unaffordable. We understand how tough things are in this economy, and we want to help. Grace Community School has a variety of ways to help parents via our financial aid program, multi-child discounts, and referral program.

Grace Community School is open year round, and we have Summer Camp!
Grace Community School is open year round, and we have Summer Camp!

And we have Summer Camp!

All this, and a whole lot more: free registration, free breakfast, lunch, snacks, and drinks, free after school transport from some local public schools, free weekly photo program, free yearbook, and free twice-annual musical programs.

Stop By Today!

We invite you to call any of our nine beautiful facilities. We’d love to give you a tour so you can see firsthand how Grace Community School can offer the ultimate in early childhood education for less money than competing daycares. We look forward to serving you and your family!

We are family at Grace Community School!
We are family at Grace Community School!

See More About Grace Community School’s programs at http://www.gracecommunityschools.com

15 Reasons Why You Should Give Your Kids Music Lessons

15 Reasons Why You Should Give Your Child Music Lessons

Are you on the fence about whether or not to enroll your child in music lessons? Here are 15 reasons why you should give your kids music lessons!

1. All Kids Can Benefit to Some Degree from Music Lessons

Even kids who don’t grow up to be Mozarts can benefit! This includes children of all ages, backgrounds, and talents. While children have many different interests and abilities, the benefits listed here still apply. Here are some more reasons to give your kids music lessons!

Child with trumpet.
There are so many benefits to kids music lessons!

2. Music Lessons Boost Skills in Areas Beyond Just Music

You might think that learning music just leaves you with children who have music skills, but there are many areas that benefit children way beyond just being able to play an instrument or sing. These skills help children in a multitude of ways. From improved social and language skills to increased concentration, people who take music lessons have improved quality of life.

3. The Benefits of Music Are Long-Term

Like riding a bicycle, many things you learn from music classes stay with your whole life. While a child might forget certain specifics of music, the cognitive and other benefits remain into later childhood and adulthood.

Child at keyboard
The things kids learn in music lessons stay with them throughout life.

4. It Builds Discipline and Self-Control

Being able to play an instrument is no small achievement, and one that doesn’t happen without improvements in self-discipline and self-control — considered to be one one the most important traits for success in every area of life. You’ll be better at everything with more self-discipline.

5. Kids Music Lessons Sharpen Children’s Senses

Participating in music is a multi-sensory experience! A good musician has to use ears (to listen), eyes (to read music and pay attention to the instructor/conductor), and touch (to work the instrument). Every sense improves with practice, and this spills over to other areas that kids use those senses.

Kids with rhythm instruments
Making music sharpens kids’ senses!

6. Music Lessons Boost Children’s Language Skills

Not just because of singing, but the area of the brain that handles music includes language skills. When kids get better at music, they get better at language, too. Also, the self-discipline required to learn an instrument boosts overall learning capacity.

7. Music Is an Area of Learning With Immediate Feedback

When you are playing a piece of music, and you make a mistake, you know right away! It’s unmistakable. Few areas of endeavor have such amazing immediate feedback.

Child playing a keyboard.
Few things provide such immediate feedback as music lessons!

8. It Can Boost a Child’s IQ

All that increased cognitive ability from kids music lessons we’ve been talking about? It actually boosts IQ scores That’s amazing! While high IQ is by no means the only indicator of success in life, it is important.

Kids music lessons can provide boosts in IQ, math, and language scores.
Kids music lessons can provide boosts in IQ, math, and language scores.

9. Music Allows Kids to Express Themselves

Few things give children the opportunity to express themselves like music does. Kids love music, and music lessons help them do it better. In particular, kids who are more introverted or find difficulty expressing themselves in other ways can turn to music as a creative outlet.

Kids express themselves through music!
Kids express themselves through music!

10. Music Lessons Can Physically Improve a Child’s Brain

The increased concentration ability, self-control, and math-language skills that come along with kids music lessons are the result of actual physical changes in the brain — which is why these benefits are long-term.

11. Performing Music in Front of Others Helps Kids Become More Confident and Helps Them Overcome Shyness

The best cure for stage fright is practice at performing in front of others! And the earlier kids gain access experience doing this, the better. They learn that making music is fun, and not something to be intimidated by. A by-product of this is increased confidence in other social settings.

12. Kids Music Lessons Boost Math Skills

In addition to helping with language abilities, music lessons boost math skills. In particular, learning how to play a musical instrument has been shown to help kids do better solving math problems. Even listening to music during a math test seems to have some benefit!

13. They Boost Standardized Test Scores

Really! This effect has been documented in multiple studies. It’s almost incredible how something as seemingly ordinary as music lessons can do so much. And don’t forget…

14. It’s Fun!

Maybe we haven’t pointed this out enough yet, but music is fun. Music — performing it, listening to it, and learning it — provides enjoyment. Music makes kids happy!

So much fun!
So much fun!

15. Music Provides a Lifetime of Enjoyment

Unlike more physical activities, music isn’t something that requires great athleticism to perform and enjoy. Nor is it something most kids will “outgrow.” The benefits and fun of music lessons are here to stay for a lifetime.

So What Else?

Here’s a bonus reason to give your kids music lessons: we have them here at Grace Community School! That’s right: Grace Community School has music lessons! These are fun 30-minute sessions where students learn the basics of music theory and get experience with a variety of musical instruments, including piano. Learn more about Grace Community School kids music lessons here.

Further Reading

http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/music-arts/the-benefits-of-music-education/

http://www.childrensmusicworkshop.com/twelve-benefits-of-music-education/

http://www.wheaton.edu/CSA/Lessons/Long-Term-Benefits-of-Music-Study

Boost Your Child’s Learning With This One Thing

Happy Kids with SunglassesAs parents, we want to give our kids all the advantages we can. Sometimes the simplest things make the biggest difference. For example, there is a simple way to boost a child’s learning that is neglected by many parents but can make a huge difference, not just in a child’s education, but in nearly every area of a child’s life. This one thing:

  • boosts learning and mental well-being
  • helps prevent obesity
  • increases energy
  • reduces childhood illness and aids recovery from sickness and injury
  • builds stronger muscles and bones
  • increases life expectancy

Even better: this is something Grace Community School helps our students with automatically, and at no charge! This one thing is your child’s nutrition.

Is Food Really That Important?

Is the food your child eats on a regular basis really that important? In a word: yes. Food is fuel. You are what your eat. From ancient times we have known that food is vital to good health, just as important or more so than physical exercise. The World Health Organization estimates that almost half of all childhood deaths are linked to malnutrition.

"Better nutrition means kids who can tackle all the challenges of childhood with ease."

Even when it doesn’t endanger the life of a child, less-than-optimal child nutrition has a negative impact on kids — even affecting academic performance. Conversely, eating healthy foods and not skipping meals has been shown to boost test scores. Let’s not forget that kids who eat better have more energy to play and have fun!

Doesn’t That Cost a Lot?

Normally, eating healthy is not cheap. There’s a heated debate right now as to why healthy foods cost so much more than junk food. What’s a parent to do? Let us help!

Grace Community School offers FREE breakfast, lunch, snacks, and drinks. Our nutritious USDA-approved meals are prepared fresh onsite daily. For free. Better nutrition means kids who can tackle the challenges of childhood with ease. The result is kids who play better, learn better, are sick less often, and have more fun! Did we mention that it’s free?

Child nutrition
Child nutrition. Yes, it’s that important! (Image: Canva)

You Can Know Exactly What Your Child Eats at School

We keep Grace Community School parents informed of the latest school news and upcoming events with our website, social media, and email newsletter. This extends to our food program, too. You can always check out the month’s school food menu at this link.

I Want That!

The simple-yet-powerful technique of providing healthy meals for kids is a superb way to boost a child’s learning and increase the overall quality of life, including improved energy levels and resistance to illness. Again, this program is free at Grace Community School!

We provide this breakfast, lunch, snacks and drink program for all Grace Community School students ages one year and older. Not only does the free meal program benefit our students at school, but family life improves at home since parents do not need to spend time and money packing lunches. It’s a win-win situation! You’re busy. And we help by providing it all free! Learn more about enrolling your child in our programs at www.gracecommunityschools.com.

Does your child already attend Grace Community School? We will reward you for sharing the great news about a Grace Community School education! The Grace Community School referral program pays YOU to refer families to us, $100 at a time!. Click one of the share buttons below top share this with your friends, and make sure they write your name down as a referral when they come into any one of our nine convenient Southwest Florida locations.

What Will Your Child Learn at Grace Community School?

Grace Community School has a variety of advanced learning programs to help your child succeed!
Grace Community School has a variety of advanced learning programs to help your child succeed!

Nothing sets Grace Community School apart from other childcare centers more than our learning program! We want to give you a brief overview of the learning programs here at Grace Community School. Our program starts at age six weeks and continues through kindergarten, and so does the learning. First and foremost, we are far more than a daycare.

Instead of Daycare, Why Not School?

Most people think of daycare as mostly babysitting with some social interaction thrown in for good measure. This is pretty much true, but not here. That’s why we are Grace Community School, emphasis on school. Instead of just daycare, we are an educational facility. But that doesn’t mean we’re boring. Many people think that play and learning are mutually exclusive. This isn’t true!

Learning can be fun, and it has to be — for children to learn, they need to be interested.
Learning can be fun, and it has to be — for children to learn, they need to be interested.

Learning can be fun, and it has to be — for children to learn, they need to be interested. We do all our teaching with interactive games and fun activities. Each game and activity goes along with the week’s theme.

Infants and Toddlers

Grace Community School’s learning program for infants and toddlers starts with the foundation of helping the child know he or she is loved and will be taken care of. Safety — both physical and emotional — is our priority. This is the basis for our infant and toddler educational program. Our caring and loving caregivers use developmentally appropriate techniques to aid in growth and stimulation of our youngest students.

Our youngest students are learning, too!
Our youngest students are learning, too!

Activities for infants and toddlers involve:

  • story time
  • music and movement
  • verbal interaction
  • physical activity
  • visual stimuli

These activities help the students:

  • feel secure
  • learn to communicate verbally and non-verbally
  • develop gross and fine motor skills
  • build eye-hand coordination
  • develop socially and build trusting relationships with their caregivers
  • build problem-solving strategies
  • express their independence
College really can begin at two!
College really can begin at two!

As children grow and develop, they are ready for more advanced educational activities.

College Can Begin at Two

For children two years and older, we have our unique curriculum, College Can Begin at 2! This curriculum includes a special theme for each and every week of the year, and features dress-up days, parties, special events, art projects and themed learning activities.

College Can Begin at Two. Really! We start teaching kids as young as two years of age the basics of reading and math. The first group of letters our kids learn is the vowels — A, E, I, O, and U. But our students don’t just learn the letters; they learn the sound that goes with each letter along with a clue word to help kids remember everything. Once they learn the vowels, they tackle the next letter group and progress through the alphabet.

Learning certificates inform parents of their child's accomplishments and help celebrate them!
Learning certificates inform parents of their child’s accomplishments and help celebrate them!

There is basic math instruction, too. Our kids learn their basic shapes like circle, triangle, rectangle, star, and heart, along with their colors. Our curriculum covers positional words like up, down, inside, outside, and so on. As students get older and learn, we introduce more concepts. Learning progresses at each student’s personal pace.

Physical activity is important for child development!
Physical activity is important for child development!

Kids at this age continue to build their social and emotional skills, learning about feelings and how to resolve problems. They develop relationships with other children and the adults in their lives, including their caregivers. They are getting better at controlling their bodies. They need practice with writing and drawing. Daily directed writing practice is part of the College Can Begin at 2 program.

Children are learning to speak more and increasing their vocabulary. Story time, poems, and conversations with their classmates and teachers build language skills.

Some of the things integrated into the College Can Begin at 2 Curriculum are:

  • manners training
  • non-denominational Bible Time
  • art projects
  • letters and numbers of the week
  • work sheets and coloring pages
  • interactive learning experiences
  • individualized phonics and math instruction sessions
  • take-home learning certificates and books so parents can keep track of their child’s progress

Our Preschoolers Can Read

This isn’t just a catch phrase! When developmentally-appropriate teaching methods are combined with one-on-one phonics instruction, the result is kids who can read. That’s right; we use phonics. It works! We send books and certificates home to keep parents informed of their children’s progress and help them celebrate their achievements.

Check out this link for a more detailed look at our phonics program.

Mathematical Excellence

Similar to Reading Circles, Grace Community School Math Circles provide students with mathematical instruction. Just as with reading, we start with the basics. The “1’s Family” introduces children to the numbers 0-9. We build from there and add counting to higher numbers, object sets, and more advanced math concepts.

Click this link to learn more.

Special Classes

Our extracurricular classes are available, too:

The core Grace Community School learning programs, along with these special classes, make for a whole-life curriculum!

Find Out More

You can get more Info about our curriculum, learning goals, special classes, theme weeks, at www.gracecommunityschools.com.

Preparing Your Child For Success

Grace Community School kids in Reading CirclesShould Young Children Be Taught to Read? (Part 2 of 2)

In part 1 of this 2-part series, we talked about the need for childcare programs to go beyond just talking about early literacy and to teach kids to read using proven time-tested methods, especially phonics. In part 2 we’ll discuss “whole language” and how Grace Community School sets our students up for success.

The Whole Truth

Whole language sounds good. It is supposed to be a holistic approach to learning to read and write, taking words, sentences, and books and dealing with them as a whole, rather than breaking words down into phonetic parts and learning to read those before moving on to bigger parts of language. Unfortunately, in practice, the emphasis in whole language instruction is on getting kids excited about reading and reading aloud to children, without formal direction. With whole language, kids are supposed to learn how to read and write by being exposed to and getting excited by these manifestations of language. Here’s the thing: enthusiasm isn’t a substitute for teaching how to read!

Whole language does not work as a method of reading instruction because it does not give kids what they need to be able to read. The English language encodes the meanings of words in the sounds that make up the words. Phonics lets kids “decode” the letters in a word, so they know what it is! Grace Community’s reading program (“Reading Circles”) starts at the most basic level, with the vowels. Teachers add other letters in small groups as the kids progress. Children learn the name of each letter, as well as (most importantly!) the sound of each letter, and a clue word. “A says ă as in apple.” “E says ĕ as in elephant,” and so on. After the individual letters are learned, the kids learn to blend them together, and then to make words. It’s a natural, developmentally appropriate progression that works for all children.

Adults reading aloud to children is a wonderful thing. But we can’t forget that the goal is for children to be able to read for themselves! And learning to read doesn’t work like osmosis – kids won’t “soak up” the ability to read like a sponge. This is exactly how whole language is supposed to work. Unlike learning to speak, learning to read doesn’t “just come” with experience. We must teach reading, and this is what Grace Community School does.

Actions, Not Just Feelings and Good Intentions

Whole language attempts to create enthusiasm for reading without giving the skills needed to read. While enthusiasm for reading is very important, you need skills, too! The child who knows how to read will have fun reading. The child who does not, will not. The better they read, the more fun they will have. It’s that simple. Reading will not be enjoyable for a child unless they have the skills to do it easily. Would you enjoy bowling if you rolled a gutterball every time? Unlikely! That is what it is like for the child who cannot read well. Reading becomes a chore, frustrating and hard. Not enjoyable. You don’t want that!

Adults reading aloud to children is a wonderful thing. But we can’t forget that the goal is for children to be able to read for themselves!
Image: Canva

Progressive educational experts believe something similar with handwriting. Just as exposure to books and printed words is somehow supposed to turn into literacy in children sometime down the road, they claim that writing will spontaneously emerge from a child’s scribbles. Not so – kids need instruction and practice! Children learn to write best with lots of practice, worksheets, and direction from teachers.

Our Preschoolers Can Read!

Grace Community School uses a proven phonics-based method of teaching reading. Our Reading Circles provide individualized instruction to students that is always right at the child’s level. The result: kids who can read! Even in a technological society like ours, reading is still vital. Readers are leaders! Much has been made of the importance of getting kids to read fluently by third grade. It is an important indicator of future success in school and life. “Third-grade reading proficiency is crucial for continued academic success and to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.” We want out students to read, and Grace Community School gives them the tools they need to do that.

Your children deserve so much more than what typical childcare offers!
Your children deserve so much more than what typical childcare offers!

We also celebrate the reading accomplishments of our students in several ways. Certificates and reading books make each step in the learning journey special. We also send home framed photos of the kids holding their new reading books. You will never find happier children than the ones in those photographs! In addition, we recognize our Reader Achievers on our social media.

Reader Achievers are our students who have gone above and beyond the usual excellence!
Reader Achievers are our students who have gone above and beyond the usual excellence!

At Grace Community School, Our Preschoolers Can Read, and we couldn’t be happier about it! If you found this article useful, please click one of the share buttons below and tell your friends.

Should Young Children Be Taught to Read?

Should young children be taught to read?Should young children be taught to read? Most people will say, “Yes!” We want children to read, and we want them to love reading. However, saying we want kids to read is not enough.

More Than Words

Looking at promotional and educational literature for early learning organizations and public schools seems to indicate a great emphasis on reading. That’s good, right? Sure, everyone is talking about reading. Special reading and literacy events are everywhere. There are “Literacy Buddy” events, and we even have Accelerated Reader programs in the public schools. Everywhere we are assured that “early literacy” is a top priority. The experts would like nothing more than for all children to learn to read at as young an age as possible. It’s a wonderful public relations campaign.

These efforts are not always what they seem. Unfortunately, the techniques advocated by many childcare experts will not result in children reading at an early age, or even at all in many cases. Instead of using phonics, early education experts claim that all we need to do is expose kids to reading and printed words (the “print rich environment”) and that this will eventually result in children reading – like magic! Many people involved in early childhood don’t want kids to read at an early age — they say it’s “developmentally inappropriate.” These people don’t give kids enough credit!

Watch out for the phrase “reading readiness.” If a child is ready to read, they can read! Reading readiness, or “emergent reading,” is what is taught at virtually all preschools except Grace Community School. Children, deliberately or not, are held back, on the advice of so-called early learning experts. Other daycares (they don’t call themselves schools!) use what is known as “whole language” instruction — more about that later.

The Grace Community School Difference

And now we have Grace Community School. We don’t teach reading readiness or emergent reading, just reading! Why wait for kids to learn? College Can Begin at Two! Children are natural learners. They want to learn! They just need some help. The Grace Community School reading program uses phonics, the only method proven to consistently teach children to read. In addition, we provide constant training in our phonics program to our teachers. Our facility directors are career managers, and we’re here year after year ensuring that our students get the education they deserve. It’s all about standards – and we exceed them!

Children are natural learners. They want to learn! They just need some help.It’s About Standards

Speaking of standards, you might be interested to know about the State of Florida’s educational standards for young children. The Florida Early Learning and Developmental Standards for Four-Year-Olds (2011) encapsulates what the State of Florida says children are supposed to learn in their Pre-K year. State-funded VPK facilities use these standards to decide what and how to teacher their Pre-K classrooms. It is telling that it does not include real reading, only something called “emergent reading” or “emergent literacy.” Essentially this means changing the environment around the child so that, through play and talking and practicing, they will “pick up” reading almost through osmosis.

"Emergent reading," "emergent literacy," or "reading readiness" isn't real reading! (from State of Florida Standards for Four-Year-Olds)
“Emergent reading,” “emergent literacy,” or “reading readiness” isn’t real reading! (from State of Florida Standards for Four-Year-Olds)

This is what the typical preschool is aiming at – getting kids so they will be ready to learn to read when they enter elementary school, although, in reality, they aren’t great at this, either. On the other hand, students who go through Grace Community School’s entire reading program have test scores far beyond what is typically achieved or even considered possible. Our students enter Kindergarten reading! Kids entering public school Kindergarten are not tested on their reading skills  – because children who have attended a typical Pre-K program cannot read! Grace Community’s average Kindergarten graduates score on national standardized tests at the second-grade level, and bright children often read at the fifth-grade level! These are real, tangible results, full achievable when children are given the chance to fulfill their potential.

In part 2 of this series, we’ll look at whole language instruction, handwriting, and more ways that Grace Community School prepares your child to succeed We want to spread the word about education and quality childcare. If you enjoyed this post, please click one of the share buttons below and let your friends know!

Part 2: Preparing Your Child for Success

We’re the Best… Again!

Thank you for voting Grace Community School Best of Cape Coral, Bonita's Best and Best of Southwest Florida for 2016!
Thank you for voting Grace Community School Best of Cape Coral, Bonita’s Best and Best of Southwest Florida for 2016!

 

Our parents have been busy! You voted Grace Community School the best daycare and preschool in three different awards so far this year: Best of Cape Coral, Bonita’s Best, and Best of Southwest Florida.

We are thrilled to see the Southwest Florida community recognize us for our more than 30 years of child care excellence.

Now more than ever, parents are asking, “Instead of Daycare, Why Not Grace Community School?”

Best of Cape Coral

Grace Community School was voted Best of Cape Coral for 2014, 2015, and 2016!
Grace Community School was voted Daycare and Preschool in the Cape Coral Breeze Best of Cape Coral Awards for 2014, 2015, and 2016!

Bonita’s Best

We were voted Best of Bonita 2016 in the News-Press Readers' Choice Awards!
We were voted Best Preschool and Best Child Care in the News-Press Bonita’s Best Readers’ Choice Awards!

Best of Southwest Florida

News-Press Readers chose Grace Community School as Best Child Care and Best Preschool in the 2016 Best of Southwest Florida Awards!
News-Press Readers chose Grace Community School as Best Child Care and Best Preschool in the 2016 Best of Southwest Florida Awards!

Thank You!

We couldn’t have done it without you.

Help us celebrate! Right now we are running a Flash Sale for new customers. Get Grace Community School child care for just $99/week through November 11. It’s a fantastic deal! Even better: current customers who refer a family earn a $100 referral bonus. Get details here. You and your friends can get the childcare voted Best of Southwest Florida for the best price ever!

What Kids Need in Child Care

Happy Kids With Whale Shirts
At Grace Community School, we know the parents of our students want the absolute best for their kids; so do we!

Helping Your Child Succeed in Child Care and Beyond

Every parent who drops a child off at child care has certain expectations of what will happen to that child. Each parent hopes that the child care experience will be a positive one, giving the child what he or she needs to grow, learn, and be happy.

These things include the basics: being kept safe from harm, fulfillment of physical needs, comfort, opportunities for friendship, fun. Most parents would also be happy if their children could learn something while away from home. These things aren’t the only things a child needs from child care!

Achieving Full Potential

Child experts agree that for the child to achieve his or her full potential – to rise above the median, to accomplish what is called “self-actualization” – the child must have more than the basics. You, as a parent, would no doubt like your child to do more than just survive – you want your child to thrive!

Unfortunately, if you bring your child to just any child care center, you will likely get just the basics – only the basics. It will be babysitting, for the most part. There is something not on that list of basics: love! It is not enough to merely take care of a child, the child who will thrive needs love, both at home and at school.

Remember: love is not just an emotion, it is also action! At Grace Community School, we know the parents of our students want the absolute best for their kids; so do we! Love means giving kids the best education possible.

Instead of daycare, why not school?
Instead of daycare, why not school?

Why Not School?

Here is where we see the very big difference between a daycare and a school; one is merely a place for children to bide the time where their parents are at work, the other is a real educational facility. Grace Community School is a school. We like to say, “College Can Begin at Two.” When children have the capacity to start genuine academics as young as age two, why not let them? Learning is fun! Let us take a look at some of the ways Grace Community School goes “beyond the basics.”

First, Grace Community School provides instruction in an area often neglected in child care: morality. You will not even see it listed as a domain in articles about child development. A truly great education must be built on a moral foundation. Virtues or character traits like self-control, diligence, and deferred gratification – characteristics of highly successful people – are actually all a part of moral training. A Grace Community School education includes moral training, both in our Bible instruction and integrated throughout the curriculum. Grace Community School kids learn the Golden Rule, as well as other Biblical principles like the Ten Commandments, and put them into practice. You cannot overemphasize the long-term importance this makes in the lives of children!

Our Preschoolers Can Read!
Our Preschoolers Can Read!

Second, Grace Community School teaches real reading! Reading is simply the most important academic skill you must learn in school; nothing else comes close. Society and technology have changed vastly in nature in recent decades, but the importance of reading has not diminished. Daycares might teach “reading readiness” or “emergent literacy,” but not Grace Community School. Our students learn the real deal. Accept no substitutions! Since reading is so vital to a child’s future, what better way to show love to a child than teaching him or her to read!

Our Math program is also second-to-none. Just as in the Grace Community School reading program, math students work at their own pace achieving various milestones and learning different skills. Children move on to the next Math Circle level when they master their current level. We celebrate both Reading and Math Circle achievements by sending home certificates and books with the kids so they can show off what they have learned! We put photos of students who have reached special milestones on our social media, too.A truly great education must be built on a moral foundation.

There’s More!

For children to perform at their best, their physical needs have to be met. Grace Community School provides FREE and nutritious breakfast, lunch, snack, and drinks for all students. Meals are prepared fresh onsite daily. Better nutrition means kids who are better able to learn. You can check out our USDA-approved menu any time on our website www.gracecommunityschools.com. Not only does the free meal program benefit students at school, but family life improves at home since parents do not need to spend time and money packing lunches. It’s a win-win situation!

We have a variety of extracurricular courses available for our students (ask your Grace Community School office how to sign up today!) The Grace Community School karate program is another program that benefits children both physically and mentally. Children ages three years and up have an opportunity to learn martial arts from an experienced American Kenpo karate instructor in a fun environment. The most important skill learned in karate is self-discipline. Self-discipline is sometimes called the “master virtue” because of its importance in everything a person does, and its use as in indicator of success later in life. More self-discipline leads to more success!

Along similar lines, our dance program enhances the lives of children in many ways. Children learn techniques of jazz and ballet while experiencing the joy that comes from moving their bodies to music. The kids are having so much fun they don’t even realize that they’re exercising and enhancing motor skills!

Piano and group music lessons are also available at some locations. Students learn both the theory and practice of playing piano as they progress through beginner’s piano lesson books, play games, and participate in fun music drill. The benefits of music lessons are many, even going so far as to boost SAT scores! Returning again to the topic of self-discipline, there is something about the immediate feed-back in playing music that improves discipline like nothing else. It’s a wonderful way to earn an instrument as well as increase overall self-control.

We also have Art Class! Each week our Art Class students create a special art project during thirty-minute lessons. It’s a different project each week (that goes along with our special theme weeks) that they take home. See why Grace Community School Art Class is one of our most popular extracurricular activities.

The various Grace Community School learning programs let children progress at their own pace combined with an orderly environment full of routines creates a comfortable, loving environment that makes kids feel safe. Parents need assurance, too! Updates via our social media pages and email list let you stay informed about what is going on at school, upcoming special events and theme weeks, and lots of other news. Also, our photo program lets you take home a printed photo of your child from school each week.

Set for Success

That’s a lot of extras! We know you love your child and want nothing but the best! That is exactly what Grace Community School gets you – the best possible education at the lowest cost, including the most important thing your child needs to succeed: love demonstrated through action. We are happy to have the privilege to serve you and your child. Don’t forget to tell your friends! Right now Grace Community School has an awesome referral program. Refer a child to any Grace Community School location and get $100! Find out more here or ask your location’s office for details.

Grace Community School goes beyond the basics to deliver a safe and caring environment, an unparalleled learning experience, and more extras than you will find at any other child care center in Southwest Florida. Most importantly, it sets your child down on a path that leads to success in child care and beyond. Find out more about Grace Community Schools and its programs at www.gracecommunityschools.com

Learning Certificates Celebrate Achievement!

Grace Community School students are recognized for their scholastic achievements.
Real learning is something to celebrate!

If you’ve been to Grace Community School, you’ve probably seen the colorful, exciting learning certificates hanging on the wall, certificates that say things like “I’m a Reader Achiever.”What is all that? These are not things you will find in other childcare centers, nor are they mere participation awards. These certificates celebrate learning, real accomplishments. Our students are learning a lot, and learning is what sets Grace Community School apart from everyone else! We want everyone to know about our students’ scholarship, especially our parents. Our students are justifiably proud of their work. They can’t wait to show their parents what they have learned, and the certificates help them do that.

Learning Certificates Aplenty

There are a variety of accomplishments certificates can celebrate, such as:

Printing all those certificates each week takes a lot of time, as well as paper and ink. So why do we do all of this?

  • It informs parents of their child’s progress
  • Students love getting them and taking them home
  • It recognizes our students’ achievements
  • We want parents to have something to show their friends and coworkers
  • It’s fun!

Demonstrated achievement is the greatest self-esteem booster. Grace Community School kids don’t just think they are special; they know they are special because of all the things they can do. The certificates just remind them. We want our students to be able to believe in themselves and be proud.

Math Achievers get learning certificates, too!
Math Achievers get learning certificates, too!

Real Learning = Real Self-Esteem

There is a lot for our students to be proud of! Grace Community School students often get into gifted classes when they go to public school, after having working multiple public school grade levels above their public school counterparts. Now it is clearer than ever that getting kids to learn to read early in life has dramatic importance for success later on. This success is what GCS students have to look forward to. Our Reading Circle program begins teaching children as young as two years of age the phonic sound of each letter and moves on from there to blends, words and reading books. There is no stopping them!

A common misconception is that kids can’t learn to read until elementary school. This is simply not true! At Grace Community School, children learn to read as young as three years of age.
A common misconception is that kids can’t learn to read until elementary school. This is simply not true! At Grace Community School, children learn to read as young as three years of age.

The GCS Math Circle program is similarly advanced. Math domain concepts are split into different levels. Math learning certificates go home when a level is mastered, and the child moves on to the next level.

Grace Community School Math Circle learning certificates go home to keep parents informed of their children's mathematical accomplishments!
Grace Community School Math Circle certificates go home to keep parents informed of their children’s mathematical accomplishments!

Some of our longtime students have a hard time adjusting to government schooling because the material they already know entering kindergarten will not be taught until years later in the public school! (that is one reason why Grace Community School offers a kindergarten program for just $10 in tuition per week!)

Demonstrated achievement is the greatest self-esteem booster.
Demonstrated achievement is the greatest self-esteem booster.

Don’t keep all this goodness to yourself! Refer your friends and coworkers! We accept students from 6 weeks up through kindergarten for school, and up to age 11 for before/after school and summer camp. Show them some of your child’s certificates, and make sure they write your name down on the enrollment form as a referrer so you can get your $100!

Jungle Jive! 2016 Program Photos (Part 2)

Golden Gate Grace Community School kindergarten graduates on stage at Jungle Jive! 2016.
Golden Gate Grace Community School kindergarten graduates on stage at Jungle Jive! 2016.

(See Part 1 here) And that’s it for our 2016 graduation shows! The kids from the Golden Gate and Naples Park Grace Community School locations took the stage at Barron Collier High School yesterday and put on a tremendously entertaining performance.

We are family at Grace Community School!
We are family at Grace Community School!

Photos from the shows are available on Grace Community School’s Facebook page. Click the links below to see the photos!

Golden Gate (11:00 Show)

Golden Gate (1:00 Show)

Naples Park

Everyone had a great time. We were so happy that Gracie was able to make out to the shows again for our school song and photo op! DVD’s of the show will be available this week for just $5 each in each location’s office.

Who doesn't love Gracie balloons?!
Who doesn’t love Gracie balloons?!

It’s been a fantastic school year! Please remember that Grace Community School has summer camp, too. We look forward to serving you and your family. Thanks for making our programs awesome!