JAMESVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The first kids that came to the Bo-Peep nursery school at Jamesville Community Church are turning sixty.
And they are all over our community.
Longtime Syracuse University Vice President, Lance Baker, helped found the program.
“Many of them have been doctors and lawyers and teachers and social workers,” said Baker.
“I can’t go anywhere in public without bumping into someone who came to Bo-Peep or a parent who came to Bo-Peep,” said Melanie Dawes, Bo-Peep Preschool Director.
Bo-Peep was at the leading edge of preschool programs in Onondaga County, developed by church members with experience in early education. They saw a need to nurture a love of learning and a positive first school experience.
“To give students a feeling of worth, so that when they went to kindergarten, they’d be more secure about their self-image and some on their preparation needs and so forth,” said Baker.
Over the years, more than 1,500 three and four-year-olds have come through this program. And even with the shyest of them, little Bo-Peep has kind of helped them lose that sheepishness.
“Most children that come here that are shy, are quiet, are withdrawn, you know, when they leave here, they usually leave here ready to go to kindergarten,” said Dawes.
The program is open four days a week, with just a dozen or so children attending each day. There’s a waiting list to come here and a legion of families who believe in the program.
Local father, John Davies, has sent six children through Bo-Peep Preschool.
“Bo-Peep is for everyone. Good old fashioned values that we all agree on, that just live in this building,” said Davies.
Even local educator Kristine Kern sent her children to Bo-Peep Preschool.
“I liked it wasn’t full-time day care. It was nurturing and it was enough blend and balance of academics and fun. In fact, they know I’m here now and they want to know why they’re not here with me, although they’re in high school and college. And they begged to come today.”
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