This week I wrote and sent the following letter to the editor of the Springfield News-Leader:
I am inspired almost every day by the people I work with. I am the pastor of Campbell United Methodist Church, and one of our most vibrant and fruitful ministries is our Small Wonders Child Development Center. Recently this ministry was featured prominently in an article focusing on unlicensed preschools (Who teaches the kids? 10/7/13).
The article’s implication that a lack of licensing results in an inferior program has compelled me to respond. Our Small Wonders teachers and staff are amazing, and their dedication to our kids is unmatched.
Colorful, creative craft projects hang on the walls of the hallways. The classrooms are filled with bright, colorful decorations, furniture, and educational tools. Kids and teachers share healthy meals together. Magnetic locks, a fingerprint scanner, and security cameras keep our kids secure, in addition to our “Safe Sanctuary” policies and procedures to keep everyone safe. Except for nap time, the kids are always actively engaged, either in learning or play, and our teachers work hard to make sure that every single kid is ready for what comes next.
The laughter and love that fills the hallways of the building are contagious. Every time I stop by for a visit, the kids call out happily, “HI, Pastor Andy!” and run up to me for high fives and knuckle bumps. When there are tears, Small Wonders teachers and staff respond with compassion and grace, and diligently work with parents to address issues that arise.
Academically, emotionally, and spiritually, kids who graduate from Small Wonders leave here ready for Kindergarten. I am happy and humbled by the amazing work that I get to witness each and every day.
Rev. Andy Bryan, PastorCampbell United Methodist Church