Dot’s Garden: a special place for learning and growing

Dot Anderson was a lifelong member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church and avid gardener until her death in late 2009. It was her family’s wish to carry on Dot’s love of nature and gardening by starting a memorial garden for the preschool, church and community.

Your child will have a chance to be an active member of the garden community. Each teacher uses a specific part of the garden plot to teach about the life-cycle of plants, plant care, the role of garden insects, and countless other activities where nature is our teacher. Dot’s Garden is an incredible gift that will benefit the Bethlehem community for many years to come.

Music Man:

Bethlehem Preschool provides a music enrichment program every Friday in the Big Room. Chris Matthews, our own “Music Man” gets children moving, singing and learning with his inspiring child-friendly humor and developmentally appropriate introduction to instruments, note value, and the scale. Chris has been with us since 2002 and teaches at 12 other private and public schools. He is an accomplished musician, playing in a variety of adult bands as well.

Music and movement is an important part of child development. Children learn patterns, rhythm, counting and new vocabulary. Music calms, soothes, inspires, invigorates, and makes us smile.

Art in the Garden:

Bethlehem Preschool offers Art-in-the-Garden to all students once a month, both in our half-day and full-day program. We are sponsored by generous patrons-of-the-arts and fundraisers. The atelier (work studio) in the garden is pleasantly arranged and implemented by Patti McDuffie, on our preschool teachers. Ms. Patti is also a free-lance artist and taught children’s art at a local elementary school for 11 years.

Children are introduced to Masters of the Arts in a brief, age-appropriate manner, and then offered materials to try out the style of the artist. Sitting under a trellised arbor of passionfruit vines at small picnic tables, inspiration and creativity bloom. Children use different mediums each month: paint, pastel, clay, collage, etc. They extend their hands-on learning experience by exploring their surroundings, finding textures, shapes and colors in nature.
Art crosses the curriculum beginning with a story about the artist (history), where they lived and worked (geography), counting, shapes and balance (math), material exploration including cause and effect (science), and learning new terms (language arts). Through art children practice sharing and taking turns as well as appreciation of one another’s efforts (social skills). By using a variety of tools, children develop fine motor skills. Much of our art is abstract with no wrong way of expressing themselves, leading to happy, successful and positive self-esteem.

At the Chapel:

While rooted in the spirit of Christianity, The Bethlehem Community Preschool is non-denominational and welcomes all people, regardless of faith. Our spiritual teaching focus on giving to others. Outreach projects include food drives, disaster relief, and seasonal gifts to those in need. Bethlehem’s friendly and dynamic Pastor Laura-a lover of animals, gardens and fun-shares stories with the children and invites them to the sanctuary once a month.

Come Visit Us