On September 29, 2021

Little Lambs Academy preschool expands to Grace Church

Staff report

RUTLAND — Grace Congregational UCC and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (GSLC) have partnered to open Little Lambs Academy, a preschool for children 3-5 years old, at Grace. It is scheduled to open Monday, Oct. 4.

The program is an expansion of GSLC’s successful preschool program into Grace’s two preschool classrooms. The move will allow GSLC to increase its availability for infant, toddler and 2-year-old care at GSLC— which, along with preschool, is desperately needed in Rutland.

GSLC will operate the program at Grace Church, obtaining all necessary licenses and permits, hiring staff, and paying for daily cleaning. Grace will provided the two classrooms, associated bathrooms, and the playground. The fellowship hall kitchen will be used to prepare breakfast and lunch for a maximum of 40 students. A member of Grace will also serve on the early childhood advisory committee which, along with the executive director, will oversee the program.

GSLC’s Little Lambs program will budget $1,200 per month for building expenses (such as utilities, space use, staff support) incurred in the designated spaces for the operation of the pre-K program to be paid as monthly contribution to Grace Church ($14,400 annually). The initial term of the covenant between the two organizations is three years, but there will be an annual review to ensure that the contribution is sufficient to cover costs.

Earlier this month, Rev. Dr. Alberta Wallace, intentional interim minister from Grace Church, met with Good Shepherd Pastor John Longworth to set a date to “seal” the “covenant agreement.” They will hold a joint service on Sunday, Oct. 17.

“Grace will present the covenant and have it signed by the council chairs from Grace and the Good Shepherd,” Rev. Wallace said. “People will be invited to participate in a special offering for tuition support for Little Lambs.  Those funds help cover families who run into economic hardships after enrolling their child.”

An open house tour of the facility and a reception will follow the service (outside if weather permits).

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