Ahwatukee Preschool recently started its new toddler program, Noah’s Ark, in efforts to meet the demands of its school community.

Noah’s Ark is structured similarly to other classes at Ahwatukee Preschool; students from 18 months to 3 years old enjoy hands-on activates, sharpen their fine-motor skills and participate in arts and crafts workshops.

Students also are given time to play in the school’s playground.

The director of Ahwatukee Preschool, Diane Fitzsimons, said Noah’s Ark was designed for parents who needed a few hours to complete their everyday tasks.

“We decided we wanted to branch out a little bit more and add a chance for siblings to come to school for a short time,” she said. “It gives them a chance to begin a preschool experience and not be too rigid in time.”

Mary Adams, teacher of Noah’s Ark, said preparations for Noah’s Ark occurred over the summer, where she and Fitzsimons laid down the foundation of what the class would offer.

Each class is three hours long, which Adams feels is not too long yet not too short for parents and their toddlers.

“Parents are able to drop their kids off and run their errands,” she said.

Adams, who is a first-year teacher at Ahwatukee Preschool, has had both of her children enrolled at the school and has loved her experience since Day One.

“One thing I really like about Ahwatukee Preschool is that all the teachers here are very loving and caring and that’s their first priority, as well as teaching,” she said. “Most of the teachers, besides me, have been here for years.”

Noah’s Ark also helps parents and their children deal with separation anxiety that comes with starting school, and is an introduction of Ahwatukee Preschool’s program.

Fitzsimons said Noah’s Ark would be an ongoing program at Ahwatukee Preschool for parents who were interested in a shortened school experience for their children.

Noah’s Ark is offered three days out of the week, and parents can pick and choose what day’s suites their schedules.

Each class runs from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., and cost $20 per class.

For additional information about Ahwatukee Preschool or Noah’s Ark classes, visit www.mvlutheran.org.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dochoa@ahwatukee.com.

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