Dressing up as a firefighter might be every child’s idea of fun, but it was Pastor Donald Antor who got to do just that recently when visiting Immanuel’s full day preschool program. Pastor Donald, Immanuel’s youth director, talked with the children about the protective gear that fire fighters put on while demonstrating with gear that his father, a former fire fighter turned fire inspector, had given him. As Pastor Donald and the children talked about the protective gear, they began to talk about how God protects us and the “whole armor of God” as detailed in Ephesians 6.
Pastor Donald and the kids were able to converse because the preschoolers already knew many things about fire fighters and about Jesus. Both are important elements of Immanuel’s early childhood program. Teacher Emily Laubenstein and the children have “Jesus Time” every day and she, like all of Immanuel’s early childhood teachers, lovingly teaches the children about God and that he loves them deeply. They also teach them about “community helpers,” fire fighters included.
“We teach the children about fire safety in the fall since this is when we teach them about fire drills,“ said Marlene Tres, the program’s director. “It’s so important, especially for the youngest of children. Too many people die in fires each year and young children tend to hide when there’s a fire. They need to know not to be afraid of fire fighters and what to do in case of fire. We use songs, finger plays, books, discussion, puppets and role play to teach them. Kids love fire fighters and fire trucks so the unit always goes very nicely and the kids respond very well. Plus our teachers are so good with the students and with curriculum.”
Ms. Laubenstein is just one of six highly qualified early childhood teachers at Immanuel. “She has a master’s degree in early childhood and it shows. Walking into her classroom is enchanting,” adds Mrs. Tres. “The children learn so much and truly enjoy themselves. All of our teachers always strive to make learning fun and meaningful.”
Come and experience that spirit of fun and meaning for yourself. Immanuel Lutheran’s Early Childhood teachers will hold a “Family Pumpkin Carving Night” open to the entire community on Monday, October 24, from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. The evening will focus on simple family fun. The evening is targeted towards preschoolers, kindergartners, and their siblings along with parents. Bring $5 and a pumpkin. Snacks and child-friendly carving tools will be provided.
Immanuel Lutheran School is located at 200 North Plum Grove Road in downtown Palatine, just two blocks east of the Palatine Metra Train Station. If you would like more information about Immanuel’s early childhood program, please contact Marlene Tres at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-660-4163.