“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”Proverbs 22:6
With a dedication to Christ-centered teaching and service, Foundations Early Learning & Family Center has quietly grown from an ambitious vision to a thriving preschool in Fairfield, Ala. Foundations opened in 2013 to provide at-risk families access to a quality preschool education in a Christian environment where children can develop academically, physically, socially and spiritually.
Parental engagement at Foundations is a cornerstone to its mission. Parents are encouraged to participate in bi-monthly Parent Involvement Meetings (PIMs) – evening programs that include dinner, childcareand speakers addressing topics on parenting, health and wellness, budgeting, and more. Volunteers from areachurches play an important role in the success of the PIMs by sponsoring or preparing and serving dinner for families and assisting with childcare.“Because parental involvement is key to our mission, it’s important for us to make it as convenient as possible for the families to be involved. PIMs provide a Christ-centered social setting where parents form lasting friendships and draw on the encouragement of each other,” says Foundations Early Learning & Family Center Head of School, Kathleen Drake.
The Foundations roots date back to 2010, when Dr. Tanja Malone identified a gap in family services in the course of working with Fairfield families while pursuing her PhD at UAB. Rallying community resources including PreSchool Partners, Better Basics, UAB, Hope Health Center, Child Care Resources, Harris Early Learning Center, Fairfield City Schools and Restoration Academy, Dr. Malone and her team launched a program that became Foundations Early Learning & Family Center. Since opening five years ago, Foundations has served more than 200 children and their families. “It is remarkable to see the way Christ is working in this school. It is truly a testament of grace and love,” explains longtime volunteer Eleanor Roberson. Learn more at www.foundationsearlylearning.org.
–Melanie Berry McCraney