History of the WEE School Program
WEE School Begins in the 60's.....
First Baptist Church (FBC) began it’s weekday early education school (WEE School) in the 1960’s as churches began to sense a need from parents to help them prepare their children for more than just Sunday School. Mothers were beginning to seek work outside the home and needed a safe and economical place for their children.
Focus is Christian Life, Discipline, and Nurturing
In the beginning WEE School was more about expanding on the religious training children got on Sunday with the idea that more exposure to Bible learning would also enhance the child’s reading, writing ,and other secular learning skills. Most staff members were not trained educators but had a good rapport with children and were strong life models. The typical pre-school class was strong on Christian life modeling, discipline, and child nurturing. This learning niche served a much needed purpose until the 1980’s.
1980's Focus is Learning Styles and Basic Skills
In the 1980’s educator’s and parents began to sense a ramping up of the need to address different learning styles in children as well as awareness that the demands of the world required children to progress more rapidly to be successful. Earlier testing in the school setting for all children regardless of their ability began to appear. It became apparent to churches as well as other pre-school centers that earlier attention to basic skills should be their primary goal.
1990's Focus is Child Development
FBC WEE School shifted its focus in the 1990’s and began to offer a curriculum that focused on accepted child development theory regarding learning. Many staff members during this era had some formal training in educational practice and many had worked in the public schools in earlier years. The emphasis on Christian training was not abandoned but it was organized in such a way as to prepare the children for the expectations of public school.
2000 Focus Small Group Settings and School Readiness
The structure of FBC WEE School has not varied much over the years. FBC WEE School serves 2,3, and 4 year old children in a small group setting of no more than 8-10 children per group. Each class has a full time teacher and the services of a classroom aide.
2011 Focus Beautiful New Children's Wing and Playground
In 2011, FBC completed a 2.5 Million dollar expansion including a new children’s wing. This space is shared by the WEE School and the children’s Sunday School. The WEE School leaders and the FBC Children’s Director work very closely in planning their program’s.
2012 Focus is A Beka Curriculum and Kindergarten Readiness
In 2012 FBC WEE School adopted the ABEKA Pre-School Curriculum. This is a complete curriculum written from the Christian perspective with strong emphasis on continuity across the child development spectrum and readiness for Kindergarten and public school.