REDWATER, Texas — Maud United Methodist Church is merging with the former Redwater United Methodist Church to form a new preschool, Redwater Christian Preschool, which is expected to open before the end of March.
The school should initially accommodate around 35 students. There will be a crèche and classes for children up to kindergarten, and there will be an after-school program available for those up to 12 years old.
Ross Hyde, senior pastor of Maud United Methodist, said the preschool will meet infant care needs and improve children’s literacy.
“What we did was we looked at the area, and we realized that from a reading and literacy perspective, there are a lot of kids leaving third grade who don’t read not even at third-grade level,” Hyde said. “So our goal is to try to help turn the tide, not only on literacy and education, but also to try to help people who are trying to get back to work – maybe parents single or low income – so we can help with this school.”
The old church in Redwater is transformed into a nursery school, with new plumbing, electrical wiring, furniture and more. Hyde is hoping for a grand opening before March 28.
The project costs more than $200,000 and is primarily funded by a grant from the We Love All God’s Children’s Initiative, a program of the Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church in Texas.
Hyde and the church board members recently hired Haley White to be the preschool principal. She’s “going to be the face of the place,” Hyde said.
White grew up in the United Methodist Church in Atlanta. Both of her parents were educators and she has been working with children for about 20 years now. She has worked as a principal and teacher, most recently at the Training Station Child Development Center in Texarkana, Texas.
“For about a year I’ve had it on my heart that I need to be a director again because that’s what I know and what I’m good at,” White said. “And that opportunity kind of presented itself.”
The school is looking to hire six primary teachers, in addition to substitute teachers and assistants, and White will lead that hiring process.
“The closer we get to the end, the more excited I get,” White said. “Over the past few years I’ve used a lot of different programs. And what we’re going to do here is take the best parts of each one and combine them, so we’ll have an amazing program here for kids. They’ll learn a lot here, and the low ratio of students will allow each student to learn more.
The preschool will be at 126 Church Street, across from Redwater Middle School.
(For more information, call 903-671-7325 or email White at [email protected])