The director of the Sisters of Mercy Preschool Learning Center, Katie Emfinger, knows every child by name.
It is there before the doors open at 7 a.m. and after they close at 6 p.m. She visits each classroom throughout the day and, in her office, answers questions from potential families while monitoring cameras throughout the building.
Paying attention to details, building relationships with families and sharing student progress, she says, is the most meaningful part of her job.
âGetting to know the kids, helping them learn, watching them grow, and then sharing their progress with their families is why I’m doing this,â Emfinger said. âWatching toddlers learning to walk – seeing them go from crawling to walking while developing their cognitive skills is fun and something that excites me. ”
Emfinger attributes the success and demand for ELC’s offerings to its structured approach to growing the mind, body and spirit of every child rather than providing childcare services only.
âWhat makes us unique is that we are Christ-centered while also using a learning program from birth to three years old,â said Emfinger. âIt’s called Beautiful Beginnings and focuses on seven key areas of development including communication, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, intellect, discovery, social relationships and self-help. We don’t just provide child care, but we help these children enjoy learning with cohesive human interaction.
âEvery dollar spent on ELC contributes to the growth and development of students,â said Anna Kate Doiron, Director of Development for VCS. âRight now, the ELC is the product of over four years of successful planning and implementation and serves as a model for our entire region. As a result, we’re seeing higher-than-expected enrollments after just four months of operation, and while enrollments are high, the ELC is well within the state-required student-teacher ratio and has room to welcome additional students into our VCS Family.
The Sisters of Mercy Preschool Learning Center is the newest addition to Vicksburg Catholic School, an educational institution founded over 160 years ago. VCS is now the first Catholic school in Mississippi to offer educational opportunities from early childhood through high school graduation. For more information, call 601-638-5810, email [email protected] or visit vicksburgcatholic.org.