Nearly 200 people packed the Sturgeon R-V cafeteria the evening of Tuesday,
November 20 for the annual Sturgeon R-V pre-school dinner and program. Walls covered with pre-school art and table laden with baked turkey and ham and dozens of carry-in dishes surrounded the students, parents, grandparents and family friends there to wish R-V’s pre-schoolers a happy beginning of the holiday season.
Denver Robb was there with his son Robb, negotiating the dinner line and choosing between stuffing and biscuits. It was his second year celebrating the program. “This is a great thing,” he said regarding the dinner and vocal music program. “This is the type of thing that brings communities together.”
Besides the program’s educational benefits for their children and grandchildren, the attending adults all agreed the dinner and pre-school program helps knit Sturgeon’s residents closer.
“I think it’s a great idea and a great program,” said Rachel Baker. “The dinner gets us all together and the program helps our children learn.”
She said her children, besides the obvious alphabet and name-writing, learned better how to deal with other people. “They’ve gotten more confident, and gotten more social skills,” she said. “They’ve already learned almost everything they’ll need for kindergarten and they’ve got more communication and artistic skills.”
There with wife, daughter and in-laws, Tyler Patterson said it was good to see the parents of his daughter Martha Ann’s classmates. “And Martha’s spelling and social skills have grown tremendously through the program.”
And on a large scale, that shows the program’s benefit for Sturgeon, he said. “I don’t think any daycare offers local children the educational benefit this program does,” Tyler said as Martha showed her mother a turkey drawing she made. “Sturgeon is lucky to have an educational stepping stone such as this. What they do here helping these children grow educationally and individually, can’t help but benefit the whole town.”
Felechia Spalding, one of the program’s staff members said the program has grown since its beginning nine years ago “We’ve got a third shift now and have added three-year-olds, so now we teach three, four and five-year-olds.”