About Us

Vision

We want every child in Philadelphia to have access to excellent early education.

Keystone Stars Star 4 Center

Keystone STARS is a program of Pennsylvania’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL). Keystone STARS is a responsive system to improve, support, and recognize the continuous quality improvement efforts of early learning programs in Pennsylvania. Arch Street Preschool is designated at STAR 4, the highest level of quality.

History

Arch Street Preschool is a 501c3 non-profit corporation that was born out of Arch Street Presbyterian Church. Some members of the church, concerned about the lack of quality early education in the City of Philadelphia, dreamed of a school where children of different races and socioeconomic backgrounds could come together for excellent early education. Quality early education for a diverse group of classmates can break down the walls that divide and create not only rich learning experiences but also genuine community. We want children to discover and play together today to prepare for leading the community together tomorrow.

Philosophy

At Arch Street Preschool, learning is a joyful experience where children and families bring unique gifts to be cherished and strengths to be developed. We believe God loves each of us so we see the good in each person and family. We believe in the growth of the whole child and cultivate the social, emotional, intellectual, creative and physical development of each learner in our care. We see families as partners in our learning community.

At Arch Street Preschool, children are at the heart of what we do; therefore our curriculum is child-centered and play-based to give young learners choices based upon their interests. These core components guide our school:

  • Diversity: We welcome and value differences as learning opportunities. Our school is built on a Christian foundation as we encourage children to love themselves and one another. By design, our program draws families from a wide range of economic and cultural backgrounds. Read our nondiscrimination policy here.
  • Discovery: Children naturally want to explore their environment so we encourage a sense of wonder and give children voice and choice in their learning. We invite children to consider the world around them during self-directed playtime, outdoor play experiences and field trips to engage the city’s cultural resources. As children investigate the world, we instill a desire to love and care for the earth and its people.
  • Play: We believe a child’s work is play. Ample time is given for indoor and outdoor play daily, weather permitting. Staff supervision is used for educational interaction guided by the child’s interests, questions and needs.

Board

The Arch Street Preschool Board is comprised of community members who are parents, educators and professionals. Their role is to oversee Arch Street Preschool as a non-profit organization operating according to its mission. They are responsible for setting the overall vision and important policies, fundraising, and ensuring that the organization meets legal requirements.

  • Michelle Blackwell
  • Lawyer Chapman, Ex-Officio
  • Dr. Sheri-Ann Cowie
  • Yardly Jenkins
  • Melissa Lewis
  • Tom Richards
  • Sara DiGiorgio, Parent Representative
  • Heather Ellis, Parent Representative
  • Yunah Chang, Parent Representative

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