Tucked away off Patuxent Road in Odenton, Trinity United Methodist Church offers a free Tuesday morning preschool program.
On Tuesday mornings from 10-11 a.m., preschool children aged 3-5 can come to “Kids of the Kingdom” for a free, drop-in preschool class. “Kids of the Kingdom” is the brain child of two, certified early childhood educators Kathy Swain and Barbara Lanzer.
Swain launched the program eight years ago after seeking something for her daughter, Sarah, who was three at the time. Lanzer said she and Swain connected immediately. Lanzer was an early childhood educator for over 25 years, including teaching Kindergarten at Indian Creek for 15 years. Swain, a University of Maryland College Park graduate, directed preschool and school-aged programs throughout Crofton, Gambrills, Davidsonville and Odenton.
“Little ones are definitely my passion,” Lanzer said.
Swain and Lanzer developed “Kids of the Kingdom.”
“We don’t teach Bible lessons or the United Methodist Church doctrine,” Swain said. “Typically, we do all secular stuff: how do we share, how do we care, and how we interact.”
Classes begin with songs while children dance, sing and greet each other. Two to three books are chosen depending on the length and the age group present, with movement between each book. The children then make crafts.
“Sometimes (it’s) painting, coloring, textures, multimedia, (there’s) a variety of things they’re exposed to,” said Swain.
Classes end with free play.
“That’s the time parents can connect and network with each other (and) kids learn to share and help clean up,” said Swain. “(We) really value the parents because we couldn’t do it without the teamwork of parents and families,” Lanzer said.
Each week has a theme. For example, on Earth Day the children learn about recycling and plant seeds to take home. For fire prevention week a fire truck comes out. Anita Adhikary also came in and taught a yoga class.
“(There is) a big celebration for Mardi Gras,” Lanzer said. “We read stories, wear colors, have a parade, parents throw candy, and we have a king cake. (Our lessons) are also cultural (and) knowing about children in other countries.”
Children venture out as well so they engage with their community, Swain said. They’ve visited Piney Orchard Park to see ducks and read books about ducks. They’ve also visited Cheryl’s Rescue Ranch on Patuxent Road and raised money to buy food for the animals.
“We want these kids to learn to love, show kindness, and be good and kind everywhere they go,” Swain said. “We focus on how they’re special and focus on their gifts.”
“Even though this is in a church, it’s for community building,” Swain said. “We really feel (it’s) a way to serve families,” Lanzer said. “It is one more opportunity for parent and child to do things together before they go off to school. free.
Four-year-old attendee Dean Scofield summed up the experience.
“It’s fun to play,” Dean said. “(I) made friends here.”
Trinity United Methodist is at 952 Patuxent Road in Odenton. For more information on the free preschool, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chili Cook Off
The Crofton Farmer’s Market Chili Cook Off is Wednesday 4-6:30 p.m. Crofton Farmer’s Market, Living in the Triangle Magazine and the Rotary Club of Crofton host the cook off at the Farmer’s Market. A Cook Off Champion will be selected by judges and the Crofton’s Chili Cook Off People’s Choice winner will be selected by votes cast by attendees.
Individuals are asked to donate a packed food item or make a monetary donation when picking up a ballot for the people’s choice award. All food donations and proceeds will go to the Crofton Caring Christian Council’s Crofton Food Bank. Ballot voting will end at 6 p.m. and winners will be presented with trophies at 6:30pm. For more information, visit http://croftonfarmersmarket.com/2016-chili-cook-off/
The Anne Arundel County Western District Police-Community Relations Council will meet on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Western District headquarters, 8293 Telegraph Road, in Odenton. Cpl. James Shiloh of CRASE (Civilian Reaction to an Active Shooter Event) will be present and Commander Capt. Katie Goodwin will deliver her monthly report and respond to questions from the audience.
Seed swap workshop
Anne Arundel UMD Extension Master Gardeners hold their second Seed Swap Workshop, “Putting Your Garden to Bed and Growing Garlic” at Crofton Community Library’s Meeting Room on Saturday 10 a.m. to noon. The Master Gardeners will give tips on putting gardens to bed and preparing for a new garden for spring. Visitors will take home a piece of garlic to plant. For more information, visit email@example.com
Free dentistry day
Neibauer Dental Care of Crofton is offering community members a choice of one free cleaning and exam or one free filling per patient on Saturday 1-5 p.m. Patients will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information, call 410-721-2409 or visit www.freedentristyday.org Neibauer Dental Care is located at 1166 Route 3 South in Gambrills.
Little free library box dedication
A Little Free Library Box is to be placed on the edge of Prince of Peace Church property, 1657 Crofton Parkway on Sunday at noon. This is not a religious-based box, but a free book exchange for the community. The idea is to take, share, return, or donate. It is not an advertising venue, but a book exchange of unlimited titles.
The Odenton Volunteer Fire Company will host a Bag Bingo featuring Coach, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, and more designer handbags on Sunday at 1 p.m. at 1425 Annapolis Road in Odenton. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Doors open at noon. Call Theresa Lewis at 410-320-4466 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets.