Part of the Forest Grove community for 80 years, Mt. Olive Lutheran Church branched out eight years ago and added a preschool — one that has grown from seven students in 2006 to 33 pupils this winter.

Classes for 3-year-olds meet Tuesday and Thursday from 9 to 11:30 a.m. The 4-year-olds meet Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and the 4- and 5-year-olds meet from 1 to 4 p.m.

“We encourage playful learning — learning from your own curiosity within a structured daily routine,” Lynda Holscher said of the school. “Themes are built around the children’s interests and have included wheels, the grocery store, veterinary services, community helpers and the farm.”

At Mt. Olive, reading readiness, science and being kind to our friends “are woven through every lesson,” Holscher added. “In the fall we learned about the different food groups in our classroom grocery store [and] talked about those in our community who didn’t have enough healthy food to eat.

“As a class we saved our money, and Gaston Market provided us with an actual shopping experience where each child purchased items for holiday food baskets.”

This spring, students and teachers will decide on another community-oriented project. “Perhaps we will grow some food on our own ‘farm’ or think of ways to help animals,” said Holscher.

Fall 2014 registration for returning students begins Feb. 1, and registration for new students starts March 1. For more information, email Candy Crawford at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 503-992-0384.

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