Dear Park’s Edge Preschool Families: 

PEP’s February theme was ‘love and friendship’. The children were kept busy with valentine activities and exchanging valentines with their classmates. The Park’s Edge Preschool children spread God’s message of love to the larger community by decorating home-made valentines for residents at Forest Ridge Senior Community, the Hales Corners Care Center, and veteran heroes at Zablocki VA Medical Center. Staff hand- delivered the valentines, much to the pleasant surprise of the caregivers in these restricted facilities. They expressed their heartfelt thankfulness for remembering their residents at this special time of year. 

PEP’s little sweethearts celebrated Valentine’s Day with a parade of red, pink, purple and/or hearts in Emanuel Church’s Sanctuary. Two parades were held to safely separate the children due to COVID-19 and 6 ft. distancing. The littlest ones toddled at 9:30 am and the preschoolers marched with instruments and colorful scarves at 10 am. In the past we have allowed spectators at our parades, but COVID-19 has changed all that for the time-being. Do not dismay though, we took lots of precious pictures and have them on display throughout the building. Yummy ‘heart healthy’ snacks were served to the children too. I hope you and your family had an extra serving of ‘special’ on Valentine’s day this year! 

The month of March we will be seeing green at PEP…’tis my favorite color! Yes, March is shamrock season at Park’s Edge Preschool! Did you know Park’s Edge Preschool sponsors an annual St. Patty’s Day Parade here at Emanuel Church on St. Patty’s Day? This year we are sponsoring 2 parades for safe social distancing. PEP’s leprechauns, big and small, come to PEP, all dressed in green. The fun starts at 9:30 am with our littlest leprechauns parading in the Emanuel Church’s sanctuary. To stay safe, the preschool leprechauns will parade separately at 10 am. We are hoping to see a rainbow and a pot of gold too, but if not, shamrock shakes will do hope you have a happy and safe St. Patty’s Day!

After the crazy year and pandemic, we had in 2020, I am happy, and very thankful, to announce that all our PEP Board Officers/members are returning to serve on the PEP Board in 2021: President- Jennifer Hastings-Meinholdt, Vice President-Marcia Goecks, Treasurer-Matthew Egan, Secretary-Rhonda Perry; Board members-Adam Johnson, Kim Kozlik, Brianna Schroeder, Dale Stohre and Christine Van Hulle. Thank you for your time, talent, commitment and above all this year…your prayers!

A special ‘thank you’ goes to Pastor Dale Stohre, who appeared at the PEP staff meeting on Tuesday, February 9th via ZOOM in honor of CHHSM to bless the staff’s health and human serving hands. CHHSM is the acronym for the UCC’s National Council for Health and Human Service Ministries. Park’s Edge Preschool has been recognized as a UCC CHHSM Ministry since 1999. Annually, the last Sunday in January, is Health and Human Service Sunday, promoted by UCC’s CHHSM. Park’s Edge Preschool is Emanuel Church’s mission outreach to the community serving families with Christian values and quality child-care! 

I am excited to share that in just a few days (March 2-4) the UCC’s CHHSM Annual Meeting, is held virtually and free this year! Jenele Baldwin, PEP’s liaison teacher to Emanuel Church’s Sunday school program, and I will be able to join in attendance this year. Both of us graduated from the Nollau Institute and have been consecrated as Diakonal Ministers (myself-class of 2013; and Jenele class of 2020). Friday, April 23, 2021, Park’s Edge Preschool will offer ‘Nollau to you 2’ to our staff, through the CHHSM’s leadership. The center will close at noon on that day for the staff virtual in-service training about mission, servant leadership and vocation. This gives the staff something to look forward to this spring…as weather Stay warm and healthy!


Ellen M. Kvalheim, Park’s Edge Preschool’s Director