About Grace Church School
Grace Church School is a school for small children, a sanctuary in the middle of the biggest city in America. A grand old elm shades the entrance to the School and to Grace Church Brooklyn Heights, a historic landmark in the community.
Grace Church School is something of a landmark itself. The oldest preschool in Brooklyn, it was founded in 1928 by 12 parish mothers who believed that children from different families could learn from one another in a playful and nurturing environment.
Today Grace Church School has 150 children participating in an early education program noted for its emphasis on the whole child. In addition, we offer two programs for children who are not yet old enough for preschool—a “Music Time” program and “Together Time” classes.
While the School is the major outreach program of Grace Church, our curriculum is nonsectarian. We celebrate the diversity of faiths and beliefs among our families.
Located in the Grace Church parish house, the School has six classrooms, a library, two sunny rooftop playgrounds, a gymnasium, a kitchen, rooms for music and creative movement classes, and a shady, secret garden. The School community gains a heightened sense of comfort and beauty from the 19th-century architecture and from the quiet splendor of the church itself, where the children sing for their families to celebrate the winter holidays and at the school year’s end.
The devotion and experience of our teachers and staff are exceptional. Hope N. Prosky, School director since 1983, came to Grace in the late 1970s to establish the Twos Program. She has been an early childhood teacher for more than 50 years and is a New York State-licensed school psychologist. Many of our teachers have been with us for 20 years or more. All our teachers have extensive training in early childhood education, and head teachers have a master’s degree in early childhood education.
The educational philosophy of Grace Church School emphasizes a caring preschool community that is open and accepting, one in which children are encouraged to fulfill their social, emotional and intellectual potential at a pace in harmony with their needs. This environment is based on mutual trust between the children and their teachers and between the children and their peers. A sense of security and self-esteem enable children to question, to explore, to dream, to create and to grow in conjunction with their individual learning styles. We believe that meaningful learning situations, which provide the foundations of love of learning and respect for all peoples, encourage children to grow and flourish.
Parents and Grace Church School
Grace Church School is a community, a large family of parents, children, and staff. We cherish our parents and invite them to join in the life of the school. In every classroom, parents form a wonderful continuum between school and home. They come to play music or to read a book their child loves; they help three-year-olds bake bread and four- and five-year-olds write in their journals. They help celebrate their own cultures and demonstrate their particular skills. We believe that enthusiastic, involved parents can help their children delight in their first school experience.
Parent volunteers form an integral part of the successful running of the school. Class parents coordinate pot-luck dinners and class events during the year. Many parents help out at special moments such as Thanksgiving and Lunar New Year, or in certain areas such as in the School library, on school photo day, or during food and toy drives. Parents organize and run at least three fundraisers every year: a festive holiday book and toy fair in December; a bake sale table for the Grace Church fair in February; and a spring event such as a carnival or gala dinner & auction.
The Grace Church School Advisory Board, composed of parents, representatives of Grace Church and members of the community, works with the School Director to advise her on the operational and financial aspects of the school. It also plays a vital role in fund-raising and in managing specific projects such as the recent construction of a library for the school.
The community at Grace Church School is strong. There are friendships made here, during these unique moments of young childhood, both between children and between parents that last many years beyond Grace Church School.
Grace Church School provides an excellent foundation for a child’s education after preschool. In the last three years, Grace Church students have been accepted to a wide variety of schools, both public and independent, including:
- Bay Ridge Preparatory
- Berkeley Carroll
- The Blue School
- The Brearley School
- Brooklyn Friends School
- Brooklyn New School
- The Chapin School
- Community Roots Charter School
- Dalton School
- Friends Seminary
- Grace Church School Manhattan
- Metropolitan Montessori
- Packer Collegiate Institute
- Poly Prep
- PS 8
- PS 29
- PS 58
- PS 261
- Sacred Heart School
- Saint Ann’s School
- The Spence School
- Success Academy
- United Nations International School UNIS