In 1952, First Baptist Church opened its first school at its downtown location — a single class of 5-yearolds which was known as “First Baptist Church Kindergarten” (FBCK). The kindergarten has grown from that one class of 20 children to a school of 11 classes, a staff of 38, and an enrollment of 168 children ages 2 through 5.
In 1969, a program known as “Mothers Morning Out” (MMO) was added and offered safe, supervised play for infants and toddlers up to age 3, one morning per week. That program grew and was later named “Parents Morning Out” (PMO) to reflect a more inclusive childrearing shift in the family structure. The school eventually became the “Infant Toddler Program” (ITP), operating 5 days per week, and today enrolls 55 children ages 8 weeks up to 2 years in 5 classes guided by 12 educators.
Each school (ITP and FBCK) operates under a separate budget, separate directors and separate faculties. However, since both schools embrace the Reggio philosophy, both programs have worked closely together for the past 10 years. Educators from ITP and FBCK partner in professional development experiences. Rosemary New, Kathy Stewart and Dewanda Martin, the 3 administrators for the two schools, work together to continue the collaboration between the educators.
When recently asked, “Why two separate schools?” it was a challenge to offer answers to support the separation. Therefore, the schools have begun the journey to merge into one school, which will be named “First Baptist Day School” (FBDS). The goal is to have the merger completed by the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. As the partnership deepens and the two schools become one, FBDS will continue to offer the best early childhood education experience for children in our church and the Greenville community.
— Dewanda, Kathy and Rosemary