Sarasota Baptist starts preschool program


Sarasota Baptist starts preschool program


Date: July 8, 2009
by: Pam McTeer | News Editor


LAKEWOOD RANCH — The timing couldn’t be much better for Carrie Leitzman.

With a 2-year-old daughter of her own, the preschool director for Sarasota Baptist’s Lakewood Ranch campus already was inspired to start a daytime preschool ministry program at the church.

For me, God put everything in the right order for us to start this,” Leitzman said.

So this September, Sarasota Baptist’s Lakewood Ranch campus will launch its Parents Morning Out program.

Each day, children will learn their ABCs, 123s, shapes, colors and Bible stories while enjoying crafts, indoor playtime and other activities. There will even be special events such as trike-a-thons and themes such as safari, circus and the west. But the program’s primary focus will be on teaching children to relate to one another, Leitzman said.

“Preschoolers need to develop social skills,” Leitzman said. “That’s the core part of having a program like this. It’s about children learning how to learn and be social.”

The program will be offered from 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday through Thursday, starting in September. Children will be divided into age groups for 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds.

“We’d love to have an 18-month-old class,” she said. “We’re taking a waiting list for that to see if there’s enough interest.”

In its first year, the program will be limited to about 50 children so Leitzman and her team can provide quality care for children and work through any programming quirks that may arise.

“We want to make sure we do it well,” Leitzman said. “That’s indicative of our church. We want to do it well — not just do it to do it.”

Leitzman hopes to double the size of the program over the next two years and make sure to expand its cultural offerings with Spanish or music lessons, for example.

The program will follow the Manatee County Public Schools calendar.

For more information about the Parents Morning Out program, call Lee Rich or Leitzman at 922-1449.

Contact Pam McTeer at

Parents Morning Out
WHAT: Voluntary pre-kindergarten program at Sarasota Baptist’s Lakewood Ranch campus
ENROLLMENT: Open for children ages 2 to 4
CLASSES: 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesdays through Thursdays starting in September
INFORMATION: Carrie Leitzman or Lee Richman, 922-1449

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