The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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July 18, 2014

Parents now have ‘musical preschool’ option

Kids of Harmony Preschool in Beaver was abuzz with visitors Thursday at the first open house of the “musical preschool.”

Parents in search of the perfect school to begin their children’s education were given tours of the newly renovated facility and the fenced-in playground and learned about the academic philosophy of the school.

The faith-based school offers a facility with new flooring, walls and HVAC system and a top-notch surveillance security system with a keypad entry that only parents can access.

Inside the walls, college-educated teachers base academic learning on music.

“We try to use music as our main emphasis and add it to as many subjects as we possibly can,” said school founder and director Rebekah Anderson-Rowe. “It’s a release for the kids, develops coordination and helps them to communicate.

“We specialize (in) ... preparing them for kindergarten.”

Anderson-Rowe, who started the school in 2011 for 3- to 5-year-olds, said the program focuses on academics, but is also an environment that encourages faith, community and playtime.

“Kids can’t get too much love,” said Anderson-Rowe. “They need that guidance.

“You want to take the opportunity to guide them.”

Anderson-Rowe, who has a degree in violin and piano and a master’s degree in music education, appreciates music and said opening the preschool is a fulfillment of a “dream” of hers.

“Music is such a gift,” said Anderson-Rowe. “All children have the ability to be musical.

“We generously pour music on every little life that’s here,” she added. “We encourage students to be creative and to learn where they are, but ... we want them to be smarter and more prepared for life than when they came here.

“We try our hardest to stretch them and keep them growing.”

Sarah Rinker’s youngest child graduated from the Kids of Harmony program in the spring.

“It was really good for him,” said Rinker. “It had good structure for us. It wasn’t overwhelming, and it gave him something to look forward to.

“He loves music, and so he really enjoyed all the different activities.”

Children use instruments, sing, move to music and create songs.

Kindermusik, an early childhood learning curriculum that has been proven to improve a child’s brain development, according to the Kindermusik website, is used at Kids of Harmony.

Anderson-Rowe said that kids who come through the program learn to use music for academic development and to develop socially.

“Our big push is to apply music as much as we can,” said Anderson-Rowe.

 Kids of Harmony students are exposed to diverse cultures through the Kindermusic program, she added.

The curriculum is A Beka Books, produced by Pensacola Christian College, and texts from Answers in Genesis, a non-profit organization that teaches young-earth creationism.

Kids of Harmony follows the Raleigh County Schools calendar on major holiday breaks, said Anderson-Rowe.

Enrollment for the 2014-15 academic school year is open now, and applications are available at the school or online at www.kidsofharmony. com. Payment may be made online.

Morning drop-off starts at 8 a.m., with before-care available from 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. for $5.

Aftercare is available from 3:30 to 5 p.m. for $5 per half hour of care. A rate of $50 for the month is available.

Lunches must be packed, but the school provides snacks.

Half-day and full-day options (2-day, 3-day, 4-day and 5-day programs) are available.

School starts Aug. 19.

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Information has been corrected in this story.

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