Sunday, April 21st, 2019

Discover Learning Center Story


Christian curriculum prepares kindergartners for first grade and life

by Rick Spencer

Kindergarten teacher Kim Hanscom and Executive Director Amy Brinkley <BR>in one of Discover Learning Center’s bright, inviting classrooms.

Kindergarten teacher Kim Hanscom and Executive Director Amy Brinkley
in one of Discover Learning Center’s bright, inviting classrooms.

The joy received from watching a child grow academically and mature in the Lord makes all the effort, all the time, and all the money worth it,” Dr. Charles Walker, the former education director of the American Association of Christian Schools and the executive director of the Tennessee Association of Christian Schools, points out.

“Discerning parents who send their children to the Discover Learning Center in Chesapeake agree with Dr. Walker’s statement,” Amy Brinkley, the center’s executive director, declares. “Our committed staff works with a well-developed curriculum that gives children a strong education beginning at an early age. Not only are we exposing our students to the Scriptures, but we are also teaching good Christian values. These values and lessons are taught from the start. Our children have been known to recite memory verses from the Bible before they can read and write.”

Located on S. Battlefield Blvd. between Hickory and Moyock, Discover Learning Center is a ministry of the Discover Church. Parents who enroll their children in the center’s Christian-based curriculum are attracted to the quality of the instruction and the affordable pricing. “The cost of weekly tuition, which includes food service, is only $145,” Amy explains.

“While the entire curriculum is designed for children from infancy through age five, we are particularly proud of our kindergarten program,” Amy says with a smile. “Our curriculum successfully helps students transition from our kindergarten class to the first grade in public school. Discover Learning Center kindergarten graduates typically have reading scores that are equal to or higher than their peers.”

“Our low student-instructor ratio is key to our success,” Amy observes. “We limit our classroom size to ten students per teacher. Frequently, the number of students per teacher in public schools is at least double that. This ten-to-one ratio gives us tremendous flexibility for personal instruction. We can give specialized attention to the quiet, shy student as well as the more advanced, actively-engaged student.”

The morning portion of the full-day kindergarten schedule runs from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon, and consists of classes in reading, writing, arithmetic, and science. After enjoying a warm and nutritious lunch, students spend the afternoon receiving help with homework and participating in activities focused on developing their knowledge of the Bible and their understanding of Christian values.

Each of Discover Learning Center’s well-equipped classrooms is furnished with a variety of learning tools such as alphabet games, walls decorated with Biblical passage, signs around wall clocks to help students learn how to tell time, and a wide variety of books. Of course, the highly-skilled staff is always present, eager to open youngsters’ eyes to the wonders of learning. The afternoon ends with a Biblically-based devotional so that children leave for home in a calmer, more spiritual state of mind. This in turn can enhance the quality of the time that children and parents spend with one another in the evening.

“As part of their spiritual instruction,
students learn the importance of grace
in our daily lives...
It is incredibly moving
to see grace manifest itself
in the way students treat one another.”

—Amy Brinkley

The emphasis on Christian values has the added benefit of teaching children how to negotiate their relationships with each other during the course of the school day.

“As part of their spiritual instruction, students learn the importance of grace in our daily lives,” Amy points out. She recalls an instance in which a female kindergarten student accidentally struck one of her male classmates. “I wanted to hit her back,” the little boy admitted, “but I decided to show her grace.” “It is incredibly moving to see grace manifest itself in the way students treat one another,” Amy observes.

Located between Hickory and Moyock, Discover Learning Center  <BR>is a ministry of Discover Church.

Located between Hickory and Moyock, Discover Learning Center
is a ministry of Discover Church.

In Virginia, children must be five years old by September 30 before they are eligible to enroll in kindergarten; in North Carolina, they must be five years old by August 31. For children who missed these birthday cutoff dates for starting public school, Discover Learning Center pro-vides a valuable perk by allowing them to enroll in their kindergarten program a year early.

Katie Goetz is happy that her six-year-old son, who begins public school in the fall, graduated from the learning center’s kindergarten in June. “He is well-prepared to start the first grade after two years of preschool and one year of kindergarten,” she says with a smile. “Our family is happy that we chose Discover Learning Center for his early childhood education. The facility is a good and safe environment. We like the fact that they teach Biblical lessons that reinforce the Christian values we practice at home. We’re convinced that the smaller classes helped our son excel. I am confident that the extra time that his instructor, Kim Hanscom, was willing to spend with him will benefit  him as he enters first grade.”

Discover Learning Center’s nursery accepts infants as young as eight weeks old. The daycare center has an infant-to-caregiver ratio of four to one. The nursery is currently staffed to provide care for 12 infants; but there is enough flexibility in space and staffing to increase the number of infants served, if necessary.

All students receive well-balanced and nutritious meals daily. These include a warm breakfast and lunch as well as an afternoon snack. Parents are given a preview of the menu at the beginning of each month; if their child happens to have food allergies or food preferences, this advanced knowledge allows them to prepare something else for their child to eat on any particular day.

Discover Learning Center’s personnel take their mission seriously. Walking through the front doors, visitors see the center’s mission statement boldly displayed on the lobby wall. The motto captures what the teachers and staff strive for daily: “Love God, Love Kids, Serve Families.”

“The Learning Center puts these values on display by providing a bright and happy environment that is conducive to children learning how to become excellent students who embrace and embody the highest Christian values,” Amy concludes.

Discover Learning Center

3232 Battlefield Blvd., South
Chesapeake, VA 23322