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St. Pauls Preschool turns 35
FRONT preschool
A child slides down a ramp in a bounce house Friday night at the St. Pauls United Methodist Church Preschool back to school night which focuses on bringing families together for fun and fellowship. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL/The Bulletin

St. Paul’s United Methodist Church doesn’t need to worry about its report card when it comes to preparing students for their elementary education.
They’ve been doing it now for 35 years.
On Friday, the preschool at the established Manteca church welcomed back the families that have made it a staple for local residents for decades at their annual Family Fun Night – a back-to-school night where fun and fellowship were the focus.
“We try to focus on delivering the best experience we can to the students that we have,” said longtime Director Belinda Berry. “We have a lot of families that are multi-generational here and it’s special to know that they’re still coming back – that they enjoyed it so much that they want to send their children here.”
According the Berry, the school – which focuses on preparing children for kindergarten – strives to promote the growth of students physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and socially. With almost a dozen staff members the school caters to almost 90 students in three classes beginning when students are almost 3 years of age.
With a curriculum aimed preparing students for kindergarten, the school also offers a transitional kindergarten class for students who are still 5-years-old but missed the Sept. 1 cutoff to begin the school year at Manteca Unified School District schools. The class also serves as an alternative for students who are not developmentally emotionally ready for the structure of a kindergarten classroom.
Berry, who has been at the helm of the program for 30 years, said that it’s the families that make the school something special and help create the nurturing environment that allows students to thrive.
“It’s exciting to see students that I had come back with their children and that creates a unique environment,” Berry said. “We’re very appreciative of that support and we take that very seriously – we know that this is something that means something to the families that send their children here.”
Currently there are spaces available at the school in both the traditional and transitional classes.
St. Paul’s United Methodist Preschool is located at 910 E. North Street. For more information visit the school’s website at or call 209.239.5848.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.