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Talent’s Celebration from Valley Presbyterian in Portola Valley

Valley Presbyterian Church is grateful for the opportunity to connect a passion of our church with a need in our local community. We chose to connect our wonderful VPC music program with the newly created All Five Preschool.

All Five Preschool
All Five Preschool is a full-day, year-round early education program for working families of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. All-Five opened its doors to 24 preschoolers in September 2015, in the Belle Haven neighborhood of East Menlo Park, offering high quality early childhood education, based on the best practices of what is known about early childhood development.

The idea of a school serving the needs of children of all socioeconomic backgrounds was born from experiencing two divides in the broader community of the Bay Area:

  1. Inequities in early education between children whose families could pay and those who could not; and
  2. Deep community divisions, leading to fear, misunderstandings, and further distance, based on socioeconomic status.

A music program was a missing component of the school’s curriculum, one the founders had hoped to add some day, and one they knew was important in the children’s development. But funding had not let them add this program.

VPC’s Music Program
Barbary Grant is our organist, pianist, harpist, all around outstanding professional musician, and an important part of our excellent VPC music program. Barbary had directed various youth choirs at VPC, so we knew she could direct youth, but she had never taught very young children (ages 3-5).

All Five’s Music Program
When the idea of a funded music program was presented to All Five Preschool, they were eager to try it. When we asked Barbary if she would consider creating a music program for those little kids, she had to think about it because those kids are so young (and attention spans are a challenge). She ultimately said yes, and All Five has its first music class. Barbary comes to the school twice each week, bringing some of her instruments and teaching the kids some songs and some rhythm exercises. The kids love Mrs. Barbary, and we (VPC Mission) hope this program will benefit the kids. The Talents funding will allow us to fund this program for the rest of 2018.