Hand in Hand Christian Preschool, LLC
55 Woodland Street, Lincoln, RI
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Laurie Denio brings a dynamic combination of strong academic background and personal experience to our school. Laurie earned a MA in Human Development from Boston College and a BA in Early Childhood Education from UMASS-Amherst. She taught at Old South Preschool in Boston’s historic Old South Church for 6 1/2 years. The Denio family relocated to Lincoln, Rhode Island, where Laurie chose to stay home with her children. In 2004, Laurie returned to the work force as a teacher in the Instructional Play program at the Boys and Girls Club of Cumberland/ Lincoln. She has been instrumental in the creation and operation of Hand in Hand since it opened in 2008! Laurie is married to John and they parent four adult children. They live in Lincoln and worship and serve at Stone Coast Community Church, Warren, RI.
The staff at Hand in Hand is committed to providing learning opportunities that will enhance the development of the whole child, as recommended in the RI Early Learning Standards. Teachers will provide ample opportunities for independent, planned, play-based activities and discovery. Teacher led activities will be concentrated in group activities, one on one and small group instruction.
Through participation in our program and at the individual rate of development, we strive to help children meet the following goals:
- Develop a lifelong love for and relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Develop curiosity, an interest in and joy of learning.
- Make a smooth, comfortable transition from home to school.
- Develop self-control, sense of responsibility and obedience necessary for success in school and in life.
- Develop successful relationships with peers and adults; respect for individual differences
- Develop a healthy body through exercise and healthy eating choices.
- Develop fine motor skills essential for writing
- Explore pre-reading skills in a literature rich environment.
- Test math and science concepts through hands on activities.
- Gain an appreciation of art and music through creative exploration of a variety of music and materials
Patricia Archard - "Ms Patty"
Ms. Patty joined our staff in 2021! She worked at Smithfield Ave Nursery School in Pawtucket for 27 years until it closed in 2020. Fifteen of those years were spent teaching kindergarten. We are so blessed to have her bring her quick wit and lifetime of experience to our team. She has a Masters degree in Early Childhood Special Ed. from RIC and a Bachelors in Speech Communication from URI. Prior to Smithfield Ave. Nursery, she taught a The Groden Center in Providence for 5 years. Patty is the mother of two successful grown men and a grandmother of one precious girl! She resides in Rumford with her Bernidoodle and is a parishoner at St Margaret Church, Rumford, RI.
Sarah-Jane Matelli - "Mrs. Matelli"
Mrs. Matelli joined our staff in 2023 as our Lead teacher for 3's and 4's! She brings with her 22 years of teaching experience from Community Christian School in Pascaog, RI, where she taught 3rd and 4th grade, and has now accepted the new challenge of teaching our youngest students! Mrs. Matelli's rich faith, creativity, artistic flare and energy are a great addition to our collaborative teaching team
Sarah has Bachelors in Sociology w/a concentration in Education from Clark University and comes from a long line of educators in her family. She is the proud and successful mom of two grown men. Sarah is married to Corey and they reside in Burrilvile with their faithful cat and two spirited kittens. They worship and serve at Glad Tidings Community Church, Chepachet, RI
Cara Burns - "Mrs Burns"
joined our staff in Sept 2019, though she has been involved with our program at some level since we opened in 2008! Cara has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and many hours of classroom experience. She brings with her a gentle energy and enthusiasm for learning. She was a classroom volunteer at Nathaniel Greene elementary school, Pawtucket, for 4 years prior to coming to Hand in Hand CP. Cara has also worked with Children’s Friend & Services supporting at risk children and their families. Among many other things, she facilitated play groups and helped children meet developmental milestones. Cara resides in Cumberland, RI with Tim, her husband and children, Sophia and Clifford, who are both Hand in Hand alumni. They attend Four Corners Community Chapel, Cumberland, RI where she teaches Sunday school for preschoolers.
Lori Kast has been making music with the children at Hand in Hand since it first opened in 2008.
She shares her joy in the Lord through her musical talents playing guitar and piano. Lori introduces the children to praise songs, traditional preschool songs/rhymes, finger plays, movement and dance. The children eagerly await the school days on which Mrs. Kast comes! Music class is offered 2 days/week.
Lori resides in Lincoln with her husband Fred and is the proud mom of two adult children. She worship and serves at Harvest Church, Woonsocket.