Preschoolers start a new chapter in their lives on first day of school

Jaylen and Jayden stood next to each other with their matching backpacks and outfits anxious to start their first day of preschool at the Children’s Learning Center in Pontiac.

The 4-year-old twins smiled and held a "First Day of Preschool" sign for their mom as she captured the precious moment with her camera.

“I hope they come home today and say they had fun and they can’t wait to come back tomorrow,” said Yolanda Donaldson, the boys’ mother.

Parents lined up with their children in the hallway leading to the Children’s Learning Center, which offers Great Start Readiness Program preschool, waiting to start a new chapter in their lives. Some of the preschoolers appeared eager while others were a bit timid or shy. As they walked through the door holding their parent’s hand, Early Childhood Education Supervisor Consuelo Carrillo greeted them and showed them to their classroom.

Inside the children met their teacher and saw all the books, toys, play kitchen and other kids sitting on the carpet. Ravon entered his classroom as the children sang and clapped to a song that helped them learn everyone’s name: “Good morning, Ravon. Good morning, Ravon. Good morning Ravon. We’re glad you came to school.”

Ravon’s dad, Randall Thomas, smiled as he watched his son with the other children.

“I’m kind of nervous, but happy,” he said.

The preschoolers shared their first meal together – cereal and fruit – before starting their work time. Some of the kids learned practical things, like standing up is easier than sitting down when stapling paper. Other children, meanwhile, spent time making their own creations by arranging glitter heart and star stickers on paper.

Parent Natasha Williams brought her daughter’s favorite stuffed animal, Poppy from the Trolls movie, with her to say goodbye. Natasha’s eyes filled up with tears as she watched Dior hug her dad before heading off to the carpet to sit with the other children.

“I’m taking it harder than she is,” she smiled as a tear trickled down her cheek. “I’m looking forward to her making friends, learning new things, and discovering things around the classroom. I wish I could stay.”

Spots still remain in Oakland Family Services' Walled Lake Children's Learning Center for those interested in free preschool. Click here or call (248) 295-9508 for more information.