One FAMILY, Far-Reaching IMPACT

Shepherd’s Fold Preschool

Call: 309.764.2191
Email Address:

About the Pre-School

Shepherd’s Fold Preschool is one of the many ministries of First Evangelical Free Church.  It is sponsored by the church and governed by the Christian Education Committee.  We are licensed by the State of Illinois.

Shepherd’s Fold is a non-profit organization. Any monies received in excess of operational expenses will be used to expand the facilities and purchase equipment for even greater service to those who share in its program.

The teaching staff of Shepherd’s Fold Pre-School will strive to teach the values of the Christian faith to children through guided conversation, spontaneous teachable moments, Bible stories and songs.  The teachers pray with the children and model Christian attitudes and outlooks in their daily classroom activities. It is the intent of our program to help each child develop emotionally, physically, academically, spiritually and socially.

Parents of all faiths may enroll their children, regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, or abilities.

Our Goals

  • To provide a program with a Christian atmosphere and teach the children that there is a God who created us and gave us a special book, the Bible.
  • To prepare the children for kindergarten, but not to duplicate kindergarten activities in pre-school.
  • To evaluate the child’s progress and inform parents of his probable success in kindergarten.
  • To inform parents when referrals to specialists are needed, such as for speech, vision, hearing, mental health, etc.


The program is directed by Debbie Gritton, a member of First Free Church.  She has been affiliated with Shepherd’s Fold from its inception, first as a parent volunteer and then joining the staff serving as a substitute teacher, aide, teacher, and acting director.

The teachers are qualified with education and/or comparable experience. They, too, will meet the licensing requirements of the State of Illinois.

Our Program Features:

A balance of activities:

  • Both Free and Structured
  • Both Group and Individual
  • Both Active and Quiet

A variety of activities:

  • Play Time
  • Music: singing, listening, rhythms and games
  • Literature: stories, finger plays, poetry and nursery rhymes
  • Art: for the joy of creating, to develop skills, personal satisfaction
  • Show and Tell
  • Party Days: holidays, birthdays and “un”birthdays (i.e. summer birthdays)
  • Special Guests and Field Trips
  • Physical Education: running, jumping, throwing, rolling, catching, and skipping
  • Reading Activities: color awareness, letter and number recognition, number concepts, vocabulary building, good communication skills, observing changes in the weather and seasons, observing growth and development in nature, recognizing/printing own name, good health and safety habits
  • Social Skills: sharing, group interaction and cooperation
  • Parent/Teacher Communication

Our Sessions

Are based on the child’s age as of September 1

  • 3 Year Olds:  Tuesday and Thursday at 9:00 – 11:30
  • 4 and 5 Year Olds:  Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:00 – 11:30 and 12:45 – 3:15

Classes begin the Tuesday after Labor Day and run through the end of May.

 Tuition and Fees

There is a $35 non-refundable registration fee

  • 3 Year Olds: tuition is $80 per month
  • 4 and 5 Year Olds: tuition is $120 per month


We have a bright, attractive classroom with a spacious, fenced-in play area located right outside our classroom.  In addition, we have a large indoor gymnasium. We also have a Children’s Library, which has a large selection of books, videos and DVDs.