We are happy to share with you these testimonials from parents of children who have attended
First Step Preschool. We are also proud to have received the highest rating (4 out of 4 stars)
from Qualistar, an early learning quality rating program. (For excerpts from the report, click
First Step Preschool was such a wonderful experience for our daughter, and for us. Our daughter attended for two years on
Tuesdays and Thursdays, and we watched her blossom socially and academically throughout that time. The teachers at
First Step created a nurturing and stimulating environment that made our daughter look forward to each and every day
of school. The staff are genuinely interested in fostering a love of exploration and learning in the children. First Step
has the homey feel of a small-town preschool, warm and welcoming, with all the benefits of teachers who understand child
development and are well prepared to teach in a fun and accessible way.
Besides First Step being a fantastic learning atmosphere for the children, the school administration is flawless,
thanks to Director, Geanina Brown. The billing, students' health files/paperwork, safety regulations, email newsletters,
and reminders (for the many forgetful parents of preschoolers!), and other details are so organized.
We are, in fact,
very spoiled by our experience at First Step. For our daughter to have been able to call this place "my school" for
two years was a blessing, and we will always have such sweet memories of our time there.
Childcare Connections Nomination
I would like to nominate First Step Preschool for award consideration. I believe that they provide
unmatched value for preschool-aged children. This is from a parent with kids in two separate
preschools the last two years, and looking at countless others.
The primary reason for my nomination is value and organization. FSP is on the low end for cost of three
day preschool, and I can only imagine this is possible due to the organization efforts of Mrs. Geanina
Brown. As the administrator of the preschool, she has provided a structured, safe and sanitary
environment for our kids. Their offerings include a standardized preschool curriculum tailored to each
kid's learning abilities, access to a library of outside the classroom learning tools, extra childcare options
for over lunch or all day on Fridays and finally first class staff. The school also has worked with our child
on some Spanish for language and Zumba classes for fitness. As you can imagine this provides a very
well rounded introduction to school for our future kindergartner.
In summary, I truly believe that FSP is one of the hidden gems in preschool /childcare within the
Colorado Springs area. I have no hesitation in saying this school has provided my son with the necessary
tools to excel academically and socially as he moves to elementary school next year. Please give careful
consideration to the value and organization this school provides.
Thank you for your consideration,
My daughter has spent the past 2 years at First Step Preschool, and I'm not sure who is more sad to leave, her
or me! It has been a wonderful experience from start to finish and I'm so grateful that her teachers helped
further her love for learning! The teachers in each classroom continually impress me with the way they
approach each child's individual learning abilities. The creative, loving, energetic and fun environment at First
Step has made lasting impressions on my family, and I can't wait to bring our 1 year old there in a couple
Chad and Annie Penkhus
Dear Prospective Parents of First Step Preschool,
We are a family with four children, all of whom have attended (or will attend) First Step Preschool. When people ask our
family about the preschool our children have attended, I always tell them that First Step Preschool is Colorado Springs'
best kept secret! First Step Preschool, the teachers and its director, Geanina Brown, have loved, nurtured, trained and prayed
for our children (not to mention our whole family) for more than six years, and we anxiously anticipate another memorable two years
ahead with our last child.
When one is a new parent, it is often confusing (not to mention frightening) to think of leaving your child in anyone else's care.
As a child grows, parents often realize that others sometimes can provide the child with a little extra spice and life experiences
that the parents cannot. On our oldest child's first visit to First Step Preschool, I was impressed with the structured
curriculum, foreign language study, body movement classes, creative art projects, Bible verse memorization, bi-yearly programs, and
the consistent love and encouragement the staff provides each child. There aren't enough words to describe all that First Step
Preschool encompasses, but suffice it to say that First Step makes entrusting your precious child to another's care a true delight
First Step is more than just a preschool, it is a community that functions as the fingertips of God. I'll never forget
attending a Mother's Day tea for my oldest, while my then-youngest child screamed for nearly the entire time. Another parent who was
a nurse, as well as the director Geanina Brown, swooped in to comfort my young infant the best they could so that my oldest child
could have her special time with mom! This is just one example of how the First Step community reaches out in love. Whenever the
school or the associated church has a need, the parents and families of the school are often right there, ready to help. When a
family in the school is hurting due to a change in family structure, the loss of a family member, or a job loss, the need is often
seen and the First Step community reaches out. But the love and kindness toward others doesn't halt within the confines of the
preschool walls, often families hurting outside the First Step community are brought forth to the school and the members of
First Step dig deeply to help those in need. This outpouring of love towards others isn't expected or demanded; it just happens
naturally from the outflow of the loving experience that indwells at First Step!
First Step Preschool deserves to be more than just this region's best kept secret! This school's name and legacy should not
only be passed on to a new generation of preschool parents; it should be touted across the city and community as the cream of the
crop! Yes, my friends, it is time to let the secret out: First Step Preschool is the best! First Step Preschool is a positive and
loving start to your child's education! First Step Preschool is a community that cares! First Step Preschool is where kids want to
The Hallgarth Family
Dear First Step Preschool,
Before I was a teacher at First Step, I was a parent of two precious little preschoolers! They loved their time here
and learned so much! I wanted you to see how my daughter, at three years old, learned the Pledge of Allegiance at First
Step! It's just one of the examples of why I love this little preschool in the forest!
All Stars Classroom
Dear Future First Step Families,
My family, with daughters ages 8 and 5, is in our fifth year of attending First Step Preschool and we want to offer you
our personal, very highest recommendation for this outstanding program, amazing staff, and beloved director Geanina Brown.
We never would have expected to find a second family there as well, yet the school and staff have welcomed all of us with
open arms and we will always feel honored as a special part of the First Step Family. Here we stand today with two
intelligent, kind, social girls, who were taught, accepted and loved at First Step; all of which contributed a great
deal to their growth and success over the years.
Throughout the time both our daughters attended First Step, we were always amazed at the quantity and quickness of
what they learned-thanks in large part to lots of cool songs! Our oldest came home after the first week (she had
just turned three) and knew her days of the week, months of the year, and that George Washington was the first president
of the United States! As she progressed in her skills and entered the All Star (4-5 year old) classroom, the teachers
took the initiative to print out 'sight word' sheets for us to work on at home with her, as they had been fostering and
witnessing her reading in class. Thus, she entered Kindergarten at a high level, and the foresight and direction of her
First Step teachers still follows her, as she is in 3rd grade with a 6th grade reading level today.
Our youngest daughter is an October baby so she actually started in the Little Monkeys classroom at two years old.
The varied structure, re-enforced positive behavior, and endless avenues for play, creation, and expression keep all
the children (most times anyway:) feeling attentive, excited and secure. Our youngest daughter thrived during both
years at First Step, making friends with everyone of the other children, being cared for and valued by the staff, and
filling walls and drawers of our home with worksheets and art projects, handmade Christmas gifts and fun pictures of
her preschool years.
Since she missed the cut-off to enter Kindergarten this year, but I was no longer working in Black Forest full-time,
we opted to find a new school in town for her rather than be in the First Step Preschool All-Star class for a second
year. Now, that we have first hand experience of two other preschools (the first one we enrolled her in this year
caused us to leave within two weeks!), we can say with certainty that THERE IS NO OTHER SCHOOL LIKE FIRST STEP! THEY
HAVE THE BEST TEACHERS, MOST COMPASSION, AND SUCCESSFUL AND VARIED PROGRAM I HAVE SEEN! We thank God for 'Friday Fun'
because we still get to stay connected to First Step when she drops in for the Friday afternoon fun session this year.
Everyone has their own experience, but I witness the First Step staff truly reaching out and making a connection with all the families. It is an incredible blessing to have your children attend this preschool and I am happy to answer any specific questions you may have.
God's blessings to you and your families,
Dear First Step Preschool,
We are so sad to say that our time at the most wonderful school in the world has
come to an end! We discovered First Step two years ago when we were trying to
find a place for our son, JP, to meet some friends and get used to some of the
routines that come along with going to school. We had no idea then what an
impact you all would have on his little heart. When we were looking at some
other schools, we really liked most of them. However, when we came there and met
you, Ms. Geanina, we knew it was the perfect fit. We will never forget the way
you knelt down to his level and introduced yourself to him (rather than
just talking with us)! Every day since then has been such an amazing blessing.
Not only has he shown incredible improvement in letter recognition, writing, and
social development, but most importantly to us he has gained a very real
understanding of his relationship with Jesus Christ. We are so proud of the
stories, Bible verses, and lessons that he comes home and shares in such great
detail! You all have become a part of so many of his conversations. JP can't
wait to have a campout with you Ms. Tammy and he looks forward each week to
talking with Mr. Dave. EVERYTHING we do at home or away, he can't wait to share
with Ms. Geanina!
Obviously, we would recommend First Step Preschool to any parent looking for a
warm, caring environment for their child to grow and learn. From the time you
drop off your child to the time you pick them up, you can be certain that they
are being shown the same love and attention that they would receive from you. We
feel like JP has a second family at school and could not be more amazed at your
dedication to your students. We are always impressed with the time you take to
talk with us. We never feel like we are rushed in and out. You always make time
to let us know about any successes and/or concerns there may have been that day.
We cannot tell you how thankful we are for all that you do for children, and
especially the lasting impression you've made on JP. We will always treasure our
time at First Step and will miss you all terribly. Thank you again, and God
All Our Love,
The Cates Family
Dear Geanina Brown & Staff
We had the pleasure of discovering your warm and bright pre-school 6 years ago when we were
looking for a place to send our eldest daughter. Our finding your school was by chance (I
think the phone book), and we have been so thankful for our fortune. Since then, you have
helped develop two more of our children's academic and social abillities and we are about to
send you our last precious child because your staff and program are excellent.
All of our children were ahead in reading and writing when they moved on to elementary school.
We were informed regularly of their progress and given feedback to help assist our children.
When any of our children developed reading readiness books were sent home with them to help
foster their continual academic progress. Art projects and writing papers were plentiful and
helped develop letter formation, phonics, and sense of self.
Finally, we would like to say that our family is greatly appreciative of the work you have
done to assist our children's growth. All are doing well in school and have fond memories
of their experiences with you. We would comment to anyone what a wonderful school you have.
The Kulbacki Family
Thank you so much for all that you did for my daughter, Michelle at First Step Preschool.
When I first approached you about sending Michelle to your preschool, you assured me that
the Montessori style of teaching would be perfect for her. You explained
that you would pay close attention to Michelle�s academic needs as well as her
social needs. Since she was one of your older students and going through a second year
of preschool, I was concerned about her being in a pre-k environment rather than another
year of traditional preschool. I was extremely pleased with the extra attention you gave
to Michelle�s reading and writing. You and your teachers guided her at a pace that was
perfect for her. As a result of Michelle going through your preschool program, she is
more than ready for kindergarten. As a matter of fact, she�s ahead of the game and is
reading and writing above grade level! Thank you so much for caring so much for the
students and for treating them all as individuals.
Dear Ms. Dana, Ms. Geanina, Ms. Maeve and Helping Moms!,
Last week we had our family meeting after church where our girls go over whatever events of the
week were important to them and to fill us in on what's coming up that's exciting to them.
Kendall went through all her school things and others, but when she did the Easter Story from
the egg carton, it was absolutely incredible! She was so proud of the story and remembered
everything about it. I wish you could have seen what your message sent to her and how
heartwarming it was.
Thank you so much for all you do, how hard you work, and for the wonderful impressions you leave
with our children as you shape them to enjoy the world of learning at school.
We appreciate you so much!
Greg and Ronnette
Dear Ms. Geanina,
First Step Preschool has played a significant role in my daughter's growth and development over
the past couple of years. They have not only provided her with a beginning foundation for
academics, but also with Christian-based values as a tool for interacting with others. The
teaching staff is very kind, supportive and patient, and they encourage and welcome parental
involvement throughout the school year.
I stumbled upon First Step Preschool entirely by accident going through the yellow pages trying
to find a preschool close to home. I have been so grateful for that accident as it has been a
wonderful experience for our two children.
My son started at First Step when he was 3 ½. He was a very shy child who did not want to
participate in the group activities and had separation issues for most of the first year. By the
end of his second year he was a totally different child. He had become a leader in the class and
was willing to participate in everything. He loved going to school and learning and playing with
all his friends. It was amazing to see the change in him. He is in Kindergarten this year and
continues to be a leader in his class. His teacher has commented that he is in the top portion of
his class in all areas of study. She also complimented the preschool for preparing him so well for
First Step Preschool taught him the normal things you would expect a child to learn at preschool
and much more. He came out knowing how to count past 100 and was able to identify double and
triple digit numbers. He was learning sight words and sounding out words to begin reading. Besides
the typical A, B, C and 1, 2, 3 curriculum he also learned life skills such as his address,
phone number, and the importance of using good manners. These are all things that we were
teaching him at home, but having them reinforced in a different way at preschool has really made
these lessons stick with him.
My daughter is in her second year of preschool there and has excelled there as well. She loves
her teachers and they are so loving and kind with her as well. She will go to Kindergarten next
year and we will greatly miss the First Step Preschool staff. I simply cannot say enough
wonderful things about this preschool and the staff. After three years of having children attend
First Step, the staff feels like family and I feel as if they have treated my children as their