• Worship with us on Sunday mornings at one of our services...


    8:30am in the Chapel


    9:45am in the Sanctuary


    11:00am in the Sanctuary

    101 E. Jefferson Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902
    Email: churchoffice@cvillefirstumc.org
    Phone: (434) 296-6193


    Parking Map





All of our staff have experience with young children and both lead teachers bring a wealth of teaching experience and professional education in early childhood to our program. To their classroom experience our staff brings skills from their own parenting, musical and artistic skills, church nursery director experience, and health education experience.

  • Kelli Henning (Director and Lead teacher of 2’s)
  • Anika Winterhoff (Assistant teacher, 2’s)
  • Caroline Chang (Assistant Director and Lead Teacher of 3’s)
  • Meri Uzzell (Assistant teacher, 3’s)
  • Chrissy Porco (Lead teacher, Pre-K/4’s)
  • Jennie Bottas (Assistant teacher, Pre-K/4’s)

Classroom teachers work together as a team and have regular planning time to prepare for each class day. The entire staff meets monthly to address ways to constantly improve our preschool.

FUMP Staff adhere to the guidelines for discipline and conflict resolution set by the High Scope Preschool Curriculum.  These include:

  • Maintaining a supportive environment to keep conflicts at a minimum.
  • Maintaining limits and expectations for behaviors that are developmentally appropriate.
  • Helping children solve conflicts when they arise by gathering information, asking ideas about solutions, helping make a decision about the solution, and encouraging children to act on the decision.

FUMP staff receives ongoing training on behavior, discipline, and conflict resolution.

We believe that small classes and a small teacher to child ratio are essential to provide a productive environment and to offer individual attention. Each of our three classes has a lead teacher and an assistant teacher.

What will your child do at First United Methodist Preschool? Each day has a balance of structured and unstructured activities that are both child initiated and teacher directed.

Your child can play and learn cooperatively with friends, explore materials and learn at his or her own pace. Although each class routine varies, all children have a greeting time, structured small and large group activities, planning and review time, snack time and active or outside play. Children have access to dramatic play equipment, art activities, sand/water table, music and movement, building and manipulative toys, cooking, reading books, and nature/science materials. Classroom materials are constantly changing as new seasonal themes arise or activities are introduced.

There are also special days during the school year.  Birthdays are simply and joyfully celebrated in the classroom. Three and four year old children, along with parent volunteers, participate in several field trips each year. Some examples of past field trips include plays at the Paramount Theater, strawberry and pumpkin picking, the Virginia Discovery Museum, and the McGuffey Arts Center.

Family events also occur throughout the year such as parent coffees, family pizza night, and an end of the year picnic.


First United Methodist Preschool is a ministry of First United Methodist Church.  The mission of First United Methodist Church is “Changing Lives through Jesus Christ.”


We believe in providing a supportive and nurturing learning environment for children, encouraging their development through Christian-based education and the High Scope Preschool Curriculum.

We believe that the love and example of Christ is experienced through others and strive to show this love and acceptance to children and their parents.

We believe preschool children learn about themselves and their environment best through active participatory learning.

We believe an excitement for learning is best generated in a setting that presents opportunities and avoids achievement pressures.

We believe in Christian outreach.  To serve both community and church First United Methodist Church members and those outside the con­gregation will work in partnership to serve the preschool program.

First United Methodist Preschool uses the High Scope curriculum. Based upon the teachings of Jean Piaget, children are encouraged to be active learners: creating, exploring and experimenting. There are three elements of High Scope that are distinct: planning, key experiences and adult/child interaction. The lead teachers in our classrooms have received training from the High Scope Institute.

Planning. Children are given an opportunity for planning their activities for a part of each day. The Plan-Do-Review sequence is unique to High Scope and allows children to choose, plan, do and then reflect upon their activities.

Key Experiences. Teachers construct learning centers and plan activities based on five curriculum content areas: approaches to learning; communication, language and literacy; physical development; social and emotional development; health and well being; and arts and sciences.  Within these content areas are 58 key developmental indicators which are similar to developmental milestones

The key developmental indicators help staff nurture the whole child and tend to children’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical development needs.

Adult/Child Interaction. Teachers and children become partners in learning through the High Scope curriculum.  Teachers provide a consistent daily routine and nurturing environment while observing and planning for the interests and needs of the children.

For over thirty years First United Methodist Preschool has provided a quality preschool experience for two, three and four year old children in the Charlottesville area. We strive to provide a developmentally appropriate experience for each child within a caring environment.

Our commitment to quality includes ongoing staff education and training, and the use of a well-respected early childhood curriculum. We pride ourselves on our strong preschool community that encourages parent and family participation and community outreach through our scholarship program.

To learn more about our program follow the links on the drop-down menu under "Preschool."

Please take time to review the month/yearly calendars, parent handbook, and application materials below. For any other information or questions please contact Kelli Henning, Preschool Director - (434) 296-6682.