Having earned a master’s in Elementary Education in November 2020 preceded by a bachelor's degree in Family Studies, Plummer grew up in Gilford and now lives in Center Harbor. In addition to raising her daughters at home, she has recently served as a substitute teacher in the Gilford School District.
“I have always appreciated what the Gilford Community has to offer, even more so now as an adult,” she noted. “I know how fortunate I am to have grown up in this community and was excited for my daughter to attend VNS this year. As an educator, I love how VNS focuses on who the child is rather than what they are able to do.”
This focus at VNS, according to Plummer, has led to the development of a curriculum that is designed to give both teachers and preschoolers room to be creative when it comes to learning. She cited the introduction of a new theme each week at VNS as but one example of this creativity.
“Academic subjects, including math, literacy and science are based around the theme each week,” she explained. “There is such a great balance of play-based learning with group lessons and activities. The children get a chance to learn about themselves, each other and the world around them.”
VNS was started more than 40 years ago by Gilford Community Church (GCC) with whom it still shares space. While the church serves as their umbrella and provides them with a home and guidance, VNS Board Chair Pam Clark said the two organizations are separate but share resources, such as office, financial and custodial staff.
“We try to keep the school associated with the church without it being so attached that people believe that in order to go to the school you must also be part of the church,” she said. “We do not teach religion in the school – it functions as a normal non-religious preschool.”
According to GCC Pastor Michael Graham, VNS is one of the most significant things that the church ever initiated, as he cited hundreds of children have had their first school experience there through the years.
“I can’t think of a more caring environment for children to spend their mornings than at the Village Nursery School,” he said. “The church is committed to enriching the life of our community, and VNS certainly does that.”
Regarding the layout of the space, Clark said VNS features “gorgeous open, sunny classrooms.” She said their space is enhanced by an outdoor classroom, playground, and a full gym at Gilford Youth Center, which shares the GCC campus.” “We are also next to the library,” she added.
As for the future, Plummer expressed enthusiasm. “I know that many families look forward to the wonderful traditions at VNS, and I plan to keep them all alive while adding some new traditions along the way,” she said.
To learn more about VNS, visit gilfordvillagenurseryschool.com.