In 1954, the Collegiate School needed space for its Kindergarten program to meet, and Park Avenue United Methodist Church (PAUMC) was able to provide it. When Collegiate chose to discontinue the program a few years later, the Church decided to develop its own non-sectarian, preschool program. The school occupies space on the fourth floor of the Church’s parish building. It has one very large classroom divided into two sections (one section for the threes’ program and one section for the fours’ and fives’ program) and a common area for play, block building and whole group work, including music. The Pre-K program is held in a newly renovated classroom. In addition, the school has a beautiful and inviting library in which story time and reading aloud are offered daily to every student during class. The library has a large collection of books which families are encouraged to borrow. A weekly story hour is also open to the community. A large well-equipped rooftop playground, one floor above, is used daily unless the weather prevents outdoor play. In that event, there is a large and equally well-appointed indoor playground in the basement of the church. The school’s administrative offices are on the fourth floor with the classrooms.
Founded in 1837, the PAUMC first convened in an upstairs room over a local bar. The church’s present four-story building was built in the 1920s. The Church’s ministries and programs emphasize community outreach and service, including participation in the Yorkville Common Pantry, Habitat for Humanity, meals for the hungry and ongoing programs for the homeless. The annual church fair, rummage sale and other special fundraising projects support the United Methodist City Society’s summer camping program for inner city children. The senior Minister of Park Avenue United Methodist Church is the Reverend Dr. Cathy S. Gilliard. For more information about the church, please visit their website.