Education > Cranbury Presbyterian Nursery School (CPNS)

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This week at CPNS

We had a fantastic two week pre-summer program as many of you know. Everyone had a great time and learned so many wonderful things. Our CPNS Summer Program begins on Monday. Some of the children will be having fun learning about the zoo and the animals that live there. We are looking forward to another two weeks of fun and exciting times of discovery and learning. Registrations for that program are still being accepted. The program will be held the weeks of July 14 and July 21. Plan on stopping by to visit and check out the fun.

We are currently accepting registrations for the school year 2014-2015 as well as our summer program. Please let your friends and neighbors know about our school and encourage them to contact us. We would be happy to show them our school and tell them about all the wonderful learning opportunities that we have each and every day. You could find the registration forms on our website, or call Janice at 609 655-8663 for the details.

Contact CPNS at 609-655-8663 or

Parking Lot/Playground Safety Plan
We need your help to provide a safe playground for all of our children. We are asking that if you need to park in the church parking lot between the hours of 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. on school days that you use the last few spots closest to the South Lawn. You could also use the overflow parking lot or the spaces in the rear of the parking lot next to the cemetery.

We hope this will eliminate traffic in the playground while children are outside playing.

Please call Janice at 655-8663 with any concerns or questions. We want to thank you in advance for making sure we keep all children safe.

CPNS Summer Program

CPNS is planning our Summer Program for the weeks of July 14 and July 21. Please sign up today, space is limited and registration will be first come, first serve. We look forward to spending a few summer weeks with your children that are going into our 3's, our 4/5's and into Kindergarten. Don't pass up this opportunity.

More From CPNS

Some of you may know that CPNS has our very own garden. Rosellyn Cassidy is the main caretaker with many children helpers. This spring she wrote an essay to hopefully win a free class trip to Von Thuns farm. We wanted to share just a small part of what happens at CPNS as told by Rosellyn. We hope the following will encourage you to visit our garden or perhaps start one of your very own. The winning essay is as follows:

Cranbury Presbyterian Nursery School nurtures the inquisitive minds of young children, so we believe that an early introduction to agriculture-awareness is essential to nurture a lifelong love of nature and our environment. Four years ago, our preschool installed a 12' X 12' teaching garden on the school's grounds. Each year from April to November we have enjoyed exploring the teaching garden and have used it to teach so many agricultural concepts.

Our students enjoy each aspect of caring for the garden, more than planting seeds and picking tomatoes. In April, we begin by learning how to prepare the garden for growing. We enjoy pulling weeds from the roots, compare deep and shallow root systems, and learn that some smell like onions! We learn why weeding the garden makes our plants stronger. We learn that some vegetables grow above the ground and some grow below, that plants grow to different heights, and that some produce blossoms which turn into vegetables! Some grow quickly, and for others, we seem to wait forever.

While we are preparing and weeding our garden we enjoy collecting bugs and worms for inspection, identification, and discussion and then release them back into the garden. We have a worm farm in our classroom and we watch the worms dig, since the worm farm has plastic sides so we can see the worms 'underground'. We learn that worms are useful to our garden, aerate the soil, and leave essential nutrients behind for our plants to enjoy.

The children plant seeds and watch them grow in plastic cups so we can examine root systems. Crops include lettuce, spinach, broccoli, strawberries, tomatoes, zucchini, beans, chives, pumpkins, cucumbers, and more have grown in our garden. We journal our experiences, measure, compare/contrast young seedlings, and learn how we can help these plants produce delicious vegetables. We experiment by sprouting bean seeds in water, sand, rocks, and paper towels and learn what environment yields the best seedlings and why. We even have the children help build an irrigation system since we don't have a water source near the garden!

As we pick and taste our crops, we teach that part of growing is trying new tastes/textures. The children learn about the food pyramid and that part of a healthy diet includes foods from many food groups. We talk about our favorites from each group and learn that these foods originate on farms! We enjoy setting up a pretend farm stand in our classroom, 'selling' produce, learning money value, adding, budgeting, and introducing new vegetables to the children. We are fortunate to have a teacher's assistant whose family has been farming in Cranbury since 1926. She is always happy to answer questions about farm life, equipment, crops, and running a farm stand.

Von Thun's field trip offers our children consistent agriculture teaching about nurturing plants and flowers, having a plan for the farm, selling the produce and plants, caring for the animals, nature facts in the barn, and more. We have especially enjoyed the 'burger' and 'pizza' gardens. The children tie in what they have learned in class to real-life farming which deepens their learning. We know this is true because of the relevant questions and comments they share while on the trip and back in class. We value our farming community and are proud to have the opportunity to teach the children agriculture at Cranbury Presbyterian Nursery School.

As evidenced in the essay we learn a lot at CPNS but in the most developmentally appropriate ways for preschoolers.

This year at CPNS

The Cranbury Presbyterian Nursery School (CPNS) has completed its 29th year of providing a Christian preschool environment to preschoolers and their families. CPNS successfully maintains a developmentally appropriate Christian preschool program offering the guidance for learning important life skills and the appropriate academic requirements kindergarten programs are now demanding. Our year was once again filled with a variety of milestones, activities and new opportunities. These are summarized in the 2013 Annual Report available below. The NAEYC Accreditation system has set professional standards for programs for young children since 1985. In September 2006, the Association revised program standards and criteria to introduce a new level of quality, accountability, and service for parents and children. The new standards today reflect the latest research and best practices in early childhood education and development. NAEYC is committed to utilizing the newest studies and analysis on positive child outcomes to ensure young children continue receiving the highest-quality care and education possible. For more information, please visit Our NAEYC Accreditation is a sign that we are a leader in a national effort to invest in high-quality early childhood education, and we will help give all children the best foundation for their academic success that we possibly can. To learn more about how we achieved NAEYC accreditation, click here.

CPNS is a non-profit Christian preschool founded in 1984 by the First Presbyterian Church of Cranbury. Our history is outlined here. Our Nursery School is administered by a nine member Board comprised of Church Members and other individuals from the surrounding area with backgrounds in personnel, finance, education and administration. While we are not a cooperative school and do not require parents to contribute hours of service, we do offer many opportunities for parents to participate in their child's nursery school experience. Our parents are encouraged to share their experiences, ideas and feelings. To find more information about our school philosophy and curriculum, click here.

CPNS is state licensed by the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services and holds professional membership in the New Jersey Education Association and the New Jersey Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Our 3 and 4 year old program teachers hold degrees in Early Childhood Education and/or Elementary Education and are college certified. A Teacher and an Assistant Teacher oversee each class. Our student/teacher ratio is 12 to 2 in our 2 1/2 year old program, 14 to 2 in our 3-year-old program and 16 to 2 in our 4 year old program. The CPNS staff is encouraged to witness their faith in Jesus Christ through the love shown for the children, their dedication to each child's development, and their daily interactions. To meet our faculty, click here.

Faculty & Board Member Resources
Important Dates

Summer at CPNS
July 14-18
July 21-25

Playground Gatherings
Student Open House
Back to School Night
September 2,3,4
Details here

First Day of School
September 8,9

School Hours

Morning Session
9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Afternoon Session
12:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Enrichment Opportunities
Kindergarten Skill Builder