New preschool coming to Saint Paul's East Side

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

A new preschool will be opening next fall on St. Paul’s East Side that will offer an extra measure of support to parents and additional care and attention in the classroom to empower children with developmental delays and emotional challenges to be successful in the learning and social environment of a school. 

            The new Families Together East Side Preschool will be operated by Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS) and located at Grace Lutheran Church at 1730 Old Hudson Road where construction begins on October 26 on a new playground and building renovations. The preschool, modeled after the organization’s flagship location in St. Paul’s Frogtown area, will be available to children from all ethnic traditions and cultural backgrounds, and tuition will be free to students who are eligible.

            “We are thrilled to be expanding our preschool and making supportive services available to children and families on the East Side,” said Alexis Oberdorfer, LSS Vice President of Community Engagement & Partnerships. “This is a great opportunity to invest in the community and see those children and families thrive into the future.” 

            Construction for the new preschool is made possible through a $1 million gift via The Planting Hope Campaign by the Saint Paul Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. 

            "One of the goals of our campaign was to invest in a transformative project on the East Side of St. Paul," said Bishop Patricia Lull from the Saint Paul Area Synod. "We are so pleased that our partnership with LSS is bringing this important resource to the community."           

The preschool will offer three classrooms that each have the capacity to support up to 10 children, and there will be a five-students to one-teacher ratio. Children will be placed in classrooms by age and need, with one of the classrooms focusing on children as young as 16 months old. 

            Local data shows that there is a high concentration of children under age five, and families facing economic disparities on the East Side. LSS and the Saint Paul Synod of the ELCA are aiming to make a positive impact for families in the community with the new preschool services.  

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