In 1965, after thoughtful study and planning, Overbrook Presbyterian Church Preschool was created by members of the Overbrook Presbyterian Church as an outreach mission to the community. The curriculum of this week-day preschool nursery was rooted in the values of the Church and also reflected a deep understanding of early childhood development and the ways in which children learn best about the world around them. The founders of the school believed that play was essential to nourishing and educating the whole child, and was a core element in a joyful learning environment. As the school developed, this philosophy informed all educational programming and instruction. Since that time, and through the present, the best educational research in early childhood education supports this philosophy.
Throughout its history, Overbrook Presbyterian Church has been proudly known as “The Church at the Crossroads.” Its geographical location places it at the nexus of two highways that span the width and breadth of our country; Route 1 (Maine to Florida) and Route 30 (New York to California). Overbrook Preschool and Kindergarten has enjoyed the benefit of its locale, welcoming children from the communities of Philadelphia as well as their suburban neighbors. At its inception, Overbrook started as one classroom, with twenty 3 and 4 year olds and operated from October to May. In response to the growing needs of the school’s community, Overbrook began to expand its offerings and within three years, had tripled in size. Toddler classes were added and a full day Kindergarten was created in 1992. At present, the Overbrook Preschool and Kindergarten program is able to accommodate 150 students and includes two toddler classes, three classes for 3-year-olds, three classes for 4-year-olds, and a half and full-day Kindergarten. Summer camp is offered in June and July. Additionally, in its continuing commitment to being a good community neighbor, Overbrook has established and nurtured working relationships with Overbrook School for the Blind, The Life Center of Delaware County, Friends’ Central School, and Saunders House at Lankenau Hospital. The school’s partnership with the Lower Merion Conservancy created a unique nature classroom program more than ten years ago.
Today, Overbrook Preschool and Kindergarten (OPK) is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as a private academic preschool and Kindergarten. Our non-denominational program welcomes children of all ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds. Teaching staff work in concert with the Montgomery and Delaware County Intermediate Units, Elwyn, and any other therapeutic agencies that provide essential early support to Overbrook students.
In April, 2016, Overbrook Preschool and Kindergarten celebrated its 50th anniversary, with over 300 past and current students, parents, and professional staff in attendance. These 50 years of excellence in early childhood education have poised the school for continued success as we embrace the evolving educational needs of our community.