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Cornerstone Christian school opens doors in Grangeville

(L-R) Mary Bales will be the lead teacher at Cornerstone Christian Learning Center while Michelle Thanstrom will substitute and volunteer.

Photo by Lorie Palmer
(L-R) Mary Bales will be the lead teacher at Cornerstone Christian Learning Center while Michelle Thanstrom will substitute and volunteer.

— Parents of preschoolers and kindergarteners in Grangeville now have another schooling option. Cornerstone Christian Learning Center has opened at the Grangeville Church of the Nazarene with classes beginning yesterday, Sept. 8.

“We are really excited for this year and the church membership is very supportive of this endeavor,” said lead teacher Mary Bales.

“There have been wonderful volunteers from the church who have done everything from sheetrock and paint to put in new carpet and fence a play area,” added substitute teacher and school volunteer Michelle Thanstrom.

Bales spent the past eight years teaching at Camas Prairie Preschool, a program she said she enjoyed, when the opportunity to teach at a faith-based school drew her in again, she said.

“I taught in a Christian program in southern Idaho for 17 years before moving to Grangeville,” she explained.

Bales said Noah’s Ark Preschool at the Grangeville Christian Church does a “fabulous job,” with preschool, but she felt the faith-based kindergarten element was missing.

“In addition, we have parents who want to have a full week, half-day program, and that’s what we are offering,” she explained.

Preschool will run Mondays-Wednesdays and Thursdays while kindergarten will be Monday through Friday, all from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Early drop-off and late pick-up are available by arrangement. Cost for preschool is $90 a month while kindergarten is $135 a month.

The school is licensed and certified through the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare as a daycare.

In the future, Thanstrom said, the church program would like to add more grades, if possible.

“That’s a dream for the future,” she smiled.

The school is overseen by the church’s education committee and Bales said she would eventually like to see a school board, but that is also in the future.

“Right now we are excited to get started with the nine students we have enrolled,” she said.

The program will be a mix of hands-on Montesorri-type learning as well as academic and will include the Saxton math program and Christian Bible Press. The Mountain View School District 244 calendar will be followed for holidays.

The teachers said it is not too late to enroll students and their program can take up to 24. Call the school at 983-0029 and leave a message for enrollment information. The church is located at 515 W. North Second Street and parents/students will be asked to enter to classrooms through the back parking lot door.


A yard sale is set for Saturday, Sept. 19, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., to raise funds for Cornerstone Christian Learning Center. Drop off donated items for the same Friday, Sept. 18, 1-5 p.m.


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