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C.L.E.W.S. Preschool


Visit us at clewspreschool.com

Teaching the Future in C.L.E.W.S.

 Christ Lutheran Early Weekday School (CLEWS) has quite a reputation in the Orland Park area. If you tell someone that your child attends CLEWS, chances are they will respond with “I remember the Teddy Bear Picnic!” or “I loved the Thankful Feast they did!” And Director Patti Bareither, who just celebrated her 25th year with the program, is a celebrity in her own right with CLEWS alumni. A summer celebration in her honor saw hundreds of CLEWS families from over the years come by to share hugs, stories, and appreciation.

So what makes CLEWS such a strong program? Their philosophy and focus is on enriching cognitive, social, emotional, and spiritual development through play, stories, and songs, as well as hands-on and individual activities. Class sizes are small, which gives children a chance to know their teachers and vice versa. And interaction from both parents and the pastors of Christ Lutheran truly make this an interactive program with many opportunities for learning.

Children are eligible to enroll in CLEWS as soon as they turn 3 years old. The next session of the “Just 3″ program will begin on January 11, 2014 and will run from 9-10:30am on Fridays through May 16. Children may also begin the “Just 3″ program mid-session with a pro-rated fee. CLEWS will host two open house opportunities in January, the first on Sunday the 26th from 10:30am-1:00pm and the second on Tuesday, January 28 from 5-7pm. If a child in your life is getting ready to enter pre-school in the fall, please come and see what all of the buzz is about! Program Director and teacher Patti Bareither can be reached at (708) 349-0171 for further information.



Meet the Teachers

2017-11-05 22:19:11 dporzel

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Meet the Teachers    Clews2

By Melissa Petersen 


With a new school year well underway, our Christ Lutheran Early Weekday School (CLEWS) teachers are back to work with a bright and wonderful group of students. As always, the program aims to combine play and learning with activities that are age-appropriate, experimental, sensory and manipulative in a Christian preschool setting.


CLEWS is thankful to have so many of its amazing teachers returning for the 2017-2018 school year. Patti Bareither, lovingly known as Mrs. B, has returned for her 30th year. Mrs. B has over 50 years of education experience. Her greatest gift to CLEWS is her love of all children and her passion for teaching. She is always creating and establishing an innovative, exciting, interactive, age-appropriate curriculum for students. All of the teachers, parents, alumni, and students would agree the Patti is the glue that holds the CLEWS program and its loving spirit together.


With over 18 years at CLEWS, 3-year-old classroom aide, Karen Ketelaar has always referred to CLEWS as her “happy place.” Being separated from parents for the first time is difficult for many new students, and Karen has the wonderful gift of being able to put nervous children at ease with her happy demeanor and infectious laugh.


Four’s teacher Lisa Grant quickly realized after putting her own children through CLEWS that she wasn’t ready to leave the program. Lisa has been with CLEWS for over 9 years. Her patience knows no bounds and she has a great love and respect for the program and the teachers. Lisa has had a significant impact on the success of the four’s program at CLEWS.


Former CLEWS parent, Ronda Gilchrist is beginning her 7th year with the school. Whether she is teaching in the three’s classroom or aiding in the fours class, Ronda is energetic and excited to educate young minds. She knows how to start the day for each child with her an outgoing and special welcome.


Whitney Corbin has been with CLEWS for 4 years as both an aide and as the school’s administrative assistant. (Although she has been volunteering in the production of the teddy bear picnics since 1996.) Her degree in psychology and her certificate in organizational psychology brings a good balance of business and fun to the school. As a CLEWS alumnus, Whitney has had a soft spot in her heart for CLEWS since she was 3-years-old. Her sons have also attended the school just like mom.


CLEWS is also fortunate to have four’s aide Patty Nolan as part of the program. Having been with CLEWS for three years, her background in speech therapy makes her an invaluable resource in assessing each child’s needs and then quickly adapting lessons to their needs. Her understanding of child development has been a wonderful gift to the school.


Lisa Niedziela is completing her second year at CLEWs as an aide in the three’s class and has quickly become an invaluable staff member. She is always ready to pitch in and help in both her class and in other classrooms. Her love of working with children shows through every day in her positive attitude and personality. CLEWS loves having Lisa as their go-to-gal for extra help and assistance.


This year CLEWS welcomed Melissa Petersen as an aide in the 3’s and Just 3’s program. Her youngest daughter just completed CLEWS last year and there was no getting rid of mom. Her background in graphic design and marketing has been helpful in finding new ways to get CLEWS news out in the community. Her fresh perspective has been helpful in adding new and fun elements to the program.

It has been said that CLEWS parents are attracted to the program because it affords daily opportunities to share in many special moments and experiences with their child. However, much of the school’s success and stellar reputation is because of this talented and caring teaching staff. Christ Lutheran Church is blessed to have so many special and unique individuals associated with CLEWS.

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C.L.E.W.S. News

2017-05-20 15:23:24 dporzel

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By Patti Bareither     


This is for all the mothers who shivered on cold metal benches at football games Friday night instead of watching from the car so that when their child asked, “Did you see me?” they could say, “Of course, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”
This is for all the mothers who have sat up at night with a sick toddler in their arms, rocking and repeating, “It’s OK, Mommy’s here.”
This is for all the mothers who carpool, bake cookies, bring orange segments to the soccer practices, who sew Halloween costumes…and also to the mothers who don’t!
This is for the mothers who taught their children to tie shoelaces before they started school, and for those mothers who opted for Velcro instead.
This is for all the mothers who bite their lip when their child asks to dye his hair green.
This is for all the mothers who teach their son to do laundry and teach their daughters to change a flat tire.
This is for all the mothers whose head automatically turns, when they hear a little voice call out, “Mom?” in a crowd ….even though they just realize their off spring are at home.
This is for:
The young mothers struggling through diaper changes, night feedings, and sleep deprivation;
The mature mothers learning to let go;
For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers;
For single mothers and married mothers;
For mothers with money, and mothers without.
This is for all the mothers that could get an extra hour of sleep on Sunday morning, but know the value of time spent worshiping together as a family.
This is for all the mothers who hold their children’s actions and behaviors accountable by taking time to hold a follow-up discussion as to “W.W.J.D.?”
This is for all the mothers whose heart goes with their child as their grown child goes for his/her first solo drive after receiving their driver’s license.
This is for all the mothers whose jolt takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib, at 2 A.M. just to put your hand on the back of a sleeping child.
This is for all the mothers who gave birth to babies they’ll never see and to the mothers who took these babies and gave them a family.
This is for the mothers who have the need to hug their child after hearing the news of a school shooting, a fire, car accident.
This is for the mothers who read Goodnight Moon twice or thrice each night for a year…and then just maybe one more time.
For all mothers, and all you do- this is for you. Happy Mother’s Day!

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C.L.E.W.S News

2017-03-02 22:45:12 dporzel

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C.L.E.W.S. News      Play, Lear, Grow

CLEWS NEWS Clews preschool is now enrolling for the 2022-2023 school year. Applications are available in the office or online at clewspreschool.com. Programs available:
“Just 3” for the children who miss the September 1st cutoff.
3 year old program $160/ month
4/5 year old program
(2 day $210/ month)
(3 day $230/ month)

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2016-10-29 10:51:06 dporzel

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“JUST 3” – A CLASS AT CLEWS If your child missed the September 1 cut-off for 3-year old preschool, no need to worry!! Just after your child turns 3, they can begin the “Just 3” program at CLEWS…starting with a birthday celebration! This program will help your child develop social skills, build self-confidence, follow directions, and much more, as well as participate in activities that are age-appropriate and geared toward their developmental levels. For more information or to enroll contact CLEWS at 708-349-0171.Clews4

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C.L.E.W.S. News

2016-05-01 12:44:20 dporzel

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C.L.E.W.S. News

By Patti Bareither, C.L.E.W.S. Director/Teacher


May is a very “happening time, especially if you have children, so before I go on- HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all of you who have been wonderful Christian role models for your families! This time of year is filled with end-of- the-year programs, concerts, award ceremonies, Confirmation, “Thank You Luncheons”, sport finals, etc., and life is no different at CLEWS….

At CLEWS the THREE YEAR OLDS are learning about God’s miracles: rainbows, caterpillars to butterflies, seeds to flowers and vegetables, and what a great miracle each child is are all great examples!

Included is a photo of Luke O’Reilly celebrating his 5th birthday, which happened to coincide with the very same day the FOUR YEAR OLD CLASSES  took their annual field trip for Lunch On The Train with their families! With balloon in hand, Luke led the parade down the aisle of the train as he and his classmates marched while families sang “Happy Birthday.”As you can see the train conductor was extremely welcoming!

All classes are gearing up for their 28th annual Teddy Bear Picnics which have been our closing celebration for the THREE and FOUR YEAR OLD PROGRAM at CLEWS.

The staff at CLEWS recognizes that not all children mature at the same rate and this kind of celebration in lieu of a “graduation” acknowledges and supports those parents who have chosen to give their child the “Gift of a Year.”As an educator for the past 50+ years, I have followed many children who were afforded this opportunity to mature, develop, and gain confidence. They are now successful adults. (This could possibly be a topic for a future newsletter.)

Gather up your children and enjoy this wondrous spring weather! As the saying goes, the days may be long but the years are indeed very short.


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