We are proud to share this post focusing on Coker Early Learning Center, an early childhood education program that helps children develop their individual talents and abilities. Look to the bottom of this page for links to more information about preschools, pre-K, and early childhood education.
As part of Coker United Methodist Church, Coker Early Learning Center (Coker ELC) is dedicated to children’s physical, social, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual growth while encouraging independence and the development of each child’s individual talents and abilities.
Culture at Coker Early Learning Center
Open to families of all denominations, Coker ELC welcomes children beginning at 12 months old and continuing through Kindergarten. In this faith-based culture, the day starts at 9 a.m. with chapel where even the youngest children can enjoy age-appropriate songs and Bible stories. Pick-up is at 3 p.m., with extended hours available at a nominal charge. Parents of younger children may choose from two, three, or five-day options, with the flexibility to add days as needed. PreK, Kinder, and Gift of Time (GOT) students attend a five-day school week. Depending on age, each classroom has only 8-14 students and two teachers, ensuring that every child gets the individual attention needed to succeed. Many teachers have been part of the Coker ELC family for decades, teaching generations of families to “treat your friends as you would yourself.” With a strong emphasis on weaving spiritual lessons into classroom activities, Coker ELC takes pride in sowing the seeds of empathy, kindness, and love in each child and giving them a firm foundation they can continue to build upon throughout their lives.
Curriculum at Coker Early Learning Center
Age-appropriate hands-on activities, fitness, and music are part of the daily curriculum across all classes as children progress through the program toward Kindergarten. However, for those children who may not be quite Kindergarten ready, Coker ELC offers a unique program called the Gift of Time. This pre-K class is specifically designed to prepare children who turn five in late spring or summer for Kindergarten. Developed in conjunction with esteemed educational consultant Dan St. Romain, the GOT program allows for the development of academic skills and social skills, such as sharing and interacting with others.
“It allows them to learn at their own pace and develop confidence, decision-making skills, and good academic habits as they prepare for kindergarten,” explains Sharon Aguilar, former Coker ELC parent, and current director. “There is less pressure academically to perform.”
That doesn’t mean that the GOT curriculum is lax. On the contrary, much research went into planning this popular program. Students learn to read and write through the Jolly Phonics multisensory curriculum and Starfall Reading and Writing workbooks. Mathematical concepts are also taught through the Starfall, using a spiralized curriculum that explores skills like sorting, patterns, shapes, and problem-solving. In addition, art, science, and language enrichment classes are part of the GOT curriculum, creating a well-rounded educational experience to prepare these young five-year-olds for the big world of Kindergarten, where they will build upon these skills and incorporate new ones, including Guided Phonics, Spanish Enrichment and more.
“When the children leave Coker to continue their educations, we know they are fully prepared,” says Aguilar. “We are proud of that.”
Community at Coker Early Learning Center
The Coker ELC family is a close-knit community. It is not uncommon to find parents sharing information in the school’s Facebook group or hanging out on the front playground visiting before or after afternoon pick-up. You can also find them at the school’s annual activities, including the Ash Wednesday service and the Christmas program, where all students participate regardless of age.
“This is a huge program that our families look forward to,” says Aguilar. “Our sanctuary is always standing room only.”
Religious customs are not the only celebrations at Coker ELC. There is an annual Thanksgiving feast, a rodeo week that includes a visit from Cowboy Kevin, and storytime with Miss Anastasia from The Twig, who entertains with her unique way of bringing tales to life. At the end of May, teachers present binders to the parents featuring a collection of everything the child has done during the school year.
“It’s like a year-end gift, and it’s a huge deal to our parents,” says Aguilar, adding that it’s just one more way the parents know their children are cherished.
“Our teachers love children, and they love being here,” says Aguilar. “When parents come in, they feel that, and we make lifelong connections with many of our families.”
For more information on enrollment, payment options, and registration, or to schedule a tour, visit coker.org/celc or call 210-494-5061.
Charter Moms Chats
Watch Sharon Aguilar, Director of Coker Early Learning Center, Sandy Cavin, Assistant Director, and Yvette Ramirez, teacher, speak with Inga Cotton on Charter Moms Chats on May 10, 2023 at 4:00 PM Central live on Facebook and YouTube.
Sharon Aguilar is the Director of Coker Early Learning Center, with 19 years of experience.
Sandy Cavin is the Assistant Director of Coker Early Learning Center, with 18 years of experience.
Yvette Ramirez is the teacher of the four-year-olds class at Coker Early Learning Center, with 30 years of experience.
Read More About Early Childhood Education
- “Discovery School of San Antonio,” San Antonio Charter Moms, May 9, 2023
- “Marvelously Made—The School for Young Children: Educating Children How they Were Designed to Learn,” San Antonio Charter Moms, April 25, 2023
- “Little DOers Preschool at The DoSeum Offers Early Childhood Education in San Antonio’s Premiere Children’s Museum,” San Antonio Charter Moms, April 6, 2023
- “The Acorn—A School for Young Children Provides Developmental, Child-led Education,” San Antonio Charter Moms, April 4, 2023
- “Guide to Enrolling Your Three- or Four-Year-Old in Pre-K 4 SA,” San Antonio Charter Moms, January 26, 2023
- “Together We Can Save Childhood,” Jennifer McCarville, San Antonio Charter Moms, January 25, 2023
- “Play-based Learning at JOY Holistic Education,” Adriana Becerra, San Antonio Charter Moms, April 19, 2022
- “Jennifer Semanko Shares Her Pre-K Teacher Tales from Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran School,” Jennifer Semanko, San Antonio Charter Moms, March 23, 2022
- “Pre-K Charter School Options and Resources in San Antonio,” San Antonio Charter Moms, January 8, 2021