ArtStart Preschool at the Parkersburg Art Center

The ArtStart program offers a developmentally appropriate, arts-based curriculum with the goal of enhancing the students’ creative, physical, social, emotional and intellectual development. ArtStart provides children the opportunity to explore in a nurturing environment with highly qualified and experienced staff and classes of no more than 12 students with two teachers! The ArtStart curriculum is a solid academic foundation for kindergarten but fosters skills in a playful and meaningful way. Play IS the work of the young child.  Find out more about this mixed-age classroom where the children set the tone and help guide the specifics of the curriculum!

Lead Teacher Jessie Siefert, has been teaching since 1991. She has a M.S. in Education from Bank Street College in New York, NY. Jessie has presented at local conferences and at National Conferences (NAEYC), has written parenting columns for local magazines and teaches early Childhood Education and Child Development at WVU-P. Before coming to the Parkersburg Art Center in 2005 her experiences included teaching preschool and kindergarten; working as a teacher/naturalist at a nature center and a national park; consulting for the Cincinnati Art Museum; presenting teacher education programs in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, working as an adjunct teacher at WVU-P and raising her two children.

April Jenkins is a mother of four, a Marietta College graduate in Studio Art and Psychology. She has worked as the Curator of Education at the PAC, with Washington County Children and Family Services and, most recently, as an in-home child care provider.  In addition to teaching in the preschool, she will also be our education outreach instructor, taking weekly art lessons into two area elementary schools.

Summer Webb-Sundstrom is a proud mother of two intelligent, beautiful girls, both of whom are ArtStart preschool graduates. Summer loved being part of the ArtStart family as a parent and classroom volunteer. In the spring of 2015 Summer joined ArtStart as a substitute teacher and is looking forward to being a regular part of the ArtStart teaching team! She has an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Marshall University.

Ashley Chichester has devoted her career to working with children and families. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with a specialization in Early Childhood Education from West Liberty University. In her spare time, Ashley volunteers for the Make-A-Wish Foundation acting as a liaison between families and staff. She also tutors young children in various subjects on an individual basis. She has a passion for nurturing young children and watching them discover and grow through their play and experiences.

Maia Day is a mother of two children; a son and daughter. Both of whom attended ArtStart and loved every minute of it. "there is nothing better than experiencing life through the eyes of a child. They see wonder, magic and beauty in everything. That's what makes ArtStart so wonderful" we cultivate those sweet, special interests through learning, art and play!


2017-2018 Calendar

We will inform you of special party dates, field trips or schedule changes.  If Wood County Schools are closed, we are closed. If there is a 2 hour delay, classes will start ONE hour later but finish at their regular time.

  • August 22             Orientation for families 11:30 or 12:30 ( you will be notified)
  • Classes begin August 29/30
  • October 19 & 20      Wood County Schools out
  • November 21- 24    Thanksgiving Break
  • December 19 -29     Winter Break Class resume January 2, 2018
  • March 20 - 23          Spring Break
  • March 30                  Good Friday out
  • April 19 & 20            Staff Development Break
  • May 10 & 11               Tentative Last Days


2017-2018 Classes and Tuition

  • 4 day morning class : $1350.00 member/$1500.00 non-member annually
  • 2 day morning class: $775.00 member/$900.00 non-member annually
  • Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:00 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Wednesdays & Fridays 9:00 – 11:30 a.m
  • Tuesday - Fridays (4 days) 9:00 – 11:30 a.m


Registration and Info 2018-2019

  • Current ArtStart students get first priority if they turn in the registration packet between February 5- 16, 2018.
  • The siblings of current students and former ArtStart students get priority if the completed registration packet form and payment is returned by February 17- March 2, 2018.
  • Registration is open to the public starting March 3, 2018.  Each class is open to children ages 3 to 5 (new registrations, must be 3 and potty trained by September 1, 2018)
  • Registration and 2018-2019 handbook will be available by February 1, 2018.  
  • Coming in 2018: Class days will be extended to 3 hours and your enrollment in ArtStart will entitle you to a free Art Center Family membership!!!  Also, an outdoor play space is in the works.  


ArtStart 2017-2018

ArtStart students entering in August 2017 - May 2018

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Jessie Seifert, Ashley Chichester, Summer Webb-Sundstrom, Maia Day, April Jenkins