ArtStart 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.

Marcia Ritchie has been an ArtStart assistant since it's inception.  She has a B.A. in Art/Theater Arts from WV Wesleyan College and is a 2012 M.A. in Art Education graduate with the University of Florida. Before coming to the Art Center in 2005, she was a substitute teacher, coached Ravenswood Middle & High School Soccer and volunteered in the Jackson County Schools. She serves on several Boards of Directors: Arts Advocacy WV and Youth Leadership Association (YLA).   She has three adult children.

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.

2017-2018 Classes

  • 4 day morning class : $1350.00*/$1500.00 annually NM
  • 2 day morning class: $775.00*/$900.00 annually NM
  • Tuesdays & Thursdays
    9:00 – 11:30 a.m.
  • 2 day morning class
    Wednesdays & Fridays
    9:00 – 11:30 a.m

Priority Registration

  1. Current ArtStart students get first priority if they turn in the registration packet between February 1- 28, 2017.*
  2. The siblings of current students and former ArtStart students get priority if the completed registration packet form and payment is returned by February 15- February 28, 2017.*
  3. Registration is open to Art Center members and the public starting March 1 2017. *Each class is open to children ages 3 to 5 ( new registrations, must be 3 and potty trained by September 1, 2017)

*At each tier, those with current Parkersburg Art Center family memberships are given preference.

Registration information may be picked up at The Parkersburg Art Center front counter or download this:

Registration FormArtstart Handbook, and return the form with the $40.00 Registration Fee .

ArtStart Registration Fee 2017-2018
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Please be sure to list a first and second choice for class days and times.

We will notify family of their placement within a week of the end date for each registration period.


ArtStart Classes 2016-2017
from 80.00

Your first payment is due in August prior to the start of the school year.  You may pay in full or with monthly installments.

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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 30                       First Day of Classes

October 13 & 14             No School (Wood County closed)

November 11                  No School

November 22-25           Holiday Break

December 20 -January 3          Holiday Break

March 17                          No School

April 11-14                       Spring Break

May 10                             Last Day

May 11 or 12                     Evening Graduation

August 1                            Tuition Payment Due

August 29, 2017               Classes begin - May 11, 2018 End