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Monday-Wednesday-Friday or Tuesday-Thursday-Friday

Monday / Wednesday / Friday: Katie Rucker and Leslie Rinehart

Tuesday / Thursday / Friday: April Wulber and Laura Owens

Social skill development is a fundamental objective in the three-year-old class. Children learn best through play. Social skills such as sharing, peer interactions, taking turns and solving conflicts are taught and modeled in an educationally rich environment.

Twice a month, the children will have music class. Once a month, on an alternating week from music, the children will have creative movement class. 


Curriculum guide for the three-year old program:

These are some of the units of interest that we may explore during the year. We are, however, open to new ideas and the children's special interests.

  • Fall: Colors, Feelings and Emotions, Halloween: Real and Pretend, Under the Big Top, Nursery Rhymes, Imagine That!, How things Work, Fall, Thanksgiving--"Stone Soup"

  • Winter: Holidays, Fairy Tales, Winter Wonderland, Valentines and Bears, Transportation, My Five Senses

  • Spring: Spring, Weather, Bunnies, Backyard Bugs and Critters, Down on the Farm, Summer Fun


Our units are designed to stimulate creativity and curiosity, strengthen fine and gross motor skills, and engage children in trying new skills through active learning. Working with letters and numbers is included as a complement to the units according to the interests and abilities of the children.

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April Wulber

It was a natural fit for April to earn her degree in education since she has always had a continuous desire to learn and comes from a family of teachers. She spent many years in a preschool classroom before electing to stay home with her two young sons. She delights in the enthusiasm and curiosity of young children and looks forward to creating meaningful relationships with the children and families at UPPS.  April grew up in Ohio, but she and her husband have happily called Chapel Hill home since 2001. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, reading, and spending time with her family at the beach.

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Leslie Rinehart

Leslie loves laughing, singing, connecting with people, and exploring the world. Originally from Minnesota, Leslie studied Communications at Ithaca College and has lived in Chapel Hill since 1991. After careers in financial counseling and international adoption, Leslie became an early childhood educator in 2008. Since then, she has taught preschool in both Montessori and Reggio Emilia inspired schools in the triangle area. 


Leslie was thrilled to join the UPPS family in Spring 2021 and she looks forward to teaching the 3's class in the coming years. Leslie enjoys spending time with her three adult children. They enjoy singing together, going to concerts, sporting events, and theater productions, walking their dog Bella, skiing, traveling, boating, as well as going to the pool, beach, and their summer cabin in Michigan.


Katie Rucker

Katie is a life long Chapel Hill resident. She grew up here, received a BS in Sociology from UNC and doesn't think there is a better place to raise a family. She and her husband, Adin, have two daughters (11 and 15).Once her girls graduated from preschool she went back to work as a preschool teacher. She has taught 3 year old preschool for the past seven years. Play based learning is her focus and she loves watching children grow and gain confidence through all the different types of play.When she isn't watching her girls play volleyball, Katie enjoys the beach and gardening. 

Laura Owen

As a native North Carolinian and graduate of UNC, Laura loves being back in Chapel Hill. She lived in Atlanta for 16 years and moved to Chapel Hill with her husband and three children in 2017. Laura received her BS in Elementary Education from UNC-CH and her Masters in Education from UGA. She taught elementary school in Chapel Hill and Atlanta before staying at home with her three children. Laura loves guiding children’s learning through play and discovery. She is an active member of UPC and enjoys anything outdoors, puzzles, and spending time with her family. 

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