Chelsea welcomes Alphabet Academy

Stacey Ryder sits with Sam Neill, one of her first preschool students. (Reporter photo/Christine Boatwright)

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

CHELSEA –Stacey Ryder has taught children for 15 years, and she recently decided to open her own preschool in Chelsea.

“God laid on my heart to start this,” Ryder said during the Alphabet Academy Preschool’s ribbon-cutting ceremony on Aug. 31. “Chelsea doesn’t have an academically oriented preschool that prepares kids for kindergarten.”

Chelsea Mayor Earl Niven welcomed Ryder and her preschool to the city of Chelsea.

“We’re proud to have y’all in Chelsea,” Niven said. “I think I was in the fifth grade before I learned my ABCs.”

Ryder has been a preschool educator since 1991 and holds an Alabama state teaching license in elementary education. She taught fifth grade at Chelsea Intermediate School in the 2008-09 school year, with many other elementary schools in Michigan and Alabama throughout her career.

With a preschool that can accommodate 60 children, Ryder said she’s hoping to schedule field trips to Old Baker’s Farm in Harpersville and the Birmingham Zoo.

“I have ages 3 to 5,” Ryder said. “They don’t have to be potty trained, and we’ll work with the kids. I love this age; they’re so adorable.”

Ryder said she prefers parents register their children in person so she has the opportunity to meet the parents, and the parents can see the facility.

“This is the right thing at the right time,” she said. “There are a lot of young families moving into Chelsea.”

Alphabet Academy Preschool, located at 16233 U.S. 280 in Chelsea, held its first day of school on Sept. 6. For more information about the preschool, contact Stacey Ryder at 618-9239 or visit Bestchelseapreschool.com.