Teacher called to work with Wiggle Worms

Wiggle Worms Preschool teacher Lacey Griffin with students, left to right, Jordan Lee, Aydin Foster, James Wilson, Sutton Wells, Jeremy Farwell, Claire Jackson and Colt Wells. (Contributed)

By SHELBA NIVENS / Community Columnist

“It must be ingrained deeply in my family to work with children,” said Lacey Griffin, lead teacher at Wiggle Worms Preschool. “My grandmother taught singing school and babysat children, and then my mother taught preschool for many years. I guess I am just carrying on a family tradition as well as a passion to work with children.”

Griffin, who has a bachelors of fine arts (BFA) degree from the University of Montevallo, thought for a while that she should teach art, she said. But the further she got into the master’s program, working with various age groups in public schools, she realized this was not her calling. “My heart was pulled back to the preschool where I could have a huge impact on the children’s spiritual growth, as well as their growth in knowledge … I feel called to work with the children at Wiggle Worms Preschool.”

While working toward her master’s degree in education, Griffin worked as assistant and co-lead teacher. “I guess you could call those years my training,” she said. “I had the best teacher anyone could ask for, my mom, Mickey Griffin. She taught preschool for over 20 years and was invaluable to my learning experience as a teacher.”

Officer Shiver and McGruff of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department visit with children at Wiggle Worms Preschool in Chelsea. (Contributed)

Mickey Griffin is now preschool director. Caitlin Kendrick is assistant to the lead teacher.

Wiggle Worms, previously K-Springs Preschool, is an outreach ministry of Chelsea Community Church. It is housed next door in a double-wide mobile home.

“We worked all summer on painting and moving into the new building,” Griffin said “Every room got a new coat of paint and a breath of fresh air.”

The colorful transformation can be viewed in photographs at “preschool 2011” on Lacey Griffin’s facebook homepage.

Griffin said she has always loved children and has been a babysitter for more years than she can remember. She has also helped in the church nursery and has experience from interning while earning her Masters of Education.

“Being hands-on and crafty goes hand-in-hand with my art training,” she said. And a gift for art helps her imagination to be as vivid as the children’s. “We try to make learning fun.”

The school goes on several field trips every year, including the zoo, McWane Center, fire station and pumpkin patch.

Times of operation are Monday-Friday 8-11:30 a.m. Griffin and Wiggle Worms Preschool can be reached at 276-1156 or wigglewormspreschool@gmail.com.

Shelba Nivens can be reached by email at Shelbasn@juno.com.