September 2 marked the 15th anniversary of San Juan Bautista Preschool in Lancaster, and its commitment to early childhood development. The celebration kicked off this month with a campaign to raise $15,000 in 60 days, with a matching gift, giving the school the potential to raise $30,000.

The anniversary also celebrates the high school graduations of the preschool’s first graduating class 15 years ago.

“What a joyful time it is for our parish, our children and their families! To celebrate and kick off this momentous occasion with the high school graduation of our first preschool class is so bittersweet to me,” said Father Allan Wolfe, pastor of San Juan Bautista Parish.

“Our Lord in Scripture said, ‘Let the little children come to me’ – this is our motto at our Preschool Center. Our goal is not just to form minds, but to form souls set on fire with love of Jesus! Our children don’t just develop bilingual skills, sign-language skills and early development skills, but they learn how to be disciples of Jesus, putting him first in all that they do,” he said. “And as it pertains to the campaign, it is my hope that this campaign not only enables us to raise funds to continue to reach more children, but also that it helps us to heighten awareness about the work that is done for our children.”

Inspired by Christ, the Master Teacher, the mission at San Juan Bautista’s bilingual preschool is to provide quality care and education for young children, ages 1-4. The preschool strives to create an environment in which all children, parents, staff and volunteers are welcome in the name of Jesus.

Milzy Carrasco, the mother of a former preschool student who recently graduated from high school, said, “I absolutely love San Juan Bautista and the work that they do through their preschool, after-school program, free summer camp and religious education program!’

“Their commitment to integrating faith with learning really helped to set all of my children on the right trajectory in life,” Carrasco said. “Early childhood development is of utmost importance for our children, and San Juan Bautista gets that. And on an even more personal note, I am a Catholic because of San Juan Bautista’s Preschool! I’m a convert to the faith, and it was seven months after my kids started preschool that I converted…. What exciting times for our children and their families!”

For information on San Juan Bautista Preschool or its campaign, visit or contact Annie Celotto at 717-392-4118, ext. 311.

(Annie Celotto is the Director of Advancement at San Juan Bautista.)

By Annie Celotto, Special to The Witness