Calendar 2018-19

PALS calendar 2018-2019   


  • 6 – Orientation **Changed Date
  • Parents, children, siblings and grandparents are invited to drop by PALS and meet teachers and see the classrooms. 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m.
  • 8 – First Day of School
  • 14 – Kindergarten Parents meeting – 6:30 in the Kindergarten room
  • 15 – PALS Parents Brunch – 9 – 10 a.m.

All PALS parents invited, to meet and greet other PALS parents.

  • 17, 22, 27 – Coop Parent Training at 9:45 am, for about an hour.ALL coop parents must attend one day, even if you’ve done this before.
  • 20 – Homeschool Parents meeting – 6:30 in the Homeschool room


  • 3 – Labor Day (No PALS)
  • 4 – Homeschool Gathering begins
  • 5 – YMCA KidFitness
  • 10 – Grandparents and Goodies – 9 – 10 a.m.

All PALS grandparents are invited to bring their grandchild to PALS, and to share a breakfast treat, before taking them to their class for the day.


  • 5-12 – Fall Break (No PALS or Kid Fitness with the YMCA) Changed date
  • 17 – Trip to the Pumpkin Patch
  • 31 – Halloween Dress-up Day 


  • 9 – Usborne Book Fair begins with The Grand EventGrandparents are invited to a luncheon with their grandchild.
  • 9 – 16 – Usborne Book Fair
  • 14 – Thanksgiving Feast for 2 and 3 year olds & families
  • 16– Thanksgiving Feast for preK and kindergarteners & families
  • 19-23 – Thanksgiving Holiday (No PALS)


  • 19 – Last Day of PALS before Christmas
  • 19 – January 4 – Christmas Holidays (No PALS)


  • 7 – PALS resumes
  • 14 – Pajama Day ** changed date
  • 21 – MLK Holiday (No PALS)


  • 1 – Fall 2019 registration open to PALS families
  • 6- Fire Truck Visits PALS
  • 11 – Donuts with Dads
  • 15-18 – Winter Break (No PALS)
  • 22 – Ambulance Visits PALS
  • 25 – Fall 2018 registration open to the public


  • 4 -8 – Dr. Seuss Birthday Week
    • 4 – Who Hair Day
    • 5 – Foxy Sox Day
    • 6 – Wacky Wednesday
    • 8 – Crazy Hat Day


  • 3 – Stuffed Animal Day
  • 8-12 – Spring Break (No PALS)
  • 17 – Easter Egg Hunts
  • 19 – Good Friday (No PALS)


  • 13 -Muffins for Moms
  • 17 – Last Day of PALS


PALS follows the Floyd County School calendar for holidays.

Please check PALS emails/Facebook group for updates/changes.

Our Director: Deborah Shaw Lewis

Deborah Shaw Lewis


BA in Elementary Education, Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, 1973

MA in Child Development, Erikson Institute, Loyola University, Chicago, 1983


Director of PALS, the Mothers’ Morning Out at Trinity United Methodist Church, Rome, GA, 2008 – present  & 1991-1996

Twenty+ years as an author, speaker & storyteller

Thirty-eight years as a mother

Eight years as a college instructor: Triton College, River Grove, IL, 1979-88

Three years as day care director: Winkie Bear Child Development Center, Elk Grove Village, IL, 1975-78

Two years writing preschool Sunday School curriculum for David C. Cook Publishing, Elgin, Illinois, 1974-76



You Have a Brain: a Guide to Thinking Big, w/Ben Carson, Zonderkidz, 2015

Gifted Hands, Revised Kids’ Edition: The Ben Carson Story, Zonderkidz, 2014

The Admiral: the David Robinson Story, Zonderkidz, 2012

True to His Word: the story of Bible Study Fellowship, Biblica, 2010

Gifted Hands: the Ben Carson Story, Zonderkidz, 2009

“Today’s Heroes” series, Zonderkidz, 2001-02: Joni Eareckson; Ben Carson; David Robinson; Colin Powell; Brother Andrew; and Dave Dravecky

Celebrating the Wonder of Motherhood, Thomas Nelson, 1999

Seven from Heaven, Thomas Nelson, 1998

Stressbusters for Moms, Zondervan, 1996

Mother in the Middle, Zondervan, 1996

The “Family Share Together” series by Zondervan, 1994:

Did I Ever Tell You About…When You Were Little?

Did I Ever Tell You About…When Your Parents Were Children?

Did I Ever Tell You About…When Your Grandparents Were Young?

Did I Ever Tell You About…How Our Family Got Started?

When You Were A Baby, Zondervan, 1991 & Peachtree Publishers, 1995

Motherhood Stress, Word, 1989 (HC) & Zondervan, 1991 (PB)

Deborah’s Amazon page



Principles and Practices of Child Care

 Administration and Supervision of Day Care

Parent-Teacher-Child Communication

 Taught at Triton College in River Grove, Illinois



Motherhood Stress

Searching for Peace in the Mommy Wars

Building Family Traditions through Family Storytelling


“The Day I got Left at the Gas Station”

“The Day I Jumped out the Window”

“My Daddy’s First Day of School”

“Grandpa and the Voice of God in the Barn”

“Skinny Dipping in the Yellow River”

“The Gunniwolf” (an African folk tale)

“Jack’s First Job” (an Appalachian Folk Tale)

. . . and more.


Married to Gregg A. Lewis for 44 years.

Children: Andrew; Matthew (married to Emily, father to Annabelle & Lillian); Lisette; Benjamin (married to Caitlin and father of Monica) and Jonathan (married to Jessica and father of Ellie).


Children’s Church teacher for 24 years

Wednesday evening children’s teacher for 20 years

Communications director for 17 years

Family Life coordinator (with Gregg) for 4 years

Great Dates Coordinator (with Gregg) for 8 years

Pumpkin Patch director or assistant director for 10 years

NEWS: Adding Tuesdays at PALS

PALS News: Adding Tuesdays – An Update

  • As of March 15, we have enough children enrolled to have Tuesday classes for 2B, three-year olds and prekindergarten.

If your child is currently enrolled for Fall 2017, in 2B, 3A, 3B, prekA or prekB, you have a choice:

1) You may leave your registration for Fall as it is. Your child is enrolled and that spot is guaranteed.

2) You may add Tuesday to your schedule for Fall. The increased tuition is below.

3) You may exchange one of the days you have enrolled for Fall for Tuesday. (For example, if your child is registered for Monday-Wednesday-Friday for Fall, you may change that to Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday or Tuesday-Wednesday-Friday.  Or, if your child is registered for Monday-Friday, you could change that to Tuesday-Friday or Monday-Tuesday. Or if your child is registered for Wednesday-Friday, you may change that to Tuesday-Friday or Tuesday-Wednesday.)

Tuition Rates will be:

Co-op           Full Tuition

1 day /week . . . . . .$80/month    $105/month

2 days/week . . . . . $110/month   $150/month

3 days/week . . . . . $135/month   $175/month

4 days/week . . . . . $165/month   $205/month

If you wish to make a change to your child’s schedule for Fall, please do so by email.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me by email or phone.  We hope that by offering this option, we will provide an opportunity for more families to be a part of PALS, and also give our current PALS families added flexibility.

Thank you for letting us care for your children.  They are precious to us.

Deborah Lewis

Director of PALS



Calendar 2016-17

PALS calendar 2016-2017

PALS follows the Floyd County School calendar for holidays.  Please check PALS emails for updates/changes.


  • 6 – Orientation
    • Parents, children, siblings and grandparents are invited to drop by PALS and meet teachers and see the classrooms. 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. (Please note that this is a revised time.)
  • 10 – First Day of School
  • 17 – PALS Parents Brunch – 9 – 10 a.m.
    • All PALS parents invited, to meet and greet other PALS parents.
  • 15, 19, 24 – Coop Parent Training at 9:30 am, for about an hour.
    • ALL coop parents must attend one day, even if you’ve done this before.
  • 23 – Kindergarten Parents meeting – 6:30 pm in the Kindergarten room
  • 24 – Homeschool Gathering begins
  • 24 – Kid Fitness with the YMCA begins (in the choir room at Trinity)
  • 29 – Homeschool Parents meeting – 6:30 pm in the Homeschool Room


  •  5 – Labor Day (No PALS)
  • 7 – No YMCA/PALS Kid Fitness
  • 12 – Grandparents and Goodies – 9 – 10 a.m.
    • All PALS grandparents are invited to bring their grandchild to PALS, and to share a breakfast treat, before taking them to their class for the day.
  • 26 – Fall Photos – CHANGED DATE
  • 30-October 7 – Fall Break (No PALS or Kid Fitness with the YMCA)


  • 1-7 – Fall Break (No PALS or Kid Fitness with the YMCA)
  • 24 – Trip to the Pumpkin Patch – CHANGED DATE
  • 31 Halloween Dress-up Day


  • 11 – Usborne Book Fair begins with The Grand Event
    • Grandparents are invited to a luncheon with their grandchild.
  • 11 – 18 – Usborne Book Fair
  • 16 – Thanksgiving Feast for 2 and 3 year olds & families
  • 18 – Thanksgiving Feast for preK and kindergarteners & families
  • 21-25 – Thanksgiving Holiday (No PALS)


  • 9 – Mrs. Santa reads to the classes
  • 12 – Santa Visits PALS
  • 14 – Last Day of PALS before Christmas
  • 15 – January 3 – Christmas Holidays (No PALS)


  • 4 – PALS resumes
  • 11 – Pajama Day
  • 16 – MLK Holiday (No PALS)
  • 30 – Registration for Fall 2017 open to current PALS families


  • 13 – Donuts with Dads
  • 17-20 – Winter Break (No PALS)
  • 22 – Registration for Fall 2017 open to public
  • 27 – March 3 – Dr. Seuss Birthday Week


  • 24-31 – Spring Break (No PALS)


  • 14 – Good Friday (No PALS)


  • 15 -Muffins for Moms
  • 19 – Last Day of PALS

35 years of Ministry to Children & Families

Play and Learn Service – The History of PALS

“Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.
(Mark 10:13-16 ESV)

PALS began as the dream and the vision of Mrs. Hilda Candler.  A retired teacher, “Miss Hilda” felt called to meet the need for a “Mothers’ Morning Out” Program for mothers and pre-schoolers here at Trinity United Methodist Church.  Existing programs at other churches were expensive and had long waiting lists, and Hilda wanted Trinity to offer a program for our members and those in our community.

So in May of 1983, PALS was born.  We did not start with paid workers; even Hilda was an unpaid volunteer. We just took turns staying and working, giving each other a few hours of desperately needed time off, and even more coveted, a time of adult companionship.  We used one large room, then, for all ages.  We paid a small fee, hoping to eventually have enough money to hire a paid worker.

But,  “If you build it, they will come…” and, indeed, we did! It wasn’t long before we separated the children into age groups – toddlers in the big room, and babies in the two small back rooms.  When we formed a third class, our older children met in what is now the baby nursery.  Liz Trammel was hired to work with that group in September 1983.


Bill Candler, Hilda’s husband, was an important part of our program.  He checked on us each time we met, always on the lookout for our needs.  He repaired furniture and toys; he even replaced puzzle pieces.  We looked forward to his visits.

The program grew to the point that we needed more classrooms, so Hilda took the four year olds upstairs.  And we expand to two days a week- Wednesdays and Fridays – a big step out in faith, believing that mothers would bring their children.  Dot Storey stepped in to help Hilda, as our Assistant Director, also a volunteer position.

Our playground in those days left a lot to be desired. The back part of the parking lot was not paved at that time – just bare grass with two old swing sets, where we took the children to play.  Thanks to the generosity of Ms. Martha King, a wonderful play area for our children soon occupied half of her backyard.  Paul & Eulaine Camp donated a new swing set and fence, and Gene Kendrick build the first sand table.  Aaron Holly, a PALS grad, organized the construction of the privacy fence that now safely surrounds our play area as his Boy Scout Eagle Project.FiveDirectors

In 1991, Bill Candler’s health began to fail, and Hilda needed to care for him. So she turned to Debi Lewis, a PALS mom and member of Trinity, and asked her to “take care of PALS,” until Bill got better. “Miss Debi” and her family had moved to Rome in 1988.  A woman committed to children and mothers, she was an answer to our prayers.  She provided the leadership we needed and allowed Hilda to leave knowing we were in good hands.

By that time we had grown to an enrollment of 35 children in four classes.  Under Debi’s leadership, PALS continued to grow and expand.  Debi’s background in child development, not to mention her own experience raising five children, made her a director who felt strongly about the needs of pre-schoolers, as well as the needs of mothers. She introduced parent newsletters to improve the communication with parents, and began the PALS Advisory Board. Debi continued as our director until December 1996, when she felt the need to spend more time with her family and her writing career.

In January 1997, Kim Holly became the director of PALS.  Once again, God lead us to a woman committed to the needs of young children and their mothers.  “Miss Kim’s” experience in special education brought PALS a broader scope of understanding of the needs of all pre-schoolers.  Under her leadership PALS continued to grow.  The three and four year old programs expanded to three days a week.  Kim began in-service training for PALS teachers and encouraged cooperative planning between age groups.  While Kim was director, Trinity’s Trustees renovated and expanded our nurseries into the beautiful facilities we enjoy today, and PALS continued to expand and fill those nurseries.

When Kim felt the need to return to her teaching career, Starr Moran became our director in January 2004.  “Miss Starr” was another Trinity mom who felt led to minister to mothers at home with their children.  Under Starr’s leadership, PALS grew, offering a three-day program for all age levels. Two additional classes were also added.  Starr organized staff meetings for all PALS teachers and provided organizational skills to keep PALS a growing and vibrant ministry.

Starr left her position as director in 2008 to return to the Berry College admissions department, and we were fortunate to have Anna Hobson-Sato fill in as interim director. An experienced PALS mom, she greeted potential parents and kept things running smoothly until a new director was hired in September 2008.

Once again we are blessed to have Debi Lewis serving as PALS director.  Her love for our PALS program and her enthusiasm for our ministry to babies and pre-schoolers, and their mothers, are apparent as she celebrates the growth of PALS and its outreach.  We have just enrolled our 98th child, and as of February 2, 2009, have expanded to 7 classes.   Debi’s recent report to our Staff Parish committee concluded with the statement, “I love my job and am every day grateful that God has called me back to this ministry.”

Looking back on twenty-five years of PALS, it is humbling to think of the number of children we have had the privilege to hold, even for a brief time.  We cherish the friendships and fellowship we have shared with the mothers of those children, as well. We pray that we have been the hands of Christ to them, touching their lives in ways both large and small.  We know that they have changed our lives in a big way. It is our fervent prayer that PALS will continue to grow, reaching out to a new generation of children and continue on, “Changing Lives for Jesus Christ.

– by Carol Payne & Pam Ferguson, 2 of the first 5 PALS mothers

The five original moms are: Carol Payne, Pam Ferguson, Carolyn Embry, Jean Garner and Sharon Craven.

Since celebrating our 25th year, we have grown to 140 chldren. In Fall 2012 we added a kindergarten class, our eighth class.  And in 2014, we added our ninth class, for homeschooled children, that has grown from a one-day-a-week class to, starting Fall 2018, three days a week.  And in Fall 2017, we added Tuesdays to our schedule in several preschool classes.

What Makes PALS Unique?

We are the only mothers’ morning out in Rome and Floyd County.

  • Our class sizes are small.
  • The student-teacher ratio is low.
  • Our co-op program enhances parent involvement.
  • Parents who co-op pay lower tuition.
  • Children may attend one, two or three days per week.
  • We specialize in less structure & more child-directed activities.

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What Makes PALS unique . . .

Our mission is to provide a loving and learning environment for children and a support ministry to their families.

Our educational philosophy is based on the theories of Jean Piaget and Erik Erikson. We believe that:
• The primary developmental task for a baby, is to develop a sense of trust. If, when babies cry, someone usually helps them – changes their diapers, feeds them, comforts them – the babies realize that the world is generally a safe and trustworthy, and not a frightening place. Once that foundation of trust is laid, they can move to the next stage of development.
• The primary developmental task for a toddler is independence. That is why their favorite word becomes, “No!” And it is why they want to “do it myself!” When toddlers are allowed to do things for themselves, in a setting where they can be successful, they develop a sense of independence and are free to move on to their next task.
• The primary developmental task of children ages 3 – 5 years old is to play, to explore, to initiate activities, and to test limits. Children who are allowed to play, to make reasonable choices, to explore a safe environment, and to experience appropriate limits, at this age, will naturally turn to learning to read, write and do arithmetic when they are about 6 years old.

Therefore, at PALS, we provide children with opportunities to do things for themselves, while giving them enough guidance to enable them to succeed.
We comfort them when they fail and encourage them to give it another try.
We understand that children respond best to simple, concise instructions.
We follow a regular daily schedule, while allowing for flexibility as needed.
We provide children with appropriate choices and time to finish what they are doing.


Developmentally Appropriate Practices

• We believe that children learn best through play, hands-on experience & repetition.

• We maintain a balance of child-directed play and teacher-directed activities.

• We offer opportunities for a child to make choices for activities and play.

• We expect children to participate in group times – story and circle time.

• We offer creative activities to stimulate the child’s interest while providing free play time for a child to explore a safe and loving environment with other children.

Co – Op

Parents may choose to work as a teacher’s helper, in the Baby or Toddler Room once a month to reduce their monthly tuition.  This also provides an opportunity to get to know other children and parents at PALS.