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Since I started my family and moved to Malverne in 2013, I have repeatedly heard the phrase “Grace is the place”.  I thought it was cute, but it was just a phrase to me.  Fast forward seven years and two kids later – those four words have never rang so true.


My son John (who is now in 1st grade), attended Grace’s 2 and 3-year-old programs, as well as Pre-K.  Every year I thought John’s teachers were “the best”.  Every year they got better.  To say that John was prepared for Kindergarten would be an understatement.  Between the rigorous curriculum and the devotion he received from his teachers, Johns transition was seamless. 


My daughter Vanessa, currently in Pre-K at Grace, also attended Grace’s 2 and 3-year-old programs.  Vanessa’s school year was going as expected, getting everything she needed just as my son did.  When the pandemic struck, my wife and I thought that Vanessa, through no fault of the school, would be robbed of the remainder of her Pre-K experience.  We could not have been more wrong!


On short notice and in unprecedented times, Grace Lutheran came up with a plan to keep the kids intrigued while maintaining their high standard for teaching along the way.  Vanessa is on a zoom every day, learning new things, doing art projects, having fun – mimicking a typical school day at Grace as best you can in a virtual learning atmosphere.  They are the gold standard.  The only thing that outshines the academic integrity of the school is the boundless love displayed by her teachers.  It is obvious that highlight of both the students and teacher’s day, is during the time they are together on zoom.  While I have no doubt that this experience rings true with all the faculty and staff at Grace, I must especially call out Ms. Barbara Bento and Ms. L for all that they have done.  Vanessa’s face lights up with a big smile every time she sees them, she is lucky to have them.  She has a leg up for next year as she starts Kindergarten, and during extreme times, has not lost on any opportunity to have an intellectual and pleasurable Pre-K experience.  My wife and I are extremely grateful for all that the school has done for both of our children – thank you!


It’s no longer just a cute phrase.  Grace is (and always will be) the place – there is nothing comparable.

- John and Christine Gagliolo

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