'Where we play with a purpose'

Lighthouse Exploration & Learning Center is a state-licensed Preschool & Kindergarten program, open to all children ages 3-7.

The mission of Lighthouse Exploration & Learning Center is to consistently show Christ’s love to our students and their families. Our Facility will provide child directed learning through a Christian curriculum, inspiring exploration within literacy, science and the arts.

Lighthouse Exploration and Learning Center, formerly known as Lighthouse Christian School is a State Licensed Preschool serving children and their families since 1983. We value parents as the primary educators of their children. Our dedicated and caring staff offer unique opportunities designed to meet each child’s social emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual learning style.

Our center will provide child-directed learning through a Christian curriculum, inspiring exploration within literacy, math, science, and the arts. We respect the 100's of learning styles that children think, discover, and learn from. This 'curiosity driven' approach allows hands on discovery through the senses to explore different styles of learning. Within this curriculum, we teach basic Christian morals showing God's love to children and their families. Through our program, your child will become an active learner preparing them for kindergarten.


    Lighthouse Christian Nursery School (L.C.N.S.) started in the fall of 1983 in the lower level of Baptist Fellowship Church on Route 6 in Columbia. Pastor Jack Schneider, his wife Ann, along with Sue and John Granniss (certified teachers) were instrumental in starting the school. L.C.N.S. is a state-licensed, preschool and kindergarten facility for children ages 3-7 years old.  After directing and teaching at Lighthouse for 28 years, Sue Granniss retired. Laura Lambert took over for Sue in June of 2011. Laura had over 20 years of teaching experience with a B.S. in Early Childhood/Child Psychology and an M.S. in Special Education. She had been able to maintain the high quality of Lighthouse’s mission with the support and help of her former assistant, Stacy Cardinal and , Kate Bennett. The Church’s current Pastor, Brian Keldsen, Associate Pastor, Dennis Reiter and the members of Baptist Fellowship continue to be very supportive. In 2018, 'Lighthouse' changed their name to Lighthouse Exploration & Learning Center to better describe what children actually do at our preschool. In the Fall of 2020 Kate Bennett took over as Director and Stacy Cardinal as head teacher. They strive to keep the original mission of the school while adding an outdoor nature based twist.


    At Lighthouse, we encourage imagination and creativity by providing a child centered rich environment that is safe, and dedicated to encouraging experiential learning through a play based Christian Curriculum. This curriculum is enriched by art, outdoor exploration, literacy, and musical activities. We believe in building a foundation of lifelong learning. This approach encourages children to experiment with new discoveries, supporting brain development that is critical for later problem solving. Play is the ‘work’ of childhood and the primary way that they learn. Additionally, we believe and value parents as the primary educators of their children. As a team we support parents by encouraging Christian values with our students.

    Statement of Faith

    We believe that it is our ministry to meet the needs of young children and represent Jesus Christ as the center of our curriculum. We support the God-honoring home and the church of Jesus Christ. It is not our intention to teach any specific church doctrine but to be thoroughly Biblical in our approach to Christian education.