Li’l Sparks Academy, a ministry of the Parkway House of Prayer, opened on King Street in
Roanoke with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce on
Roanoke City Mayor Sherman Lea was on hand for the ceremony along with Parkway House of
Prayer Senior Pastor Rev. Jeff Allen, Eric Sichau from the Chamber, and representatives from
Roanoke Economic Development, along with many members of church staff and church
The mayor congratulated the Li’l Sparks team, noting the need for quality childcare in the valley
and said that “anytime you cut a ribbon, it’s a good day” indicating collaboration, growth, and
“I am grateful for your investment in the City of Roanoke,” Lea said. “You are meeting a critical
need in the valley.” He commented on the “beautiful new facility.”
The new childcare center, which is in close proximity to Vinton, will serve children ages 6 weeks
to 5 years, “with a dedicated and experienced staff,” including an on-site nurse. It is a full-time
preschool with operating hours from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
According to Director Erin Ullery, the 2-, 3-, and 4-year-olds will be taught using the Abeka
curriculum, nationally recognized since 1972. The Abeka preschool curriculum features a
traditional approach to teaching and learning with cross-subject integration, spiral review, and
plenty of hands-on activities.
Abeka has been used by thousands of preschools to “successfully prepare children for a lifetime
of learning. It focuses on age-appropriate learning with consideration for differences in motor
skills and cognitive abilities. The program turns play time into learning time by laying a strong
academic foundation that prepares each child for the next level of their educational journey.
Ullery has 17 years of teaching experience, training, and a background in Montessori techniques
and traditional classroom teaching for preschoolers. She has a degree from Liberty University in early childhood education, Professional Development through Penn State, and an International
Montessori teaching diploma.
Li’l Sparks Academy is located at the Parkway House of Prayer at 3230 King Street. Call 540-
982-0115 for more information, visit the website at www.lil-sparks.com or the Facebook page,
Li’l Sparks Academy.
(photos by Debbie Adams)