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Rise & Shine

A Mother's Day Out Program

Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays | 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.


“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

-Psalm 118:24

To cultivate an environment for learning through our Catholic faith. A time for children to gain the skills to become school-age-ready by learning academics, social-emotional development, and peer cooperative relationships.

For more details or to join, contact Melissa Smith |

Drop & Shop Registration

Tour the Rooms

St. Philamena | Babies (6 weeks-15 months)

In this room the small children will spend time partaking in tummy time, they will work on building those stomach muscles to crawl and stand. Children will explore the world by sensory activities that activate their senses. Gross motor skills along with enriched language will be the focal point for this room.

St. Francis of Assisi | Waddlers (15-24 months) 

In this room children will spend time singing nursery songs, listening to stories which will include our catholic faith. It may look like there is lots of play going on, but the waddlers will be busy working on social emotional skills, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and begin exploring imaginative play.

St. George’s Room | 2 years

In this room the focus will turn to developing those fine motor skills in addition to the gross motor, social emotional skills and fostering group skills such as sharing and turn taking. In the two’s room there will also be a focus on potty training skills for those children who are showing signs of readiness. They will partake in morning circle time.

St. Peter’s Room| 3 years

This room will be a hybrid of preparing the children for pre-kinder and shaping those cooperative play skills. In this room children will learn how to work in centers that include imaginative play, sensory play, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, emergent literacy and mathematics skills. Children will begin their day in a morning circle discussing the letter of the week, saint of the day, and bible verse of the week.

St. Kateri | Prekindergarten

This classroom will focus on the Texas TEKS with our catholic faith infused in the daily lessons. Beginning their day discussing the letter of the day, bible verse of the week, saint of the day, math skill of the week and will learn to recite our foundational prayers. Students will partake in center activities which will focus on fine motor skills such as pencil holding and scissor skills, STEM skills using tiles or legos, beginning math skills such as patterns and sorting, and sensory play. Children will be taught in a small group setting foundational reading and math skills using the Catholic Heritage books.

Meet the Staff

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Melissa (Missy) Smith | MDO Coordinator

Melissa (Missy) Smith has been a parishioner for seven years since moving to the Woodlands area as a newlywed from Western New York. Melissa received a Bachelor's in Philosophy and a Master's in Special Education in New York. Before teaching in Conroe ISD, Melissa moved to Winchester, Virginia where she taught special education in elementary school for two years. She has experience in teaching children as young as three years old up to high school students. Melissa has also taught confirmation and faith formation classes over the years. She has been a volunteer for the Tiny Catholics ministry for the last two years and partakes in the Divine Mercy Coop. Upon moving to the Woodlands area, she participated in a small group which has enriched her faith life and helped create a family atmosphere here at Sts. Simon and Jude. While teaching in Conroe ISD, her focus was on behavior management as well as the prek TEKS. After having her first child, she decided to become a stay-at-home mom. This past October, her third daughter Addilyn was born. “I have always had a love to teach young children. Since having my children, I see the importance of raising them in the Catholic faith from a young age. I have an ongoing passion for learning about how children develop, learn, and grow in their social and emotional development. Over the last three years, my love for the church has evolved and I want to share all that I have been learning with others no matter their age. I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to take the knowledge I have learned and implemented over the years and apply it to this important new ministry at our church.”

Izza Lozano  | MDO Specialty Staff

Izza Lozano, Mother's Day Out Specialty Staff, has been a parishioner for 10 years. She has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. Before having her own children, she worked as a preschool teacher in her hometown, in Monterrey, Mexico. Where she worked as an ESL preschool teacher for 3 years. Izza has also worked as a Pre-K teacher in the States, and as an online English teacher to Chinese Children. Izza has taught Faith Formation and Confirmation at our Parish. She has volunteered several years for our VBS program as part of the sing and play team, where she cheerfully shares her joy of dancing with our little ones. She actively participates in the parish community life. Throughout the years, she has been a part of Bible studies, the ACTS apostolate, the Guardian Angel Closet, Divine Mercy Cenacle, daily Rosary, as well as the Why Catholic small groups. Izza's family has a great devotion to Mother Mary and she can't wait to share it with your children.


Krista Formica  | MDO  Staff

I am honored to serve as a teacher at Saints Simon and Jude’s inaugural Mother’s Day Out program. I enjoy encouraging children to discover and learn as they play and have fun. I was a pre-school teacher long ago and over the years I have also been a tutor, babysitter, camp counselor, coach, Faith Formation teacher, and Pediatrician. My husband and I have lived in The Woodlands since 2005 when we joined St. Anthony of Padua parish. My twins, a son and a daughter, are in the confirmation preparation program at Saints Simon and Jude. I look forward to helping some of the youngest SSJ parishioners forge new friendships through the Rise and Shine program.

 Carolina Henriquez | MDO Staff 

My name is Carolina Henriquez and I am excited to be a part of Rise and Shine: Mother’s Day Out Program. I am from El Salvador. My husband Jose and I along with our children, Jasmine, Cristian and Jose David have been active members of SSJ Parish for 6 years. As Catholic parents of three children, we strive to plant that seed of faith and love for God in our children. By being involved in our church community and praying for God to guide our children along their life journey. Our family enjoys traveling, playing sports, horseback riding, watching movies and exploring nature. It is important to me as a teacher, to help my students learn in a fun way recognizing each child’s gifts and strengths. Teaching at Rise and Shine will give me the opportunity to help parents with the emotional and academic growth of their children. I will nurture them as they explore their world, discover their potential, and develop their character. A child is a blessing and God's greatest gift to a family. As a teacher, taking care of them is my privilege. “Train the young in the way they should go; even when old, they will not swerve from it.” -Proverbs 22:6


Ms. Kimberly | MDO  Staff

My name is Ms. Kimberly. I have a 4 year old daughter her name is Elizabeth. I have been with my husband Lyman for 15 years . I enjoy working with kids, helping them learn. I am happy to see what this year brings for all of us as students and teachers.

Louisa Ackley | MDO Staff

My name is Louisa Ackley. I am a graduate of The University of Louisiana at Lafayette. I look forward to helping each child in their academic, social, motor, and faith development. I strive to create a fun community to nurture growth and positivity. I enjoy volunteering at church. My journey started with Wednesday morning playgroup. I have taught Bible Story for elementary faith formation. I also had the joy of teaching first communion prep. Now I am a small group leader for the youth group. For the past ten years, I have had the opportunity to coordinate the preschool section at Vacation Bible School at St. Simon and Jude. I love working with four-year-olds! I look forward to watching preschoolers learn and grow! I am excited to be involved in the Rise and Shine program! My husband, oldest son, and I moved to Texas 15 years ago. I have been married for 16 years. My husband and I have four wonderful children ages 8, 10, 13, and 15. For the past 15 years, I have been blessed to be a stay-at-home mom. This year we will have four kids in four different schools! It has been a joy to watch them grow.

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