Program and Environment
The preschool room's curriculum offers the child of 3 ½ to 5 years a balanced early childhood program in a nurturing atmosphere. The daily program supports the child's intellectual, social, emotional and physical growth with both child-initiated and staff-initiated activities. Age-appropriate materials and equipment provide the opportunity for quiet and active play, experimentation, social interactions, and learning. The curriculum supports the child's learning through play and discovery.
The teachers provide the child with an atmosphere where concrete learning occurs. The child is encouraged to question and reason. Language is developed through books, tapes, songs, and rhymes. Creative expression is encouraged in many ways, including the use of a variety of art materials and dramatic play.
The early childhood years are the most important period for literacy development. While the focus on literacy is a continuum throughout the Center, the preschool room immerses the child in a literacy rich environment. The children's writing center includes an assortment of writing utensils, paper, erase boards, letter puzzles, and many other tools that interest the child. Children use their imaginations here as well as practice their skills. The teachers help children work on journals frequently as an on-going project. Teachers focus on letter and sound recognition, based on the readiness of the child. Of course, the most important literacy tool, reading to the children, is frequent with the room's large library.
Play and participation with the group results in the learning of positive social skills and interactions. The child is encouraged to verbalize his/her feelings and to solve differences with constructive solutions. Cooperative play is encouraged, while the need to be alone is respected. The children enjoy a wide variety of play materials, and are encouraged to use them in imaginative ways.