The Fox Valley Park District is enrolling ‘little learners’ to its award-winning preschool programs for children ranging in age from 30 months to five years old.
For the 2017-18 school year, Creative Play Preschool has openings available at the Prisco and Eola community centers, while the Nature Play Preschool program has limited availability at Red Oak Nature Center and Blackberry Farm.
Four different program levels are offered, based on the student’s age. Morning and afternoon class options are available in all but the Twos age group, which is exclusively mornings.Creative Play is a traditional preschool that teaches kindergarten readiness skill with an emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).
The STEAM curriculum is combined with the preschool philosophy of learning through play. In paving the way for lifelong learning, play forms the foundation for cognitive, social, physical and emotional skills that are the building blocks for success in school.
With a student/teacher ratio of 10-to-1, every student is afforded individual attention that accelerates their comprehension and development. All classes follow the Illinois Early Learning Standards.
“Our classrooms and creative materials encourage play to promote a child’s means of expression, creativity and problem-solving skills,” said Sandie Gilmer, Early Childhood Education Manager. “Playing and participating in small and large group activities help children achieve healthy emotional development.”
Parents who would like to extend their preschooler’s day and enhance their learning experience can take advantage of enrichment labs that are held in the same building and include lessons in early literacy, math, science and social studies.
Both community centers – Prisco (150 W. Illinois Ave.) and Eola (555 S. Eola Road) – feature a large outdoor playground, gymnasium, fitness center (for parents), child care, lounges with WiFi and nearby trails – ideal for nature hikes.
Gilmer said all teachers are trained in using the Michael Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Program; phonemic awareness is an excellent predictor of reading and spelling success. They are also well-versed in the Growing Up Wild curriculum that promotes the value of outdoor play and connecting with nature. Each school day includes fun-filled physical activities to help children develop active, healthy exercise habits.
For class descriptions, dates, times and prices, visit foxvalleyparkdistrict.org. Registration must be done in-person at any community center and is not available online. All new registrants in the preschool program must bring the child’s birth certificate (or a copy) and proof of residency. A non-refundable $75 registration fee is due at the time of registration.