Educational Preschool Enrolls Pre-K Families
A 3-year, 11-week preschool program is using early childhood literacy, science, and math to engage parents before children turn four.
A preschool program is using early childhood literacy, science, and math to engage parents before children turn four.
Fifty-two days a year, seven days a week, and nearly 17 hours a day, the DeLay Nature Institute preschool helps a group of families with children ages two through four see them through to school.
Eighty-four percent of DNI’s caregivers have some level of college. Their goal is to get families engaged early so they’re ready to start school. A structured, affordable and accessible preschool program at DNI provides a place for families to visit multiple times a week.
Families begin by taking part in lunch and story time. Parents are then paired with a preschool teacher who will work with them each day until they get it. Through the preschool program, parents are trained to write letters to be studied in kindergarten. They’re also taught about their child’s language, eating, and behaviors.
After play time is complete, DNI will lead families on an educational field trip. These field trips include a puppet show, a nature walk, reading in the park, and nature crafts. Families are also encouraged to learn about the importance of snow and ice by creating their own snowball.
These trips have a big impact on the culture of the family at DNI. When parents visit, they talk to teachers, make art together, and play with their children.
“We are amazed by how engaged parents become when they come to our playground,” says DNI staff member and teacher Shannon Greve. “They’re building a family together in a really important space. When they do that, they become proud and proud of their child. They become grounded in their home and see their children really grow into a whole person.”
Sometimes it’s tough to take the time to attend preschool. Parents can find it difficult to focus and stay active. DNI wants to help their parents change their mindsets by showing them that it’s good for them. “When you come to our preschool, you will start to see the impact of those choices,” says Greve. “You’ll be a lot more successful at everything you do.”
Parents learn critical life skills such as how to manage stress, set expectations, and manage resources. DNI wants parents to appreciate these skills they’ve picked up in their family experience and use them in their day-to-day lives.
The children in DNI’s preschool are also learning crucial life skills such as math, science, and early writing. Parents can also relate and engage with their children on a deeper level.
“Children learn more and more about issues affecting the world, about emotions and understanding, about themselves, their parents, other people, and the world around them,” says Antonella Atencio-Johnson, principal of DNI. “These are important academic and social-emotional skills, which we promote in the preschool program.”
Find Out More
For more information about the DeLay Nature Institute Preschool visit www.deshenature.org