Classes, Care and Camps
Two Year Olds
A.M. Half Day Class
P.M. Half Day Class
Summer School Age Camp
Parent Participation Opportunities
Fostering partnerships with parents is our priority. At Peoples Church Preschool parents are invited to join us in the classroom at any time just to visit or to share special talents. We facilitate a number of parent “bonding” activities each year so families can get to know one another. We are also interested in having parents participate on our Parent Advisory Committee. We want parents to share with us what is important to them. Each family’s background is valued and acknowledged by reflecting aspects of their background or culture through books, toys, experiences, and displays in the classroom environment.
Curriculum and Communication
Our curriculum focuses on each learner’s developmental status, is responsive to the individual’s strengths, interests and needs; and provides experiences which are meaningful, relevant and respectful of the social and cultural context in which children live. Via email and classroom posting, parents are provided with comprehensive lesson plans prior to the beginning of each week. In addition, parents receive a weekly Friday Parent Wrap Up that contains lesson plan follow-up with great photos, work samples and information about how the children extended their learning.
At Peoples Church Preschool we value conservation and sustainability. We model this for the children by participating in recycling and upcycling programs. The Peoples Church building is currently pursing LEED certification. We are active in the community and support the Humane Society, the World Wildlife Federation and the Arbor Day Foundation, among others. It is our feeling that supporting organizations like these teaches compassion and contributes to making the world a better place for our children.
In a caring community of learners, everyone feels...
- I belong here.
- I am safe.
- I matter and everyone else in the group matters too.
- When we have problems we can work them out.
- Together, we can do great things.
(6 weeks to approximately 1 year)
The environment plays a large role in ensuring that each infant receives appropriate stimulation and challenges. The children are provided with a variety of natural items to manipulate, touch, watch, follow, taste and investigate. The Infant Room day consists of regular outdoor time, exposure to foreign and sign language, as well as a rich musical atmosphere. New in 2011, Peoples Church Preschool added a beautiful new room for nursing mothers. We are also very excited to announce that we will soon have a coral reef fish tank built into the wall for children and adults to enjoy.
Partnerships with Parents
Our Infant Program’s priority is to form partnerships with parents so that each child’s individual schedule is maintained and the primary caregiver is able to meet all of the child’s needs. Peoples Church Preschool places an emphasis on the interrelationship of emotional, social, cognitive, physical and language development patterns. Tickling toes, playing peek-a-boo and talking to children during care giving routines begins their acquisition of language and the ability to form close bonds with the teachers.
Building Communication Skills
To encourage the emergence of language, teachers use language stimulation techniques such as description, parallel talk, self talk, expansion and expansion plus. Parents are encouraged to do this too. Description is a narration of what is happening in the child’s world; Parallel talk involves using the word “you” as in “You pulled off your sock!”; Self Talk involves using the word “I” as in “I will pick you up again as soon as I wash my hands.”; Expansion is to expand on the child’s language – For example if the child says, “Muh”, the caregiver will expand that to say, “You want more milk.”; and finally, an example of Expansion Plus would be if the child said, “Bye bye.” followed by the adult expanding and adding, “It’s time to get your things and go bye bye.”
(Approximately 1 year to Approximately 2 years)
Our Toddler Environment emphasizes movement and discovery. Toddlers enjoy a loosely structured day that incorporates designated time in the outdoor learning environment, complete with a giant sandbox, open areas to run, climb and dance, multiple opportunities for pretend play, and a variety of musical instruments including bongos and a giant marimba. In the case of inclement weather, our school also features a full-size fully equipped gymnasium. The indoor classroom has a toddler loft and features a full size tree that is large enough for toddlers to go inside and peek out of several places.
Toddlers thrive in an environment where they learn to identify what they see and hear, and rely on the predictability of that knowledge. Because we know that oral language and vocabulary skills in early childhood are particularly important predictors of children’s reading comprehension, our Toddler Environment is rich in literacy including new vocabulary, both spoken and written, in English, foreign and sign language.
Tactile experiences and creative expression art are available to the children each day. Toddlers in the Peoples Church Preschool program are able to use their whole bodies to explore and delight their senses with various materials including chalk, paint, play dough and goop. All children enrolled in our programs work on a variety of independence skills each day. In the Toddler program, the children practice eating with utensils and helping to dress and undress.
Two Year Old Program
(Approximately 2 years to Approximately 3 years)
Our environment facilitates pretend play and allows children to express individual creativity both in the indoor and outdoor classrooms. Outdoors our two year olds enjoy sand play, pretend play and a variety of musical instruments including bongos, chimes and a giant marimba. They also are involved in growing vegetables and growing and watering sunflowers each year that they plant inside in the spring. Our program also features a variety of special tables that teach the children about light, water play, and various sensory experiences.
Our Two Year Old curriculum is created with the knowledge that movement is the young child’s preferred mode of learning. Lessons that are physically experienced (hands on) have a more immediate and longer lasting impact as the more senses that are used, the more information is retained. The curriculum incorporates teacher-facilitated experiences and child-led exploration and imaginative play. There is a strong correlation between the time children are the most playful and the time when the brain is making the most connections.
Out of the Classroom and into the World
Beginning in the Two Year Old Room, all children at Peoples Church Preschool enjoy multiple field trips each year. The Two’s Room specifically travels to the Farmer’s Market where they are able to bring vegetables back to the classroom to cut, wash, and eat. The Apple Orchard trip allows the children to pick, carry, peel, cut and enjoy making apple sauce in the classroom. In addition, the Two’s enjoy a number of classroom visitors.
Preschool 1 Program
(Approximately 3 years to 4 years)
The Preschool 1 classroom offers a loft, an indoor sand box, and an impressive science center that features wonderful rotating nature items for the children to touch and explore. Classroom pets include fish and a native Michigan tree frog (rescued). Our full size gymnasium allows for large motor opportunities such as bike riding and parachute play. Our outdoor learning environment provides opportunities to plant in the garden, to investigate a variety of plants and insects, to experiment with many musical instruments and to enjoy a plethora of nature items such as pine needles, hay bales, acorns, pinecones, tree poles, giant stumps, logs and climbing equipment. Our outdoor playhouse, texture table and art easels also add to this stimulating environment.
Our preschool curriculum limits teacher-directed activities and provides opportunities to “learn by living” which stimulates self-motivation, exploration, opportunities for successful peer interaction and continuous chances for independent discovery. Elements included in the daily schedule for Preschool 1 include creative expression, tactile/sensory, science and social studies, early math, literacy and lots of music. Observing and assessing the children orients teachers to the uniqueness of each child and allows teachers to focus attention on each child’s emerging abilities.
High Adult-to-Child Ratios
The Preschool 1 Program offers an exceptionally high ratio of adults to children that is not found in most other programs. While the National Association for the Education of Young Children suggests a ratio of 1 adult for every 8 three year olds, our program provides 1 adult for every 6 children. This feature makes Peoples Church Preschool an excellent choice for children that may be attending preschool for the first time. Another quality aspect of this classroom is that there is not a toilet training requirement placed upon children before entering. We believe that children will toilet train when they are individually ready and, with assistance from parents at home, toilet training will be accomplished in Preschool 1 if needed.
(Approximately 4 years to Entrance to Kindergarten)
The Preschool 2 classroom features a loft, a piano, a tree, an indoor sandbox, and a large dramatic play area. It also has beloved pets, Spike (desert), Akiki (rainforest), and Okeetee (plains), and a group of “friends” from Madagascar. In addition to the indoor classroom, the children in Preschool 2 enjoy a full size gymnasium and an outdoor learning environment that features climbing equipment, art easel, bongo drums, a playhouse with flower boxes, a garden, a stage, and a giant marimba.
The children in Preschool 2 enjoy exceptional adult-to-child ratios. The National Association for the Education of Young Children suggests that an adult-to-child ratio for four year olds is 1 to 10. Our program provides a 1 to 8 adult-to-child ratio or better. Preschool 2 is home to a number of volunteers including students from Michigan State University and LCC, as well as senior citizens that offer attention and guidance to the children from the Foster Grandparent program.
Though every lesson plan created at Peoples Church Preschool is an original, our school follows the guidance of Creative Curriculum. This curriculum divides lesson content into five areas: Cognitive, Creative, Social, Language, and Physical. Preschool 2 teachers create plans using the Project Approach. The Project Approach requires teachers to observe, interact with, and listen to children to determine their interests and then to provide meaningful learning opportunities based on those interests. The Project Approach places weighted importance on field trips, as children are able to learn by seeing real-life scenarios and working in a hands-on manner. Each week of observing the children and aligning the curriculum leads to the next week’s changes to environment, hands-on manipulatives and open-ended opportunities for creativity, exploration and discovery.
MSU Students and Foster Grandparents
All volunteers, as well as all staff members, at Peoples Church Preschool have extensive background checks completed. These individuals, though not responsible for a specific group of children, provide additional one-on-one attention to the children in this class. Many of our bilingual college students are instrumental in enriching our program for children who are learning English as their second language.
A.M or P.M. Half Day Program
(33 months to 5 Years)
The Half-Day Classroom features a loft, an indoor sandbox, a writing center, and a large music area, including a piano and multiple rotating instruments for the children to choose. This class operates at a 1 to 8 adult to child ratio or better and teachers are joined by parent volunteers. During the winter months, children enrolled in the Half-Day Classroom enjoy daily use of our gymnasium for large motor activities. In addition to the indoor classroom, the children enrolled in Half Day Classes use the outdoor learning environment that features climbing equipment, art easel, bongo drums, a playhouse with flower boxes, a garden, a stage, and a giant marimba.
Each child is seen as an active learner and unique individual. Our Half-Day environment is arranged to stimulate acquisition of competencies in communication, cognition and social skills. Children acquire this through the use of the Project Approach. The Project Approach requires teachers to observe, play with, and listen to children to determine their interests and then to provide meaningful learning opportunities based on those interests. The Project Approach places weighted importance on field trips, as children are able to learn by seeing real-life scenarios and working in a hands-on manner. Each week of observing the children and aligning the curriculum leads to the next week’s changes to environment, hands-on manipulatives and open-ended opportunities for creativity, exploration and discovery.
Curbside Drop Off and Pick Up
For parent convenience, all children that attend Half-Day Classes are met outdoors at car side by the teacher, teaching assistant or co-op parent at the beginning of class, and then the children and teachers enter the classroom together. At the end of class, the children will be escorted back to their designated cars.
Parents are encouraged to participate in our co-op program if their schedule allows it. Co-op opportunities are available in both a.m. and p.m. Half Day Classes. When co-oping, parents make a commitment to work in the classroom with the teacher approximately 2 to 5 times per month, depending on the number of days their child attends. Co-op parents will assist with classroom routines and curbside drop-off and pick-up. There is a 10% tuition reduction for families that participate in the co-op program.
Summer School Age Program
(5 years to 10 years)
Our program has a gymnasium and is adjacent to Valley Court Park. The park boasts basketball hoops, tennis courts, and large open areas for soccer and kickball. New in 2011, swings and a climbing structure, specifically built for school age children were added. The school’s outdoor classroom includes pull up bars, firefighter pole, multiple outdoor musical instruments (bongos and marimba), art easel and garden.
Our school-age Fitness and Fun Camp will incorporate multiple field trips and lots of outdoor activity. The daily schedule includes: Morning Meeting; Cognitive Capers (experiments, mazes, math, art, character builders); Reading, Writing, and Illustration; and Interest Exploration (student-guided deeper knowledge discovery).
Fitness and Fun