This fall, ParkSchool is opening its doors for the first time offering a one-of-a-kind early childhood educational program for 2, 3, and 4-year-olds. Our early childhood educational staff at West Ridge Center, Heller Nature Center and Rosewood Beach Interpretive Center have partnered along with the Park District’s entire team of recreational professionals to bring a new level of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) with the added benefit of recreation education for young learners.
ParkSchool is a new unique combination of modern early childhood education methods along with the expertise in recreation and access to the natural world that only the Park District of Highland Park can provide. And, the new program has been carefully structured to offer a streamlined set of options that fit into your family’s hectic schedule. Choose from morning or afternoon, one day or multiple days, one session or the full year, before or after care to extend your child’s day. And, 4-year-olds have the added opportunity to participate in an afternoon of nature programs at Heller Nature Center and Rosewood Beach.
The sounds of giggles, the magic of learning and the buzz of activity will fill every nook and cranny at the new ParkSchool beginning this fall. Peek into our classrooms and you will see eager youngsters engaged in creative lessons in technology, science, mathematics. Turn the corner into our gym and you will find one of the Park District’s professional staff from Sunset Valley Golf Club, Deer Creek Racquet Club, Centennial Ice Arena – just to name a few — teaching a room full of excited students the fundamentals of tennis, golf, gymnastics, basketball, and more.
Walk out to our 16-acre backyard at West Ridge and you will find children playing or participating in an outdoor art lesson. Or, travel with our 4-year-olds on the nature shuttle for a fun-filled afternoon exploring and learning about the wonders of nature at the 97-acre Heller Nature Center or the marvels of the Lake Michigan ecosystems at Rosewood Beach; a perfect way to prepare for full-day Kindergarten.
How did the concept for ParkSchool come about? According to the Park District’s Recreation Team , we took feedback from our loyal customers and combined the best of the Park District’s popular early childhood programs to create a new level of learning for children. We coined the term “STREAM,” commented Jessica Reyes, Manager at Heller Nature Center, incorporating the component of recreation into the traditional STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) methods which really sets ParkSchool apart. Providing access to sports for all our students and our beautiful natural areas for 4-year-olds is something that makes ParkSchool truly unique.
But the difference doesn’t stop there. The philosophy of the ParkSchool educational team brings a whole new level of expertise and professionalism to caring for and nurturing each child’s special qualities and talents.
We believe that creating a strong love of exploration and curiosity early in a child’s life establishes a pattern of lifelong learning. Success is measured by nurturing and celebrating each child’s individual development. We embrace experiential project-based activities that enable children to discover their true potential—methods that encourage them to question, explore, and discover. It is through ParkSchool’s unique blend of a supportive warm environment and discovery-based play that children can truly expand their imagination, acquire a confidence and inquisitiveness that allows them to establish a Successful Beginning for a Bright Future of Learning.
For more information and to register for ParkSchool, click here.