Archived Story

‘Early Learners’ growing at rapid speed

Published 11:06am Friday, February 26, 2010

Niles Daily Star

High turnout is expected for registration of the area’s littlest learners when Northside Child Development Center holds is next 4-year-old registration.

Registration will include information on both Early Learners and Head Start programs.

The school has hosted one registration session already and Kathy Emmons said staff received more than 100 applications.

“Anything near 100 was just phenomenal,” Emmons said.

School administrators work to determine which program students are eligible for.

Through a state grant program, the school is able to provide the Early Learners program through which Emmons said teachers “follow the ZooPhonics curriculum for reading and letter recognition.”

The “creative curriculum and assigned framework” of the program, Emmons said, has “goals and objectives for social and emotional development, physical development, cognitive development and language development.”

The Early Learners program meets Monday through Thursday for half a day.

“There are 16 students to two adults,” Emmons said. A speech and language pathologist as well as a behavioral specialist are all on site to help when needed.

Programs such as Early Learners and Head Start, introducing young children to education and even the social setting of a classroom is “unbelievably important,” Emmons said.

“Students in kindergarten are expected to know and do so much,” she said. “I would hate to imagine what that would be like” without preemptory programs like Head Start and Early Learners.

In terms of social behavior, Emmons explained, sitting down at a table and having snack may seem like a fun way to spend the day at school – but the activity is also a social skill some children might not have a chance to learn at home.

In addition to providing an introductory social setting to young students, Early Learners is an interactive program that also incorporates a writing and comprehension program, using a method of telling stories and having them repeated as well as touch math.

Even the physical development portion of the program is seen as “movement with a purpose,” Emmons said.

For 4-year-olds, it’s a significant time to begin their education, Emmons said.

“These are the years when their brains are growing at a rapid speed,” she said. Ages zero to five, she added is a good opportunity “to start any kind of educational experience.”

Registration for 2010-11 preschool programs
Registration will be held March 11 at 7 p.m. at Northside Child Development Center in Niles.

The annual “4-Year-Old Registration” will provide information for Head Start and Early Learners programs. Children who will be 4 years old on or before Dec. 1, 2010 and are residents of the Niles Community Schools District are eligible.

For more information, contact the Parent Room at Northside at 684-1544.

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