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Philosophy

The curriculum and teaching practices of the Community Children’s Center are based upon current theory and research concerning how children learn cognitively, socially, emotionally and physically. We provide children with an environment that is responsive to their developmental levels and abilities, is based on their interests, and supports their individual growth.

Young children learn through play. Children’s abilities to memorize rote academic tasks do not reflect real understanding. Rather, they fully understand and remember information that they construct from their experiences with people and the world around them. Classroom activities, routines and procedures are individualized and child centered at the Community Children's Center. Children freely choose their play activities, figuring out how things work, interacting with each other, trying out new roles, experimenting with their own ideas, building on their experiences, and solving real problems. Making choices enables children to exercise their autonomy, to learn from self-imposed consequences, and to know the world as a place of alternatives.

Education at the Community Children’s Center is aimed at supporting the integrated growth of the whole child. This growth is nurtured and facilitated by the teacher through a rich and stimulating environment. The teacher provides a wide variety of open-ended materials and experiences, and focuses on building interpersonal relationships that bring confidence and security.

 

Objectives

The main objectives of the Community Children’s Center program are as follows:

1. To offer an educational program which:
    a. stimulates concept formation
    b. encourages language development
    c. nurtures curiosity, creativity and respect for diversity
    d. foster large and small muscle development

2. To provide an environment where children can experience success in their developing capabilities, and develop their love of learning,

3. To respond to each child as an individual with basic needs for acceptance and affection from adults who know him/her well,

4. To foster a sense of security by establishing regular, consistent caregiving so children may learn to trust their environment and those adults within it,

5. To encourage the growth of responsibility by assisting children in recognizing and respecting their own rights and those of others,

6. To promote the children's physical well-being by providing nutritious meals and a healthy, safe environment,

7. To encourage enrollment of children with diverse physical, mental and emotional needs,

8. To support and strengthen family ties by encouraging parent/guardian participation in all programs and by providing specific avenues for the Center to reflect varying philosophies,

9. To encourage enrollment reflective of the cultural diversity in our community,

10. To provide a trained, caring staff of varied racial, religious, national and socioeconomic backgrounds,

11. To utilize community agencies and individuals in order to provide health, educational, and social services to families,

12. To bring community resources into the Center and take the children out into the community.

Mixed-Age Groups

The toddler, preschool and school age programs are mixed-aged settings. The toddler rooms are comprised of children approximately 18-36 months. Preschool rooms are comprised of children three years of age to kindergarten, and the school-aged program is made up of first, second and third grade children.

We believe that this setting is consistent with the natural mixed-aged settings of the neighborhood and family. The older children have an opportunity to nurture and play with the younger children. The younger children and the older children experience a rich and diverse set of social relationships. Our children have the opportunity to be with one teacher and a core group of children for as long as three years. We believe that this stable, familiar, and comforting environment will enhance the social and emotional development of our children.

The children interact with developmentally appropriate materials at their own developmental level, and more competent peers support younger children in their development. In the cooperative learning situations that arise, cognitive growth is stimulated as children are challenged to assimilate and accommodate new information represented by their differences in understanding.

Parent/Guardian Involvement

Parent/guardian involvement in Center activities is not only encouraged but essential to quality care. The Center is dependent upon this energy and enthusiasm to accomplish many of its goals and objectives. Involvement benefits and enriches the experiences of the children.

Frequent and continuous interactions between the home and center are crucial if children are to have successful experiences at the Center. Adult family members and teachers share experiences about the child during transitions (arrival and departure), conferences, and through written communication. By developing and maintaining positive interactions with adult family members, teachers acquire information about the child and socialization patterns of the home, enabling them to care for the child in a consistent manner.

All parents/guardians can become active and involved in their own special ways to make a positive, significant difference in the life of the Center and ultimately the life experience of the children. For school-agers, the Center provides a bridge between the child's school experience and home. The Center welcomes its families to be at home here.

Some ways for adult family members to be actively involved are:

  • Eat lunch with their child.
  • Spend time in their child's group reading stories or assisting with activities.
  • Volunteer to go along on walks or field trips.
  • Provide materials required for a special project.
  • Donate toys, books and clothing.
  • Present a seminar or lead a discussion of interest for the adult family members.
  • Donate money for special room needs or projects.

In addition, parents/guardians are also needed to help the Center in the following ways:

  • Attend work bees to help spruce up the Center rooms and grounds.
  • Fix items that need repair.
  • Become a member of the Parent/Guardian Advisory Committee.
  • Volunteer to serve on the Board of Trustees or one of the Board committees.
  • Volunteer talent and expertise when a particular need arises.
  • Assist the Center in fund raising endeavors.