Philosophy and Curriculum
At the Ray Ellison Family Center, we believe:
- Children learn through the active exploration of materials
- Play is the most fundamental and valuable task/gift that can be given to children
- Childhood is an extremely precious time in the development of each individual which needs to be honored and protected
- Each child is worthy of respect because of the unique talents and skills each one possesses
Children develop into productive members of society when they are given the independence to make safe choices and supportive opportunities to realize their dreams. We believe that children are the “breath of the future.” They are our most precious and important resource, worthy of respect, and to be valued for their individual uniqueness.
We believe children are natural learners. When placed in a stimulating, interactive environment, each child's potential can be fully realized. We believe children are curious, open-minded, honest, and accepting. Take the time to observe them and listen to their ideas and thoughts will help staff fulfill each child's individual needs.
We believe that play is the most positive way that children learn. Play is exploring, experimenting, and joyful. Play is the process through which each child discovers and develops an understanding of the world. We believe that parents are the most important adults in a child's life. We want to develop a respectful partnership between teachers and parents. We assist the parent and ultimately the child when we provide support, encouragement and education for the parent.
The curriculum emphasizes developmentally appropriate play experiences. The curriculum is designed to promote the general well being of the whole child by:
- Developing safe and healthy habits in young children with an emphasis on proper hygiene, sound nutrition, exercise and physical care.
- Fostering positive self-esteem.
- Providing opportunities for creative expression.
- Supporting the development of social skills such as sharing, cooperation, generosity and empathy.
- Stimulating cognitive problem-solving skills with an emphasis on the concepts of cause and effect, classification, serialization, space, time, numbers, shape, and colors.
- Strengthening communication skills necessary for listening, reading, writing, and speaking by providing an environment rich in the practical uses of words.
- Enhancing fine motor and gross motor skills
- Practicing decision making by selecting activities from a variety of learning centers (i.e. language, sensory, science, blocks, manipulatives).
For the specific objectives addressed at each age level, consult with your child's teacher. Developmentally appropriate activities are planned and implemented in each group. The daily schedules provide for a balance between child-directed and teacher-directed activities, quiet and active time, as well as inside and outside play. Children have daily opportunities to read books, use a variety of art media, explore math and science materials, experience music, and work alone or together with friends.