Nursery School learning in fun environment

Preeceville Nursery School has had another wonderful year, stated Leslea Hanson, school representative.

Eight students will be completing the four-year-old program at the end of this month. To end the year, the four-year-olds will be soon taking a tour of Preeceville School where they will attend next year. The official kindergarten registration will be happening at Preeceville School on May 23, stated Hanson.

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The Preeceville Nursery School has been in operation for many years. The bylaws date back to 1990. It is most recently housed in the Rec Centre building, which is also currently home to Ramsey’s gym and Studio Dance One. In the past, it was held in the United Church basement and the upper level of the rec centre. (Anyone who can help mold a more concrete history is asked to please contact the school.) Traditionally, the Nursery School runs a program for both three and four-year-olds.

Lori Newton has been instructing the program for the past 11 years.

The goal of the program is to provide an interactive learning environment in which children can learn skills that will help them when they enter kindergarten, while socializing with other children, stated Newton.

“We advocate respect for themselves and everyone around them. To this end, though there is more play in the three-year-old class, both classes essentially follow the same format: free play/brain buckets, circle time, sharing time, story time, craft time, and library,” said Newton.

Students learn routines, letter and number recognition and expression, motor and sensory skills, and social interaction skills; among others, curriculum topics include days and months of the year, seasons, community helpers, colours and shapes, science experiments, and imaginative role play.

Once a month, students engage in a gym day as well as a painting day and, when able, students engage in outside play and take field trips. Special guests also sometimes come in and visit the class. The Nursery School co-operates with the “big” school, supporting a literacy-rich environment. Newton or a parent helper reads at least one book aloud. Access to books is provided through free time and library time, and scholastic book orders are provided.

Calla Erickson, president, said, “For the first time, we ran a pre-registration from May 6 to 16 to gauge the numbers of enrollment for next year. Having approximate numbers will help us make decisions regarding programming for the fall. We will still provide a registration opportunity in the fall in case families move to the area or someone misses this spring registration.”

Interested families of children born in 2015 or 2016 may contact Calla Erickson or Lori Newton. Information about the nursery school can also be found on its Facebook page or by requesting a copy of the registration package which outlines everything parents need to know. On May 16, the board was scheduled to host an open house at the nursery school.

Erickson says, “This is an excellent opportunity to explore the classroom, meet the teacher and ask questions.”

The Nursery School Board will be experiencing some turnover in its executive at the end of this year and is looking for new members. Leslea Hanson, vice-president, said, “We will not be leaving new members to begin by themselves. We have compiled very thorough notes about governance, programming, operation, and fundraising (going back to 2015) that will be a valuable starting point for the new board. Of course, the current board will continue to consult for the first few months.”

The Board unanimously agreed that they could not run a successful program without the support they receive from the parents of the attending children and the community.

 “We are grateful for the parents and the many organizations and businesses that have provided sponsorship, and the community members who always support the fundraising events, thereby promoting the value of youth and education within the community," concluded Hanson.