Northbrook United Methodist Preschool
Who We Are.
Northbrook Preschool, a private Christian preschool founded in 1982, currently serves 235 children ages 12 months through 5 years. The program is accredited by the United Methodist Preschool Association. In 2004, the teaching staff began the study of the Reggio Approach, an educational philosophy which began in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Our faculty members have read many texts and articles about the approach; visited Reggio inspired schools throughout the United States; hosted a workshop by Italian educator, Amelia Gambetti, the International Network Coordinator for Reggio Children and the US Liaison for Consultancy to Schools; and visited the international exhibit, "The Wonder of Learning: The Hundred Languages of Chidren,"in Greenville, SC.
Where We Are.
Northbrook Preschool is located on the campus of Northbrook United Methodist Church which has 18 acres of outdoor spaces filled with flowers, trees, and plants that allow for investigations of the natural world. Throughout the year the church sets up a pumpkin patch and a Christmas tree lot which provide additional opportunities for exploration. Geese, squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, and birds are regular visitors to our site due to classrooms providing feeders that encourage their presence. Classrooms utilize natural objects in the science and construction centers and throughout the rooms. An outdoor chapel provides for a beautiful opportunity to praise God as well as in the sanctuary.
Parents are an integral part of the program and are partners in the learning process. Families participate through continuing the study of topics at home by having discussions, reading books, identifying questions/opportunities, etc; providing resources to the classroom; working in the room as children explore a topic; participating with their child in collecting materials or information; identifying experts that will come to the classroom to share their experiences; and assisting in special school wide experiences such as the Red Barn Farm Animals. Special family picnics allow families within the classroom and within the school to develop relationships with one another. The Northbrook Association of Preschool Parents organizes many special events and opportunities for the preschool. Teachers in 1s and 2s make home visits before school starts each fall. Formal parent/teacher conversations are held twice a year in addition to the daily communication between teachers and parents.
Your Child's Experience.
Children experience numerous special programs and activities on a regular basis. Our music teacher has a degree in music therapy, and classes participate in songs and rhythms that utilize instruments. Children learn music theory in a joyful, engaging, interactive manner. Our Book Nook has an extensive collection of children's books. Classes visit the Book Nook weekly to hear stories from books or told through the use of flannel board or puppets. Stories mirror the studies children are exploring in the classroom. Our art teacher goes into the classroom to support the teachers and the work the children are doing. The art teacher works directly with children in 2s and above. Spanish occurs in the four and five day classes for 3s, Pre-K and Pre-K Plus. Our Spanish teacher teaches weekly Spanish lessons. She is also an assistant teacher in our two year old program. Chapel occurs twice a month in the sanctuary beginning in the fall for children in 2s and above. Children in the 18-24 month classes join in January, Chapel is developmentally appropriate time developed around a year long theme filled with songs, rhythms, prayers and a bible story that utilizes props and interaction. Three year old classes and above sing once a year during chapel. This year's theme is superheroes in the bible..
Our facilities offer many opportunities, experiences and safeguards. The teaching kitchen is accessible for group cooking projects such as making pizzas with a parent, baking bread following the story of The Little Red Hen, baking pumpkin muffins in the fall or gingerbread at Christmas. Our Indoor Playroom is transformed for active play with hippity hops, spinning saucers, parachutes, balance beams, and hula-hoops. The clinic offers a rocking chair and child sized bed for children who become ill during the day and need special attention until parents arrive. Two playgrounds allow for the separation of younger children from the older children with equipment designed for the varied age groups. A soccer field allows for a large grassy area for running, relays, and kicking balls. Our outdoor classroom areas provide areas for class gatherings and exploration. A security system provides a protected facility for the children. Security cameras at each entrance allow us to view those who come and go throughout the day. We also have the capability of remote access. All parents have security card access throughout the day. Each classroom has a digital camera and an I pad. Teachers take pictures during the day which document the work the children are doing. Notice the many exhibits of children's experiences which are displayed in the hallways.