The Y Preschool at Whitney Elementary is a unique and important part of the YMCA's childcare program. Its curriculum focuses on play-based learning while following kindergarten-readiness guidelines from the Anacortes Early Learning Partnership, the ASD Early Learning Foundations Program and the Pathways Through Numeracy Program.
What makes the Y Preschool @ Whitney so special is the “blended” nature of the program. In a blended classroom, typically developing child and children with special needs are taught in the same learning environment. This allows for children of all abilities to work and learn alongside one another, developing problem-solving skills while practicing kindness, compassion and respect.
The 3’s program focuses on social emotional skills, large and small motor activities, plenty of sensory and open art, song, dance, science, cooking, math, story time, and fun!
The 4’s follow much of the same activities with added numeracy, science, and literacy activities. Special attention is paid to meeting your child where they are at and fostering progress through UDL standards (Universal Designs for Learning) in the early learning classroom and WaKIDS GOLD Objectives.
The blended classroom approach improves the overall learning experience for every child. For example, typically developing children placed in a blended classroom will often model behaviors and share knowledge with their classmates of different abilities. An article from the University of Colorado Boulder states that this process, known as “peer modeling”, leads to increased self-esteem, confidence and autonomy for children. In addition, children who experienced blended learning environments at a young age have been found to have a better understanding and appreciation for inclusion for the rest of their lives. These are essential skills that will be utilized throughout their academic, professional, and personal futures.
This fun and unique classroom is taught by life-long learner, Louise McKnight. This fall will mark Ms. McKnight’s 26th year teaching preschool!
“I can’t imagine myself doing a job that doesn’t involve sharing my heart with children,” Ms. McKnight says. “I truly feel that I am called to instill a love of learning in my classroom, encouraging my students to take risks, practicing kindness and cooperation.”
Ms. McKnight’s teaching philosophy is centered around creating a safe space for children to make mistakes.
“When we make mistakes, we all grow!” she says.
The Y Preschool @ Whitney is now enrolling for the 2020-2021 school year.
**Whitney Elementary is located in Anacortes, however students from Island and Skagit county are welcome.
For more information, click here: https://www.skagitymca.org/preschool
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