The Lancaster Cooperative Preschool approach is based on play and choice in a supportive and nurturing environment. Teachers offer a wide array of choices with some structured activities and some child-initiated activities.
Classes are small enough for teachers and parent aides to provide personal attention, yet large enough for the children to have lots of social interaction. Each year we watch our students bloom within our caring environment.
Play is at the heart of our program, with guided experiences balancing free-play opportunities. Gross motor skills develop as children run, climb, jump, hop and practice throwing and catching. Fine motor skills are emphasized through puzzles, games and art. In the classroom, cognitive growth is fostered with counting and classification games. Our classrooms are print-rich environments and language development is encouraged through singing, playacting, and storytelling. Children are encouraged to reflect on and share their own knowledge. Our aim is to help children improve their cognitive, motor, language and social development skills while having lots of fun!
Our classrooms are well-equipped and there is a fenced-in outdoor playground with a sandbox, slide and tire swing as well as a large indoor play area complete with tricycles, hula-hoops, and balls for rainy and snowy days.
Children are actively involved in the work of the classroom. At the start of each day, the class chooses responsibilities; the gardener waters the plants, the snack helper counts the napkins, the fish-feeder feeds the fish. Each child’s self confidence increases through peer interactions and positive feedback from the teachers. Self-reliance is emphasized while children are helped to understand each other’s feelings. The adults in the classroom model behaviors such as sharing, helping and cooperating with each other and encourage conflict resolution skills.
Field trips are a wonderful way for children to learn about the world around them. Throughout the year field trips are taken locally to a farm, park, railroad, fire station, among others. In addition, school-wide seasonal community celebrations take place throughout the year.
Our curriculum meets the Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards.
- Fred Rogers