Our mission at All Seasons Preschool is to provide a rich early learning experience that meets children’s developmental needs while fostering meaningful relationships with senior adults. We offer an intergenerational program with a nature-based and art-centered curriculum.
That a diverse community enriches everyone. Diversity of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, and marital, parental or economic status adds richness to the learning context. We recognize each child’s unique strengths and work toward inclusion of all children. We help children get to know and support one another as valued members of the community.
All Seasons strives to honor each child’s and family’s identity; we want our children to see themselves and their families reflected at school. Additionally, we offer children windows into cultures and traditions beyond our immediate community, teaching respectful understanding of the diverse world. Conversations about differences are welcomed and normalized at All Seasons.
The founders of All Seasons Preschool asked the question, Under what conditions do children, families and communities flourish? Renowned psychologist and author, Mary Pipher, writes, “Many communities are realizing the value of projects that connect the young and old. Older people are often wiser and less stressed than the rest of us and they have time and patience. They have plenty of time for children, aren’t checking their watch, laptop, or blackberry constantly.”
The research to support intergenerational programming is strong and consistent. Young children need the wisdom and patience of the older generation and old people need the innocence and vitality that only a young child can offer. Long term studies show lasting benefits to young and old living and working together. Children who spend a significant amount of time with senior adults demonstrate improved vocabulary and advanced social skills, particularly in the areas of inclusiveness and empathy. In the older population, spending time with children alleviates boredom, loneliness and helplessness.
At All Seasons Preschool, the possibilities to create magical experiences and memories that will last a lifetime are endless. There are a variety of planned activities to be shared; baking, reading, singing, dancing, painting, board games, gardening, sitting outside, enjoying a campfire.
“Communities are real places with particular landscapes, sounds, and smells. Particular people live there and everyone knows their names. Children need to grow up surrounded by adults who care for them.”
Observe the scene in any early childhood classroom where several children sit drawing and chatting; you will see energy, enthusiasm, imagination and good humor. The writing and drawing center truly becomes a communication center. It can be the hub of the classroom, where seeds of ideas grow.
“Young children reflect the experience of beauty, so when they engage in art production and view works of art in the world around them, they better understand themselves and others.” - Early Childhood Art by Barbara Herberholz and Lee Hanson
The art curriculum at All Seasons Preschool focuses on studio drawing, one of the primary means of expression for young children. In small groups, children explore a variety of materials and processes as multiple "languages" for visually representing their ideas.
“…drawing sparks thoughts and makes thinking visible…drawing gives wings to the imagination…encourages us to ‘learn to see’…and thrives as a means for inquiry and investigation.”
- Ursula Kolbe in It’s Not a Bird Yet; The Drama of Drawing
If you take a moment to reflect on your favorite childhood memories, most likely, you were outside. Nature is the ultimate playground of childhood. Research shows that spending time in nature is beneficial to young children in multiple domains of child development. Children who spend time playing outdoors are physically healthier, have more advanced motor skills, more positive social interactions, increased positive moods, and reduced levels of stress. Cognitively, spending time in nature is correlated with increased focus and attention span, better memory and a broader transfer of knowledge. Unfortunately, in the United States, children are spending significantly less time outdoors than they did one generation ago.
At All Seasons Preschool, our extended outdoor time provides an ideal framework for our nature-based curriculum. Children enjoy daily interactions with nature, playing in the meadow, pines, pond, and woods. Our nature-based activities are offered indoors and out, in large and small groups, and are both teacher-led and child-initiated.
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything gets accomplished.” - Lao Tzu