The Preschool Program
The correlated, multi-sensory
The schedule is conveniently arranged so that
children may attend 2,3,4 or 5 half days a week:
All children attend a two-day regular session
from 9 to 11:30 AM on either Mon & Wed or Tue & Thur.
A third day, Friday Special, is available for four and five year old children
who have turned four by September 1st. They must also attend a regular session.
Two additional Afternoon Enrichment sessions are held
on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, for children who will be attending Kindergarten the following year. Children who attend the Afternoon Enrichment Session must also attend a regular session.
While at the Center, children engage in a variety of hands-on, sensory based activities within a structured environment. The Center's correlated approach allows for extended exploration of themes across the curriculum.
Children work in SMALL CLASS GROUPS, with 10 or 11 children per teacher. Each morning in the regular session, the class groups rotate through our three classrooms for experiences in art, music/dramatic movement and science/creative exploration. A maximum of thirty three children attend each regular morning session, with three teachers. The Friday Special Session has a maximum of twenty two children, with two teachers. The Afternoon Enrichment Session is limited to ten children.
The Preschool Program includes Art, Music, Dramatic Movement, Science, and Creative Exploration and incorporates educational standards. All areas of learning include readiness and thinking skills.
Art: Children learn to express their ideas as they investigate a variety of media beyond crayons, watercolor, and finger paints. Their investigations in the creative art process involve all of their senses in hands-on experiences in clay, paint, inks, collage, and puppetry. Art activities emphasize the development of fine motor skills in grasping, cutting with scissors, pasting, holding and controlling brushes, chalk, pencils, markers, and crayons. This area bolsters students' self-confidence and stimulates their imagination as they develop their creative and expressive abilities.
Music: Children grow in awareness and curiosity about music within the creative environment of Mercy Center of the Arts. The world of sound is experienced through singing, listening, moving, creating, and playing instruments, as well as through introductory experiences of music theory. Instruments of the orchestra and marching band are explored, as well as the concepts of tempo, rhythm, dynamics, pitch and timbre.
Dramatic Movement and Literature: This area introduces the child to the world of language and movement through literature, and nourishes a love for reading. Dramatic movement encourages verbal and nonverbal expression and it stimulates creative imagination through role-play, pantomime, puppetry, story dramatization, movement, and music. Kindergarten readiness skills are an integral part of this area, including: speaking, listening, vocabulary, comprehension, and phonemic awareness. Gross motor skills are addressed in the Dramatic Movement area.
Science: The Science area of the Preschool Program recognizes the child’s innate qualities of curiosity, and strives to guide the young child through exploration and discovery. This area encourages the use of the senses through the scientific processes such as observation, classification, and communication, with an emphasis on nature. The children interact with many different kinds of equipment and materials in their exploration. Appropriate math skills such as sequencing, counting, number recognition, and one-to-one correspondence are included.
Creative Exploration: The Creative Exploration area has been an integral part of the Preschool Program for more than twenty years. It provides for the reinforcement and practical application of concepts and skills that have been previously presented in the regular sessions, especially in Science. It also provides additional opportunities for the children to develop their social skills.
Friday Special Session: The Friday Special Session provides the opportunity for deeper learning and further exploration of themes. Children are also offered opportunities for intergenerational activities, and increased socialization with peers.
Enrichment Afternoons for the PreK Child: Enrollment in a regular session is required, as the PreK Enrichment session expands on themes and provides opportunities for intensified learning and application of related skills. The children in the Enrichment Afternoon class concentrate on projects over extended periods of time, and experince additional activities to aid their preparation for kindergarten.
Mercy Center of the Arts
A sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Mercy