Early Preschool is offered for children who are 2 by Sept. 1 of the current school year.  Early Preschool classes are from 8:30 to 11:50.  Classes are offered 2, 3, or 5 days per week.  Two-day classes are Thursdays and Fridays while the three-day classes are on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.  Early Preschool can be a morning only class or can be combined with extended day.  See “Philosophy & Curriculum” to find out more about the structure of the classes.

Jr. Kindergarten is offered for children who are 4 by Sept. 1 of the current school year and is also an ideal class for children who would benefit from starting kindergarten when they are 6 rather than 5.  Jr. Kindergarten is offered 5 days/week or can be a 3 day class (Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays).  JrK is offered in the morning (8:30-11:50), can include Enrichment (8:30-1:40), and can also be combined with the extended day program for families who need care for the full day.

The Jr. Kindergarten classroom is a bit more structured than other preschool classes. The children complete “bucket” activities each day. “Bucket” activities promote fine motor/perceptual skills, language development, math, and science skills.  Students also have journal time to practice writing skills and lessons focus on monthly goals in the areas of social/emotional, math/science, literacy, and motor/perceptual skills that will help students be successful as they enter kindergarten.

Children in Jr. Kindergarten can also participate in the Enrichment curriculum, which offers the children opportunities to learn more about the arts, authors, literature, and music. In addition, they have Spanish one day per week.

Project Child is a free preschool program that is funded by the Illinois State Board of Education. Discovery receives funding for this program under the Early Childhood Block Grant and the Preschool For All Grant. For families who need extended day, the free preschool is combined with our extended day program so that the cost is reduced. Subsidized services (CHASI) is also accepted to help pay for childcare. Children must be at least 3 years of age and not eligible to attend Kindergarten.

The state of Illinois is hoping to provide free preschool for all children within the next 10 years. To begin offering free preschool now, families must be eligible by meeting a couple of qualifiers. Consider the following questions to determine if you may qualify for Project Child:

* Did your child have any problems at birth or have any recurrent health problems?
* Does your family have added stresses such as divorce, new marriage, recently moving, illness in family, parent deployed, etc.?
* Are you a single parent?
* Could you use financial assistance in paying for preschool?
* Has a parent or older sibling had difficulty in school?
* Is English your second language?
* Other…

If you can answer “yes” to any of the above questions, Project Child may be for you.   If you think you qualify for Project Child or have further questions, please contact Discovery and ask for our Parent Coordinator.

Screening is a two-part process to determine eligibility. A parent interview/home visit is conducted, which will help to determine if your family meets any of the above conditions. A preschool screening is also done, using the Dial-4, which is a quick assessment in key areas of development.

Extended day is available for families who need all day care (hours are 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM). Children in this program benefit from our preschool services, enrichment program, and/or Jr. Kindergarten.

If the child arrives by 8:00 A.M., they can receive breakfast. In addition, they will also receive lunch and two snacks (morning and afternoon).  All lunches and snacks are in compliance with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture guidelines.

The following schedule is an example routine of a preschool classroom with extended day. The Enrichment routine varies (class time goes until 1:40, and then they take a nap from approximately 2:00 – 3:30).

7:00-8:30 – Opening activities and breakfast
8:30-9:35 – Arrival – sign-in activities, open centers, small group activities
9:35-9:50 – Morning meeting – music & movement, daily news
9:50-10:05 – Snack Time
10:05-10:50 – Outside Fun
10:50-11:40 – Project work, center time, individual work
11:40-11:50 – Story Time, preschool class dismissal
11:50-12:45 – Prepare for lunch, lunch, transition activities, prepare for nap
12:45-2:45 – Naptime (children who are still awake after 1 hour may do quiet table activities)
2:45-3:00 – Snack time and open centers
3:00-3:45 – Outside Fun
3:45-6:00 – Activities and open centers

Preschool classes are from 8:30 to 11:50 and are offered for children who are 3 by Sept. 1 of the current school year. Classes are offered 2, 3, or 5 days per week. Two-day classes are Tuesdays and Wednesdays while the three-day classes are on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Preschool can be a morning only class or can be combined with extended day.  See “Philosophy & Curriculum” to find out more about the structure of the classes.

Summer Camp is offered for 10 weeks during the summer (approximately May 31st- August 4th).

Register for a summer of fun at Discovery’s Summer Camp!  Morning only camp (8:30-11:50) is available for T, W, & Th mornings and extended day options are offered for 2, 3, or 5 days/wk (hours are 7am-6pm).  Register for all 10 weeks of summer fun or as few as 3 weeks.  Our summer days are filled with exciting activities, special visitors, splash pad trips, and field trips!  Special visitors and field trips are scheduled on T & Th.  Ages 2 – completed Kindergarten.

Enrichment (8:30 AM – 1:40 PM) is an option for children in our Junior Kindergarten classes. This program extends the morning program to 1:40 and is offered to children who are 4 by Sept. 1 of the current school year. Children may enroll for 3 days (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday) or 5 days per week. Enrichment can also be combined with the extended day program for families who need care for the full day.

The morning time is dedicated to activities that are offered during the preschool schedule.  After lunch, the children are offered a short outdoor play time which is followed by a curriculum offering the extended learning of the fine arts.  Topics include books and authors, artists, different types of art, and music.  Spanish is also offered one day per week.

The heart of the Enrichment program is the enhancement of creative expression and understanding through literature, drama, music, and the visual arts. How is it different from the regular classroom? Although the regular classroom includes the arts, Enrichment focuses solely on the arts. Dr. Patricia Bell, a former director of Discovery, developed the curriculum.

Art Goals
1. To stimulate visual awareness and drawing skills through specific exercises that emphasize the dot, circle, and line families,
2. To introduce children to particular artists, illustrators, and styles,
3. To introduce children to particular art forms, including portraits, still lifes, landscapes, abstracts, sculptures, stabiles, and stichery.

Music Goals
1. To enable children to participate fully in music: singing, listening, and playing instruments,
2. To expose children to classical and folk music,
3. To assist children in learning basic music concepts: (a) tone matching, (b) music moves up and down a scale, (c) volume, (d) tempo, (e) rhythm, and (f) instrument families.

Literature and Drama Goals
1. To nurture joy and appreciation of the finest children’s books,
2. To connect reading to children’s creativity,
3. To play with words, rhyme, repeated sounds, and rhythms of language.