Preschool (5 yrs & Under)
Welcome to Sunshine Preschool
A warm and loving atmosphere sets the tone for Sunshine Preschool, a popular program from the Northbrook Park District that has been enriching children’s lives since 1980. Under the close supervision of experienced instructors, young children gain educational and social skills while enjoying music, art, crafts, cooking, story time, science, sports, theatre and field trips.
Philosophy and Goals
Designed for children from two to five years of age, Sunshine Preschool is a multi-faceted program based on a philosophy of learning through play in a nurturing and supportive environment. We supply a rich variety of experiences, along with guidance, creativity and imagination. A low child/teacher ratio allows preschoolers to receive individual attention with the following goals:
- Promoting creative learning
- Fostering friendships and strengthen social skills
- Focusing on building positive self-esteem
- Encouraging learning through play and discovery
- Supporting cooperative exploration
- Respecting and appreciating differences
The Sunshine Preschool curriculum uses a thematic approach to learning at all age levels, preparing for the next level of education with the guidance of Illinois standards and benchmarks. Example of themes are All about Me, Farm Animals and Holiday Hibernation. Although each classroom uses the same themes, the activities and curriculum focus on the respective ages, benchmarks and standards.
Parents or caregivers attend the first several weeks of class to assist in the separation process. Our staff strives to provide an enjoyable and memorable experience for parents and children. By approximately the sixth week, children will attend class alone. Our goal is to make students feel comfortable and confident, laying the groundwork for them to participate independently. Classes based on play allow children of all abilities to participate in shared activities, yet achieve success and mastery. We want to develop positive self-esteem in an atmosphere in which each student’s needs are recognized and met on an individual basis. Ratio: 1:6.
3s and Pre-K 4s
Initially, our focus is on fostering a positive, comforting and nurturing environment. Through a variety of developmentally appropriate activities, we facilitate each child’s progress, including language, social/ emotional skills and motor skills related to functioning well in school. Our enthusiastic and dedicated teachers work together to provide a safe and happy setting where children are encouraged to think independently, be creative and explore. In the process, they develop a love of learning and become prepared for kindergarten. In the classroom, preschoolers enjoy arts and crafts, games, music, show and tell and storytelling. They experience unstructured play while exploring our educational centers, which include a writing center, dramatic play area and manipulative toys and counters. Structured activities, including circle time, use large and small motor skills, songs, storytelling and theme-related crafts.
Sunshine Preschool is staffed by well-trained teachers who are experienced in early childhood development and education. Their warmth and understanding help children develop positive attitudes and feelings of self-worth. The staff is under the supervision of a professional degreed director.
A Typical Day
- Welcome and Drop-Off
- Circle Time
- Learning and Play Centers
- Manipulative and Dramatic Play
- Sensory Table
- Writing and Art Center
- Computer Activities (4s)
- Cognitive Games
- Story time
- Gross Motor Play (Indoors or Out)
- Visits from a Northbrook Librarian
- Music and Movement
- Music Class
- Nature Exploration
Special Classroom Activities
The school’s location in the Leisure Center provides unique opportunities to enhance the preschool experience. Students are able to watch professional performances in our theatre, cook in the kitchen facility and interact with older adults in the Senior Center.
Field Trips and Special Entertainers
Sunshine Preschoolers will leave the Leisure Center for several well-supervised field trips, usually during the fall and spring. Information will be sent home in advance. Unless the trip is within walking distance, the class may travel on a chartered bus, and in some cases, parents may be asked to come along as additional supervisors. Entertainers will also visit the Leisure Center several times during the school year to offer fun and unique experiences to our preschoolers. Past entertainers include storytellers, magicians, jugglers and even a petting zoo!
We welcome and encourage contact between parents and teachers. Be sure to tell us about any changes at home that might affect your child at school. If needed, teachers can meet with parents before and after school. At the end of the school year, children will bring home an evaluation form, which we ask to you complete and return to the Leisure Center. We welcome your input and suggestions.
Open enrollment took place in December 2013, and the program is full for the 2014-15 school year.
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For more information, call Amy Kopecky, Leisure Services Supervisor, at 847·897·6152.
Give your child a great start with Sunshine Preschool!