Good education begins at an early age.
That’s part of the reason why there’s a need for the Lloydminster Public School Division’s (LPSD) Pre-Kindergarten Second Steps program, which began this week.
“It’s an early learning program for children aged three and four,” said Mary Fraser, supervisor of curriculum and instruction at the LPSD. “We basically provide opportunities for (children) to develop socially; language, learning playing skills, sharing skills.”
The program, which precedes kindergarten proper, is driven by age-appropriate activities that deliver educational value through playbased experiences.
“The emphasis is on learning through activities that are developmentally appropriate for their age,” said Fraser. Classes touch upon four different, yet interconnected concepts, called Essential Learning Experiences, in the developmental growth of a child; social emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual. Day-to-day activities address all four of these sectors at once.
“For example, going on a nature walk,” said Fraser, “the walking part is the exercise, is the co-ordination, is the physical. But yet ... looking at the sky and looking at the changing colours of the leaves, that helps children develop an awareness of themselves and of the world around them, which also helps their intellectual development, of noticing what’s in the world and then the appreciation for nature and the changing seasons, so one activity basically encompasses all of those.”
Every day the children come to school, a full plan of like activities is laid out for them in such a way that education meets activity and play. From song time on the carpet to planting seeds in the classroom, each activity allows children to exercise each of these four areas of development all at once.
With every class running at 2.5 hours each, there are a total of six classes to enrol in between Jack Kemp and College Park schools. Each of these six classes has a capacity of 16 children, led by two instructors. Though classes have already begun, parents are encouraged to apply at anytime. If a currently enrolled child ends up leaving, another child on the wait list will immediately take their place mid-year. The program comes free of charge, and includes transportation, with bussing provided by the city.
Because there are limited spaces available, enrolment is based on criteria provided by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education. To review these criteria and apply for Pre-Kindergarten Second Steps, visit lpsd.ca/schools/pre-k-and-kindergarten.