An important part of each day is our outdoor play and exploration time, when the children strengthen and develop their large muscles, learn about our physical environment and develop a respect for nature.
Our play area incorporates an expansive lawn with shade trees, two play and climbing structures as well as natural elements which include a large cedar sandbox. Additional materials for large motor exploration, such as rakes, shovels, balls and riding toys are available for the children to choose on a daily basis.
Another highlight of our playground area is our children's garden which includes raised vegetable beds, a butterfly garden, a weather station and a compost bin. Teachers and children work together to prepare the soil, plant seeds and seedlings, maintain the garden and harvest the produce. Throughout the year, children are exposed to the entire life cycle of plants as they learn about all life stages through hands-on activities.
Our nature trail provides a path that allows teachers and children to take walks together to observe diverse plants, insects and animals in their natural habitats. Along the path, children plant bulbs and flowers as well as feed birds and animals in large platform feeders.
Throughout the school year, our students participate in various rich and meaningful enrichment experiences which promote curiosity and understanding of the world around them. We invite people from our community, such as fire fighters, dentists/doctors and musicians, into our Three-Year-Old classes. Parents are welcome to come and help in our classrooms as well as share their careers, hobbies and/or interests with our students. We also have special family days throughout the year!
The Pre-Kindergarten and Four-Year-Old classes sing seasonal songs with a talented pianist during the year followed by engaging in musical productions twice a year for their families. We also invite professionals from our community to visit our program and share interesting information with our four and five year olds, such as John Ball Zoo Traveling Zoo, professional musicians and artists. Throughout the year, our Pre-Kindergarten and Four-Year-Old classes also participate in educational and exciting field trips within the Grand Rapids community.
At Ada Village Preschool, we believe that building strong family-staff relationships will help us provide the very best learning experience for every child. We offer personal tours of our program for each family before they register for preschool. Once families have enrolled their child in our school, we have a Parent-Child Orientation before school starts in the fall, to further introduce families to our program.
Building close relationships with our families remains a high priority throughout the year. Families have the option to bring their child in to school each day or use the drop off when children arrive for preschool. At the end of each day, families meet with their teachers at "Teacher Chat," to find out what happened each day in the classroom. Our "Teacher Chats" also help families to get to know each other within each class.
We always welcome adult family members to help out in our classrooms anytime. Parents and grandparents often share their hobbies, careers and interests with our students!
The teachers work closely with our students' families to set up goals for their child at our "Meet the Teacher" conferences at the beginning of the year. We also have Parent-Teacher Conferences in March to discuss each child's growth and development.
There are several parent coffees throughout the year for parents to meet with other families and one of the preschool directors to discuss a variety of early childhood topics and share ideas with each other.
Ada Village Preschool was established in 1973 as a community outreach program by the First Congregational Church of Ada. Still housed within the church today, the preschool is governed by a board comprised of current parents, church members, and the Preschool Director. Ada Village Preschool is a non-profit organization that is state licensed and accredited by the NAEYC Academy for Early Childhood Program Accredidation.
Ada Village Preschool provides: