By Staff Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
The Schriever Child Development Center began offering its Part-Day Enrichment program Wednesday, focusing on children’s development through creative learning, physical activity, social skills and cognitive development.
“The program is for children ages 3-5, typically for families that have a spouse who doesn’t work and don’t need full day care for their children,” said Jessica Parks, CDC director. “It is available to military, civilian and contractor personnel.”
For now, the CDC offers the program for three hours in the morning and afternoon, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. As the enrollment starts to increase, the CDC will offer Tuesday and Thursday classes.
“It is important for children to start learning at such a young age because they need to learn to develop their social skills before attending kindergarten,” Parks said.
The program will include science activities, dramatic plays, writing, movement, letter recognition, number recognition, arts, crafts, family-involvement activities, field trips and more.
“We are taking a full day of preschool and narrowing it down to three hours,” said Rhonda Boyer, CDC program lead. “The children are getting the best of everything in three hours. We are focusing on a project approach where the children will be receiving a lot of science, literacy, reading, math, counting, sequencing, etc.”
This means the children will have a more structured and hands-on environment.
“We want their minds to be curious,” Boyer said. “The more we can engage them and interest them in different activities, the more they are going to look outside the box, look into life and ideas deeper.”
Instead of just having the children produce art work or learn about a subject, Boyer plans to have the children do a project and make it into a real-life experience.
“We want them to do something they touch and something that will stay with them,” she said. “We are not just going to teach the life cycle of a butterfly, we are actually going to grow a butterfly.”
It is a different approach than a regular preschool, Boyer said. Children don’t have to imagine because they will observe what is happening. The CDC also encourages parents to participate in the program and get involved in their children’s activities.
“I am excited,” Boyer said. “I love project approaches, I feel that it is a great way to teach our chidlren. If the child is interested in what you are teaching, they will want to come, they will want to be here, and learn and talk about it. Even if they take away just a couple of important things and are engaged with something they are learning about, it’s going to stay with them forever.”
To attend the program, children must be fully-potty trained and current in their immunization shots. For more information or to sign your children up for the Part-Day Enrichment program, call the CDC at 567-4742.