Zion Lutheran Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) offers a faith-based and academically enriched creative learning experience for toddlers through Pre-Kindergarten. We provide a safe and secure environment that promotes and encourages the development of a child intellectually, socially and spiritually. With small class sizes, our caring and nurturing teachers provide individualized attention to the uniqueness of each student as they discover their gifts and talents.
As part of the Pacific Southwest District School Ministries, our Vision is to:
G - Grow in personal faith and knowledge
R - Respond to the needs of the early childhood community
A - Advocate for young children
C - Celebrate the uniqueness of each child of God
E - Engage in intentional ministry to young children and their families
A day in the preschool affords a child the opportunity for many free choices and avenues of self-expression. Our time is balanced between free and directed time, group and individual time, indoor and outdoor time and quiet and actively noisy times.
Some of the available choices on a given day may include: block building (towers, castles, freeways, bridges, forts) beads to string, blocks to count, art media, good books, science intrigue, music participation and appreciation and dress-up clothes to become a fireman, businessman, doctor, nurse, secretary or of course, their favorite people....mom and dad.
Remember: A child's work is in his play, and in it he works out many of the misunderstandings and conflicts in his life that make him a more confident person. Outdoor equipment including bicycles, swings, bars, etc. are available to assist in large muscle and balance development.
To enhance faith development we use the One in Christ© by Concordia Publishing House. For handwriting, language and literacy we use Handwriting without Tears©. The Creative Curriculum© is used for all areas of development.
Our school is developmentally appropriate. Children are very capable of creating their own play given the tools and materials along with the comforting presence of a caring adult. Teachers will concentrate on establishing environments where children can make choices on learning activities that will best meet their developmental needs by providing activities that will extend:
- Language development
- Faith experiences throughout the learning day
- Hands on manipulatives that encourage math and science learning
- Group and individual activities that stimulate creative thinking, reasoning, questioning, and experimentation.
- Creative expression and appreciation of the arts.
The teacher is seen as a person on hand to facilitate and assist rather than to interfere and direct a students self-discovery and exploration of the world around them, and also for helping in mediating disagreements and smoothing hurt feelings. Encouragement is given for children to share and express feelings of people or circumstances by use of words rather than physical force.
One of the paramount bridges to learning is good social adjustment and successful interaction with others. Good feelings of self worth bring freedom and confidence to move toward new experiences. Teachers will provide an environment that will foster positive self-esteem, acceptance of self, and appreciation of others and their cultural backgrounds.
To help our students express themselves socially and creatively, we offer 3 secured outdoor play yards that each of our classes rotate to play throughout the day. The Bike, Grass and Sand Yard provide our students a unique and different environment to practice their creativity and express themselves socially through playtime.