YELLOW SPRINGS — Yellow Springs Schools’ commitment to exceptional early childhood education in the preschool program at Friends Preschool has earned a Five-Star Step Up To Quality Award from the State of Ohio.
“Early intervention is key to student success and we are proud to partner with the Greene County Educational Service Center, Friends Senior Care Community and Cedar Cliff Schools to offer exceptional early educational experiences for students in our community,” said Donna First, director of Student Services at Yellow Springs Schools. “Friends Preschool’s unique relationship with our older citizens at Friends Senior Care Community ensures that our program is rooted not only in best educational practices but in a supportive and connected community-based environment.”
The preschool program at Friends is designed to deliver highly quality early education for children in addition to providing specialized programing for children who have disabilities or need intervention.
Preschool students are taught by Janice Kumbusky in a classroom environment. Kumbusky has a master’s degree in early education and 30 years of experience in the education field.
Step Up to Quality is Ohio’s rating system for learning and development programs. Participating programs can earn a one to five star rating. Programs earning five-stars may have lower staff/child ratios, use child assessment results to plan activities, create goals for students, develop plans to support children in their transition to a new classroom and utilize parental and community involvement and input to strengthen the program.
“The Friends Preschool is somewhat of a hidden-treasure in Yellow Springs as many people do not realize that the program is open to all children not only children with disabilities,” said First. “ Janice and her staff have training and education beyond that required for private preschool/daycare settings. All of the children who attend Friends preschool benefit from the play-based curriculum activities developed by a team that includes specialist in the areas of language and motor development that use current best practices from the field of education.”
Research confirms that the first five years of a child’s life has a direct impact on how children develop emotional well-being, in addition to learning and social skills. For these reasons, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and the Ohio Department of Education are committed to improving early childhood opportunities for all children in the state.
To learn more about preschool at Friends Preschool, contact Dr. Kathy Harper, Preschool Director at the Greene County Educational Service Center at 937-767-1303, ext. 113. To learn more about Step Up To Quality, visit www.earlychildhoodohio.org.
Story courtesy of Yellow Springs Schools.