ORLAND PARK – The Village of Orland Park’s Preschool Program is designed to help pre-schoolers develop the skills necessary for independent learning and socialization in a warm, fun-filled environment.
The Orland Park Recreation Department will host its Pre-school Open House on Wednesday, January 16, 2013. Orland Park’s program is offered at the Franklin E. Loebe Recreation Center, 14650 South Ravinia Avenue. The village’s pre-school facility will be showcased for parents from 6:30 P.M. until 8:00 P.M.
Offered by Orland Park’s Recreation Department for more than 30 years, the village’s pre-school includes two divisions. Junior Pre-school meets two days a week for two-hour sessions and is available for children who will be three years old by September 1. Senior Pre-school is open to four and five year olds, offered three days a week in two and one half hour sessions. The village’s pre-school follows the standard academic year, September through May.
“The village’s Preschool Program is one of the longest running kindergarten preparatory programs in the area,” said Recreation Department Program Supervisor Kelly Messinger who oversees the village’s early childhood offerings, adding, “We help get kids ready for kindergarten.”
Open house attendees will also learn about the Recreation Department’s Lunch and More Program. This enrichment program is a continuation of the pre-school class, offered before or after the senior classes. Students bring sack lunches and enjoy activities in nature, science, arts and crafts, math and games.
Roberta Flondor joined Orland Park’s pre-school staff as an instructor in 1979 and was named the program’s coordinator in 1989. “This is an exciting time for parents---especially those getting ready to enroll their first child in a pre-school program. The village’s open house is a wonderful way for parents to see all that we offer,” she said.
Acclaimed as one of the best kindergarten preparatory programs in the area, the village’s program helps prepare children for the academic and social opportunities of kindergarten. Creating a well-rounded academic foundation, Orland Park’s curriculum includes academic instruction, arts and crafts, games, holiday parties and field trips.
“Pre-school is a wonderful way to prepare three and four year olds for the many exciting academic opportunities that await them,” Messinger said. “We cover the basics and help them develop socialization skills as they learn what school will be like with their peers,” she added.
Lesson plans for the three-year-old juniors include activities that promote hand-eye coordination, balance, body awareness and more. The senior level, for four and five year olds, helps prepare the young student for kindergarten. Both levels include letter and number recognition, science, creative art and more.
“We have received very positive feedback from kindergarten teachers and parents,” Flondor said. “Teachers have told us that the students who graduate from the village’s program are well adjusted, both emotionally and socially, and are at the right level to begin their academic careers,” she added.
“The stress of being in the classroom for the first time is eliminated because they’ve already adjusted to a classroom setting with the Recreation Department,” Messinger said.
Orland Park’s pre-school faculty includes many degreed professionals who have chosen to work part-time in order to be with their own children. All of the instructors have strong backgrounds in early childhood education and all are certified in CPR/AED and first aid.
All classes are held at both the Franklin E. Loebe Recreation Center. Morning and afternoon sessions are available for both age groups.
“We’re looking forward to having the many new families in the Orland Park area enroll in our program,” Flondor said. “We’ve had the second, third, fourth and fifth child in many families come through the program---not to mention our preschool alumni who are now returning with their own children,” Flondor added.
Further information is available at the Village of Orland Park Recreation Department, located in the Franklin E. Loebe Recreation Center, 14650 South Ravinia Avenue, or by calling 708/403-PARK (7275).