Preschool blends learning, play

A preschooler explores toys.

“Play with a purpose” — that is St. Joseph’s Preschool’s mission. 

At St. Joseph’s Preschool, children gain skills through a variety of activities that from an outsider’s view may not look very academic, but are. Young children learn best by being involved in developmentally appropriate, hands-on activities.  By dividing the classroom into various centers, teacher Mary Townsley and aide Bonnie Cline help the children explore, experiment and interact with both other children and adults. 

In the science center, preschoolers learn by experimentation, comparing and contrasting, and classifying information. In the block center they develop small-motor control, eye-hand coordination and shape awareness. Many of the centers get the students counting, measuring, observing and recording data. Children learn about cause and effect, and develop social interaction skills by working with others. These are all skills that are needed for success in their academic careers. 

St. Joe’s Preschool was visited this year by the Iowa Department of Education for a Quality Preschool Program Standards verification review.  This review is a requirement under the Statewide 4-year-old Voluntary Preschool Program.  The visit took place in November and covered every aspect of the program. A total of 172 standards must be met. The results from this review showed that St. Joseph’s Preschool program exceeds the state requirements in all categories.


“Play with a purpose” works.

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