It may just look like playtime, but experts agree that what happens in preschool classrooms can influence the next years of a child’s education. “Preschool is the foundation of education,” said Lisa Chu-Greenough, the lead teacher at the Y @ Central in Sedro Woolley. “This is where we get children excited about learning!”
Despite how this program looks, this isn’t just an everyday preschool classroom. The program in Sedro Woolley at Central is a one of a kind in Skagit County. The Y and SWSD Good Beginnings Developmental Preschool have created a uniquely blended program. We blend typically developing preschool children with children from the school district on IEP’s. By integrating children the goal is that all children are ready for kindergarten. This type of inclusion is a win win for all children. It builds empathy and understanding in typically developing preschoolers for children with special needs. At the same time special needs children benefit because they pick up cues that they might miss being in an IEP classroom. There are things that adults can’t teach, but children can learn from their peers.
Lisa Chu-Greenough and Becky George of the SWSD have worked together blending this program for the past five years. They complement each other in their teaching styles and are a great example of how district and private programs can provide a unique and high quality learning environment for all children. This program has become such a popular alternative for all families that it has expanded to morning and afternoon classes.