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updated: 8/24/2012 9:08 PM

Palatine Park District offers preschool program

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2012-2013 School Year Begins the Week of September 10

Submitted by Palatine Park District

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Palatine Park District offers a state licensed preschool for children ages 3, 4, and 5, which provides a warm, accepting environment where learning is fun. Experienced teachers offer a variety of developmentally appropriate activities designed to help children learn and grow socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually. Opportunities are provided to allow each child to reach their potential. Creativity and curiosity are encouraged, helping to foster a love of learning in the students enrolled in the program.

The curriculum includes art, music, science, large and small motor development, imaginative play and prekindergarten skills. Outdoor play is also encouraged whenever the weather allows. Class size is limited to 20 students, led by two experienced teachers and an assistant. Teachers in the program must meet the requirements of the Department of Child and Family Services for college training in education or child development. The program follows the calendar for days off school determined by Community Consolidated School District 15.

Preschool classes for the 2012-2013 school year will be held from Sept. 10 through May 24. Morning and afternoon options are available for various age groups throughout the week. For complete preschool program details including times and fees, visit www.palatineparks.org. Preschool registration requires a separate form which is available from Birchwood Recreation Center, 435 W. Illinois Ave.

For program availability, call (847) 991-1960.

Limited space is still available for fall registration at Palatine Park District's four preschool program locations:

• Birchwood, 435 W. Illinois Ave.

• Eagle Park, 1425 N. Oak St., at Home Ave.

• Maple Park, 316 N. Winston, at Anderson

• Parkside, 262 E. Palatine Road, in Community Park

No matter where your child will be attending preschool, it is important to make sure that they are prepared for this new adventure. The following tips have been compiled by Karen Rude, preschool/tots coordinator at Palatine Park District.

Helping Your Child Get Ready for Preschool:

Sending your child to preschool is a big step. For some children this will be their first school experience. For others this will be their second year of preschool, but with new teachers and classmates and perhaps a new building. The park district wants to work with you to make the adjustment go smoothly. Here are some suggestions to help prepare your child for preschool in September, especially if he/she has not been to preschool before.

• Teach your child to handle bathroom needs without assistance, including wiping and managing clothing.

Plan for easy to manage school clothes (elastic waists and sweats are best). It's frustrating and embarrassing to have an accident because you can't unbuckle a stiff belt or unfasten a shoulder strap on your overalls.

• Help your child learn to dress him/herself, including putting on shoes and jackets. The teachers will help with tying shoes and starting zippers.

• Teach your child to wash his/her hands without help, including turning faucets on and off, using liquid soap, and drying hands. At school hands are washed upon arrival at school, before snack, after blowing noses, and after using the bathroom.

• Teach your child to use a tissue to wipe or blow his/her nose, including disposing of the tissue and washing hands.

• If English is not the language you speak at home, the teachers will try to help your child learn some basic English words and phrases so that he/she can understand simple directions and communicate his/her needs. The teachers may ask you to write down some words or phrases in your home language so that they can communicate more easily with your child at the beginning of school.

• Be sure your child has had the experience of playing at a friend's house or staying with a baby sitter. Children who have never been left with anyone other than a family member sometimes have a difficult time adjusting to preschool.

• Take your child to story time at the library, and check out a book about starting school.

• Be positive yourself -- children can pick up your apprehensions.

• You do not need to buy fancy new clothes for school -- play clothes and gym shoes are perfect for class. Your child will need a backpack or bag to carry papers home.

In addition to the fully licensed preschool program, a wide variety of early childhood classes are also offered at Palatine Park District. From Preschool Prep, a class for those not quite ready for the full preschool environment, to cooking, art, singing, dancing and sports, you are sure to find the perfect class for your young child. Parents Day Out is another popular option that allows children the opportunity to spend time in a group setting one morning a week while allowing parents a little time for themselves.

For information about Palatine Park District Preschool, contact the preschool coordinator, Karen Rude, at (847) 496-6239 or krude@palatineparks.org.

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