Parents invited to register their children for Sunshine Preschool

Do you want your 3- and 4-year-olds to enjoy music, story time, sports and much more while making lots of new friends and getting ready for kindergarten under the care of expert teachers?

The Northbrook Park District invites parents to register their children for Sunshine Preschool, which begins the week of Labor Day and takes place at Leisure Center, 3323 Walters Ave. in Northbrook. In particular, the class for 3-year-olds from 9:15 to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays has several openings.

Sunshine Preschool teachers specialize in early childhood development and education, and are carefully selected and trained by the Park District. Teachers work to develop positive self-esteem while recognizing and meeting each student's individual needs. The teacher-student ratio for 3-year-olds is 1 to 7, while the teacher-student ratio for 4-year-olds is 1 to 8.

Recreation Youth Program Manager Nancy Eschker said teachers create an exceptionally warm and nurturing environment for the children. "Your child will feel at home with the love and support of these caring teachers," she said.

The popular program has been enriching the lives of thousands of children since 1980. The curriculum uses a thematic approach to learning at all age levels under the guidance of Illinois standards and benchmarks. Some examples of themes are "All About Me," which helps children gain a sense of individuality, and "Hibernation," which teaches children about the variety of the animal world. All classrooms use the same themes with age-focused activities and curricula, all while fostering educational and social skills.

Parent Jacqui Siegel called Sunshine Preschool "a hidden gem." Her twin sons, Westen and Greysen, graduated in May from the program for 4-year-olds.

"What I found most impressive was the teachers' creativity and attention to the little ones' learning. I've never seen teachers go so above and beyond in terms of curriculum," she said. "The projects the kids brought home to practice their letters or their numbers or their art - they were just next level. Really stellar."

Siegel said her sons were always excited to attend the program and enjoyed the personalized attention they received in a nurturing environment. Teachers were always communicative and worked on empowering children to be independent and preparing them for kindergarten. "That real care; it's a family, and you definitely felt that."

Parent Amy Theesfeld said her daughter Blake loved the program for 3-year-olds, from which she graduated in May, and will be attending the program for 4-year-olds in the fall.

"The teachers are just absolute magic," Theesfeld said. "They create an environment where the kids feel comfort and warmth and safety, which makes them safe enough to meet new friends and thrive."

"Even the parents made friends," she added. "It was fantastic."

High-quality, publicly funded pre-K has a plethora of positive long-term effects, such as higher rates of high school graduation, college enrollment and civic participation, according to a 20-year research study by experts at Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy.

Children must be 3 or 4 years old by Sept. 1 to register. To register, visit For more information, or to get a tour before registering your child, call Recreation Supervisor Meghan McCarthy at (847) 291-2995 or email

Established in 1927, Northbrook Park District's mission is to enhance the community by providing outstanding services, parks and facilities through environmental, social and financial stewardship.

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