Neuroscience has confirmed that learning begins at birth. Much of the way a child learns is through play activities. Play gives children opportunities to develop physical competence and enjoyment of the outdoors, understand and make sense of their world, interact with others, express and control emotions, develop their symbolic and problem solving abilities and practice emerging skills. Research shows the links between play and foundational capacities such as memory, self-regulation, oral language abilities, social skills and success in school. Children of all ages love to play.
What is community education? Each school district chooses whether to have a community education (CE) program offered through the district. Minnesota legislates funding to support CE services in a school district. Pequot Lakes School District No. 186 has offered CE since 1972. Why does a school district have a CE program? CE programs were created to make use of the school facility during out-of-school time hours. It has been referred to as the "lighted school" concept. CE programs offer a variety of lifelong experiences to community members from birth through senior citizen age.
Parents are their child's first teachers. Being a parent includes providing instruction for your child on eating, walking, talking, reading, toileting and social skills. Child development is complex. Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) enhances parent and child learning and supports families in their efforts to raise a child.
The Pequot Lakes School District offers school-age child care services to children from kindergarten through sixth grade. Students in this age group enjoy being able to spend play time with their school peers. Kid Konnection has been open to students since 1999. For more than 15 years, families have been able to enroll their children in this safe, supervised child care program. There are many features of Kid Konnection as a school-aged child care program that make it a great choice for children and families.
Begin reading to your children as soon as you can. Reading, singing and finger play activities encourage early literacy skills. Reading is vital to later school and work success. A young child begins by learning how to hold a book, then attempting to “read” the pictures in the book. Realizing that the picture and words have meaning is a part of the progression and developing curiosity. If grass is green, then what color is the sky?
The often-noted Hodding Carter quotation states, “There are two things we should give our children: one is roots and the other is wings.” Knowing when to hold on to your children and ground them is important, but it is also a sign of wisdom to know when to allow or encourage them to sprout their wings. Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) classes are a time for parents to learn about their children and their developing abilities and give the children a safe place to sprout their wings.
The Pequot Lakes Youth Sports program serves students from kindergarten through sixth grade and emphasizes “equal play time” for all participants. Playing time is an important part of sports participation for children.
Lifelong learning is offered through the variety of community education based programs that span the life stages from early childhood to adult basic education. Early learning Children from birth to age five can attend an Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) class with a parent. The early learning experiences combine instruction, social time and encouragement for “at home” practice to increase child and family development skills.
Beginning with “Bits of Broadway,” the performing arts have found a niche on the Pequot Lakes High School theater stage. There have been 63 community theater productions offered by the Pequot Lakes Community Theater in the 30 years from fall 1983 to fall 2013. The stage has been “home” to nearly 1,000 actors/actresses and technical crew. The theater has gone through many upgrades to keep the facility in excellent condition. Have you noticed the improvements over the years?
Minnesota schools are taking a more aggressive role in offering classes that prepare young children to enter kindergarten ready to learn. A School Readiness program is a key opportunity for families to enroll their 3- to 5-year-old child in a Minnesota Department of Education (MDE)-sponsored early learning service to prepare for kindergarten.