Education & Leadership

HELPING YOUTH LEARN, GROW AND THRIVE

BUILDING BLOCKS PRESCHOOL
We believe all kids have potential and should have the opportunity to discover who they are, express themselves, and be nurtured in all their possibility. Building Blocks is a licensed preschool where growing and learning happen everyday. Your child will develop skills to build character values, self-esteem, and improve kindergarten readiness.
We base our educational and guidance decisions for children on our knowledge of child development. Our number one goal is to provide the kind of environment and influence that encourages all children to become creative, independent and responsible students who can make positive choices for themselves.
All of our preschool classes will be using Zoo-Phonics, Preschool: Adventures in Learning curriculum. Zoo-Phonics teaches the phases of the language process through the concept of “The Hierarchy of Learning.”  These stages are first listen, then speaking, reading and writing. We use a building blocks approach to our curriculum. Starting in Angelfish we continue to build adding new concepts throughout our other classes so that your child is  Kindergarten READY!

  • While in our program, students will gain confidence through play, exploration, and social interactions.  
  • Students will develop skills to successfully communicate with others and discover different ways to be creative and expressive about their feelings and thoughts.                                                                  
  • The opportunity to interact with other students in group activities; stations and free play will help children grow socially and emotionally                                                                                                         
  • The opportunity to develop fine and gross/large motor skills will be offered everyday through active games and activities

SWIM: For an additional fee, students will have the opportunity once a week to work with YMCA swim instructors to learn basic swimming strokes and gain confidence in the water.
Fees listed below are per month. September and May (1st and last) payments are due in September.

Fall 2017 Preschool Registration/Tuition Form


EDUCATION
All of our preschool classes will be using Zoo-phonics, Preschool:  Adventures in Learning curriculum. Zoo-phonics teaches the phases of the language process through the concept of “The Hierarchy of Learning.” These stages are first listen, then speaking, reading and writing. We use a building blocks approach to our curriculum. Starting with Angelfish, we continue to build adding new concepts throughout our other classes so that your child is KINDERGARTEN READY! Students will develop in the areas of math and counting, science, colors, shapes and much more.

  • While in our program, students will gain confidence through play, exploration and social interactions
  • Students will develop skills to successfully communicate with others and discover different ways to be creative and expressive about their feelings and thoughts
  • The opportunity to interact with other students in group activities, stations and free play will help children grow socially and emotionally
  • The opportunity to develop fine and gross/large motor skills will be offered everyday through active games and sports

SWIM
For an additional fee, students will have the opportunity once a week to work with YMCA’s swim instructors to learn basic swimming strokes and gain confidence in the water.

All children must be potty-trained, (Angelfish can wear pull-ups). Preschool children must be the age indicated by September 1 of each preschool calendar year. Fees shown are per month, YMCA Member/Community Member. Preschool is held in the Main Gym and Preschool Classroom.

PARENT TESTIMONIAL:
     It’s a big boost for a mom when your child’s teacher, guidance counselor and principal rave to you in person about how much they love having your son at school, how enthusiastic, friendly and articulate he is and how astonishingly well he has adjusted to kindergarten. The principal said, “He stood out from the first week. He just seemed to know what to do and how things work. That is very unusual for a kindergartner.” I realize now that the Y Building Blocks teachers deserve so much credit for making my son’s transition so smooth.   -D.

     We were very pleased with our choice of Building Blocks Preschool for our son's years preceding Kindergarten.  We were wary of programs that seemed overly  curriculum intense for 3-5 year olds and also hesitant to invest large sums of money in preschool.  Yet we understood how today's tough core requirements for kindergarten dictate preschool attendance.   Because we had been involved in many Y classes with him since he was a little over a year-old, we knew the environment was very welcoming, and that the quality of children's program instructors was high.
     We couldn't have been happier with our choice at the end of his years in Chipmunks (2011-12) and Dinosaurs (2012-13).  The teachers were always warm and welcoming, eager to involve parents and disciplined the children with patience.  Sam loved school and his teachers and looked forward to every day.  He left the program with all of the base skills necessary for kindergarten success.  The icing on the cake was the weekly swim instruction and the option for "extended day" in his final year, which prepared him for lunch in a group setting. 
     All of these things contributed to his seamless entry into full-day 5-day kindergarten at Lakeshore this fall.  We couldn't have asked for a better entry into his school years.  -Deb P.

 

NEW! BUILDING BLOCKS FOUNDATIONS PROGRAM...PARENT/CHILD CLASSES!
Program details (decription, day of week, time, fee) 

  • Foundations of Music & Motion (ages 18 mon.-3 yrs.)
  • Foundations of Education (ages 18 mon.-3 yrs.)
  • Foundations fo Art (ages 18 mon.-3 yrs.)
  • Foundations of Fitness (ages 6 wks.-1 yr..)
  • Foundations of Swim: Shrimp/Kipper (ages 6 wks.-2 yrs.)
  • Foundations of Swim: Perch (ages 2-4 yrs.)


HEALTHY U [Designed for school groups]

Our Healthy U program is a 6-9 week program that teaches children about nutrition; how to identify, practice and adapt healthy living habits. The program is offered at the YMCA or we can come to your school!

Our nutrition curriculum encourages changes and behavior that support healthy eating habits, while the physical education component incorporates health related fitness skills, and teaching children the benefits of physical activity. In addition, our program instructs students on the fundamentals of water safety and teaches basic swimming skills.

The curriculum we will incorporate is C.A.T.C.H. (Coordinated Approach To Child Health). It is an evidence-based Coordinated School Health Program designed to promote physical activity and healthy food choices. By teaching children that eating healthy and being physically active every day can be FUN, the C.A.T.C.H. program has proven that establishing healthy habits in childhood can promote behavior changes that can last a lifetime. 

For more information contact Monica Norton at the YMCA, 428-9622. Healthy U is supported by the United Way of Southwest Michigan.

 

SAFE SITTER BABYSITTING CLINIC

Ages 11-14. Babysitting is an important job. It's about more than making money. You need life and safety skills to take care of and protect children. In our one-day and two-day courses, Safe Sitter can teach you so you'll know what to do! Graduates learn to confidently, and with kindness, care for younger children. Sometimes, they are even heroes. Parents of graduates are reassured knowing their children are capable caretakers. Parents of children being watched by graduates are comforted knowing their children are in good, nurturing hands.

What skills will you learn?

  • How, why, and where injuries happen so that you can prevent them from happening in the first place.
  • How to decide how serious a problem is if someone is injured.
  • How to get help if you need it.
  • How to keep yourself safe when babysitting.
  • How a child's age affects how to care for them.
  • How to prevent problem behavior.
  • How to rescue a choking infant or child.
  • Basic CPR skills; we cannot certify you, but we can teach you what to do in a life-threatening emergency.
  • How to run your babysitting business.

100% attendance required to pass this course. After completion of this course, youth may volunteer to help with the Y's Nursery program to gain additional experience. Watch for dates January, 2017!