Eagle Update: Washington Learning Center

The motto at the Washington Learning Center (WLC) is, “Learning for fun, learning for growth, learning for life,” which encompasses all that we do. Programs for families begin at birth with Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE), continuing on to preschool for children as early as 3 years old, kindergarten, and for all members of our community of all ages, we have community education opportunities.

Washington Learning Center houses our earliest learners, therefore it is our goal to create an environment that engages families in the learning. The preschool and kindergarten teachers will be offering monthly opportunities for parents to join their children in the classroom. Preschool had a fun and successful boot skating event in which there was almost 100 percent participation from students’ families. February is “I Love to Read” month so many of our engagement opportunities will be focused on literacy, including inviting parents or grandparents in to read, and a night in the library/media center to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2.

The mission of Early Childhood Family Education is to strengthen families through the education and support of all parents in providing the best possible environment for the healthy growth and development of their children. ECFE helps families meet the challenge of parenting by providing information, friendship and support. We share information about child development and parenting techniques and promote positive and realistic attitudes and expectations about raising children.

There are nine active preschool classrooms at WLC. We are currently accepting registration materials for the Eagles 3 and Eagles 4 preschool classes and the preschool wrap around child care program. New Ulm Public Schools preschool programs are “School Readiness” programs, which operate under the philosophy of providing a developmentally appropriate preschool experience. WLC also offers our students an outdoor learning center which features raised-bed gardens, a loose parts area designed to promote engineering and creativity, a stage, sandbox, bike path, and sledding in the snow. Preschoolers have access to the gym, media center, cafeteria, participate in school assemblies, play and learn outside, sing and have fun!

Kindergarten registration is March 9. The WLC team is busy preparing for the evening so that parents and children can visit the school, register for kindergarten and meet our excellent educators. At WLC, kindergartners will have opportunities for Purposeful P.L.A.Y. in a designated classroom, outdoor learning and play activities, special playgroups, learning and play centers in the classroom, teaching specialists for music, art, physical education, and media/technology. A variety of morning clubs were started to provide children with a choice of an activity that meets their needs.

Community Education said farewell to Carol Davis, wished her well in her retirement, and welcomed Crystal Fleck as our new coordinator. Community Education was happy to collaborate with the Middle School in offering after school clubs and activities for the youth of our community. We are looking forward to growing our community education offerings and would like recommendations for courses, instructors and activities.