We are so pleased that you have chosen our preschool as a possible placement for your child. Here at UPC Discovery we celebrate early childhood and believe that each child is a unique gift from God. Our children engage in active and meaningful explorations as they learn to become part of a bigger world. We are excited to partner with families as we support and encourage their child’s learning journey.
At UPC Discovery faith is integrated into the daily life of the classroom. Using a developmental curriculum called Godly Play, children are introduced to Bible stories and to the concepts of faith, hope, and love. Our beautiful grounds invite children to connect with the natural world as they explore the wooded areas, pond, playground, and stream. Our Reggio-inspired classroom supports the young child’s natural curiosity and encourages children to develop academic skills through the natural context of their play. Teachers assess children’s development using the Work Sampling System and communicate that learning through thoughtfully displayed documentation. By engaging children in the fine arts, their appreciation of one another’s work grows, as well as their own self-concept.
Discover more about UPC Discovery by exploring our site. Read about our PROGRAM, STAFF, LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, and how to ENROLL your child today.
United Presbyterian Church embraces all God’s children and celebrates the wonder of early childhood. UPC Discovery Early Learning Center is committed to educating children of all backgrounds and to valuing each child as a member of God’s diverse family. We partner with parents, the child’s first teacher, to engage the whole family on the learning journey and draw them closer to God and God’s church. We strive to provide children with opportunities to develop socially, emotionally, intellectually, and morally in an environment that fosters faith, cooperation, creativity, independence, and a love of learning. Caring and highly trained teachers implement a developmentally appropriate curriculum that encourages children to explore, take risks, create, and discover.
UPC Discovery engages children’s minds through active and investigative play, children’s hearts through faith-based activities and Godly Play, children’s curiosity through nature activities and inviting nature into the learning environment, and children’s imaginations through music, drama, and the visual arts. Our Reggio-inspired environment encourages child-centered curriculum and invites young children to discover the world in a natural and authentic way.
Through in-depth project-based learning, children identify what they want to learn more about: flowers, ladybugs, emotions, medicine, reptiles, snowflakes, or anything else that captures their interests and imaginations. Teachers support children as they begin to form questions and guide them to discover the answers through their investigations. Teachers also use the classroom and outdoor environments to provoke new experiences and inspire learning. Children will often spend time in the outside environments to discover more about topics that interest them, and sometimes the outside world is brought into the classroom. Experts in the community are resources as the children investigate topics, and field site visits serve to deepen children’s understanding during project work.
Highly trained teachers document children’s learning, and children’s work is displayed in thoughtful and meaningful ways that communicate to families and visitors the learning taking place in the classroom.
UPC Discovery's Program emphasizes four ways of learning: Play-Based Learning, Nature-Based Learning, Arts-Based Learning, and Faith-Based Learning.
Pam Scranton, M.Ed., received her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and an endorsement in early childhood special education from Bradley University. She also earned her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Bradley University. Pam taught at Valeska Hinton Early Childhood Education Center and in the Woodford County Bright Beginnings program. She recently served as the curriculum director at Northminster Learning Center. She is a frequent presenter at school districts and universities around the country on topics such as engaging children in project work, authentic assessment, child-centered environments, and developmentally appropriate practice. She was featured in the video, “A Children’s Journey: The Firetruck Project” and in Young Investigator, The Project Approach in the Early Years. She is a contributing author of The Power of Projects, edited by Dr. Judy Harris Helm and Sallee Beneke. She is co-author of the book Teaching Your Child to Love Learning: A Guide to Doing Projects at Home with Dr. Judy Harris Helm and Stacy Berg. Pam is also an adjunct professor in the Teacher Education Department at Bradley University, where she teaches courses in early childhood education.
Pam will be the lead teacher for one of the morning classes for the 2012/13 school year and will fulfill her director duties in the afternoon.
At UPC Discovery Early Learning Center we believe strongly that there are three teachers in every early childhood classroom: the adults or teachers, the children, and the classroom environment. The learning environment, the physical space and materials that make up a classroom, plays a crucial role in the development of each student in that classroom. Recent research in the field of early childhood development points to the importance of purposeful and meaningful classroom design. Every corner has a purpose and is adapted constantly to meet the needs of the children.
Our classroom environment is guided by the principles of best practices in early childhood education and reflects recent research in the field, especially from the educators of the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy. In Reggio, the child is thought of as rich, strong, and capable of negotiating the environment.
When you come into the classroom you will notice that the wall and floor colors have been chosen carefully to reflect light and to highlight the work of the children that will soon adorn the walls. We document the children’s learning extensively and require a plain canvas that will focus the viewer’s eyes on the children’s work. Furniture and materials are very natural, and we incorporate lots of wood, cloth, and natural materials into the classroom. We want the classroom to feel like and to emulate the home environment—one of the child’s first teachers!
The classroom is organized into learning centers that encourage and strengthen children’s development in several different learning domains: language and literacy, math, science, social studies, fine arts, emotional and social development, and spirituality. These learning centers reflect the current interests and investigations driven by the children’s curiosity. The environment responds to the child in that way. It is the teacher’s job to constantly assess where the children are in their mastery of expected skills and to adapt the learning centers to encourage that mastery. The environment becomes a teacher!
Here you will find information about the parents' corner, the parents' bulletin board, how to access the classroom webcam, and how to pay tuition. Special announcements and news will also be posted here. Parents are a vital part of the UPC Discovery education process. We welcome you and are excited to journey with you and your child(ren).
Discovery Toddlers, formerly Kid’s Day Out, at United Presbyterian Church celebrates the wonder of our littlest learners and offers opportunities for toddlers, ages 24 to 36 months, to develop cognitive, language, social, and motor skills. Children are encouraged and supported by certified teachers as they play, learn, and explore in a nurturing educational environment.
Connecting children to the natural world is an important component of the UPC Discovery programs. Research in the field of education and medicine reveals that children who don’t have opportunities to spend uninterrupted time outside exploring nature have a greater propensity towards Attention Deficit Disorder and Childhood Obesity.
Our children are growing up in today’s world without any understanding of nature and how it impacts their daily life. Our children are growing up not knowing how to plant a garden, dig for worms, find animal tracks in the snow, or gaze at a cloudless sky in wonder. To address this challenge, the staff of UPC Discovery and the congregation of United Presbyterian Church began construction on a Nature Classroom in June 2011.
Nature classrooms provide children opportunities to explore the natural world. These Nature Classrooms are often structured into learning centers and many components of the classroom environments are repeated outside. The centers in a Nature Classroom are: Nature Art Center, Nature Music Center, the Gathering Place, Messy Materials, Garden Center, Construction Area, the Climbing Area or Tree House, and Entry Feature. Currently completed areas at UPC Discovery include the Messy Materials, the Tree House, and the Entry Feature. Areas to be completed this year include the Garden Center and the Nature Art Area.