A strong educational foundation.
In a Middle Country kindergarten classroom, your child will find a safe environment with a welcoming network of teachers, support staff, and perhaps most importantly, peers. All Middle Country kindergartners attend classes in buildings exclusively for preschoolers and kindergarten level students. In this way, your child is introduced to the formal Middle Country education in a healthy and secure social environment. But this does not mean your young child does not have opportunities to interact with older students or teachers; at Unity Drive, the proximity of Dawnwood Middle School and Centereach High School allow student volunteers to work with kindergarten classes, and at Bicycle Path, extracurricular activities allow for interaction with older students. At both buildings, our faculty integrates all aspects of social learning into the curriculum.
Speaking of curriculum, the Middle Country kindergarten curriculum offers a comprehensive and carefully planned program designed to formally introduce these young students to the start of their Middle Country schools experience. Outdoor classrooms, which your child may have experienced as a preschooler, link kindergarten to Middle Country’s award winning STEM education.
Your kindergarten child will plant radishes, spinach, lettuce and beans, learning about sustainability, while also enjoying digging into the soil with friends. In what has become an international movement, the outdoor classroom encourages your children to get outside, to gain real, direct experience with nature. Unity Drive Principal, Debbie Wolfe, explains the importance of this program best: “If children do not make this connection, they cannot become stewards of the environment as adults.”
In Middle Country, language development is also a priority at the kindergarten level. Middle Country kindergarten teachers all participate in Columbia University Teachers College reading and writing workshops to ensure best teaching practices are being used to introduce students to what we believe is the wondrous world of words and letters. While the expectations are high, the standards are all age appropriate, and invaluable in preparing your child for the future. STEM is also a priority at the kindergarten level, with STEM concepts incorporated into all learning lessons.
For example, DUPLO story time allows students to read and follow a general blueprint based upon a short story, thus joining the ingenuity of a construction project with the ability to read and comprehend.
While providing a solid educational foundation is the goal of our kindergarten program, your child’s physical health and wellness are also addressed. Middle Country gym teachers ensure that all physical activity is curriculum related. In this way, your child gets to shake off restlessness while reinforcing the lessons of the day. For example, at Thanksgiving, your child might be expected to haul nets of “fish,” similar to the pilgrims, or jump in and out of canoes, the very boats the Native Americans used for transportation.
In Middle Country, we believe young children are born learners. Our goal is to leverage this natural predisposition so that when your children “graduate” from kindergarten, they will be heading off to elementary school with more confidence, independence of thought, creativity, and an insatiable curiosity and love of learning.