First United Church Nursery School

More than just a school

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Editor's note: This story is part of the Fall 2011 Education and Enrichment Guide, a special advertising section produced by Wednesday Journal. Click here to view the entire Fall 2011 Education Guide.

For three generations, parents and children alike have found enduring friendships and community during their time at First United Church Nursery School. The school was founded in 1958 and has maintained high standards of quality early childhood education throughout its 52 year history. Beginning with a class of 15 students, First United now enrolls 170 annually.

The school has large naturally-lighted classrooms and a full gym. The recently renovated playground has been transformed into an outdoor classroom with many opportunities to build and explore with natural materials. First United Nursery School enjoys its location in the "heart of Oak Park." Located next door to the Library, across the street from the Post Office, a block from both Scoville Park and Austin Gardens, and three blocks from the Fire Station, children and their teachers are able to take advantage of the many opportunities in the neighborhood.

Half day classes are offered for children age two through five, and new this fall is an afternoon class for children attending kindergarten in the morning. Currently there are openings in all of the afternoon classes. Please call 708-848-4910 to arrange a visit and to obtain specific information about what may be available for your child.

First United Church Nursery School is based on the belief that the child's ability to be a life long learner is nurtured by allowing plenty of time for curiosity, creativity, confidence and initiative to be exercised through a curriculum rich in math, language, science and art experiences. Our experienced and professional teachers establish a classroom environment rich in materials and experiences and encourage children to be active explorers.

The play based curriculum supports creative thought, self directed problem solving and experimentation. In play children develop language skills, negotiation skills, thinking skills and planning abilities. The children at First United are active learners and the teaching staff are strategically involved with the children as they work and play, encouraging them to think about and verbalize their discoveries and presenting new materials to explore.

Social and emotional growth is nurtured on a consistent basis as children have the opportunity to work and play with each other, learning to share space and materials. Children collaborate with friends and teachers on plans and the carrying out of those plans, while the teaching staff provides a warm supportive atmosphere with respect and attention to each child. The ratio of teachers to children is 1 - 4 for two-year-olds, 1 - 5 for three-year-olds and 1 - 6 for four-and five-year-olds. The new class for kindergarten age children will also have a ratio of 1 - 6. This group will have many opportunities to engage in group projects and will be able to use the skills they are learning in kindergarten to record their observations. This class will include Spanish twice a week, Yoga and Creative Movement.

The nursery school is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and maintains the high standards of quality recognized by accreditation.

Enrollment for the 2011-2012 school year is underway. To make arrangements to visit the school contact Joan White at 708-848-4910 or visit us at our web site

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