Quad-City Schools: Chino’s Territorial Early Childhood Center opens door to enthusiasm

Students in one of Chino Valley’s Territorial Early Childhood Center explore an activity.

Courtesy photo

Students in one of Chino Valley’s Territorial Early Childhood Center explore an activity.

The Territorial Early Childhood Center (TECC) is full of learning opportunities and the enthusiasm is contagious for all who enter its doors.

TECC has expanded again this year to house preschool, kindergarten and first grade which school officials are thrilled about. Chino Valley schools now has more than 400 students attending TECC and about 100 of them are preschoolers.

The preschool program has been relocated several times over the past several years but hopefully this will be the final move and permanent home for the preschool program.

The preschool classrooms are now located in the front building of TECC. This location seems to be the best by far, allowing easy access to parents when they drop off and pick up their child(ren).

In addition to moving the location of the classrooms, there were multiple renovations that needed to take place in order to have a quality program that would meet all the state requirements. The renovations included moving the playground, adding sinks, as well as modifying doors and walls.

After long hours of decorating and setting up the perfect environment, we are delighted to hear the sounds of 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds ringing through the hallways.

The teaching staff focuses on the Arizona Early Learning Standards, incorporating all domains through various activities.

The rooms are each designed with a specific learning standard including one room being the literacy room, one room being for STEM, and the other being the dramatic play and creative design room. The children rotate between the rooms daily.

The activities at preschool are designed in such a manner that the kids learn the basics while having a lot of fun with their peers.

The singing activities introduce children to letters of the alphabet; block counting introduces them to numbers; story time introduces them to sentence formation and language skills; and cooking helps them learn basic concepts of mathematics.

The child also is exposed to biology and geology through science experiences and nature walks, and to colors and shapes through puzzles and finger painting activities.

Some of the most important skills that the 3- to 5-year-olds learn are social skills through the various activities at preschool. They learn how to wait their turn, follow instructions, and cooperate with other young children in different activities. These activities include listening to stories in story time, working together in drawing, and constructing different formations in building activities.

Children blossom being with other children their same age and they can really sparkle at preschool. Children who are shy can learn to overcome their timid tendencies too.

The teachers not only help shape the hopes and dreams of our students, but also inspire their attitudes toward their future academic success.

The school’s teachers and staff work together as a team to create a wonderful year of learning opportunities for each and every child. Working closely with parents and community members is important to us as we help our children grow and learn.

They also have recently started the “Raising a Reader Program,” in conjunction with Yavapai College and First Things First.

This is a partnership program, engaging parents, children, early childhood professionals, and librarians in a coordinated effort to support language and literacy development.

Children are exposed to numerous award-winning books utilizing an innovative book bag rotation system. Raising a Reader is a research and evidence-based program that has proven to be very effective.

It is our hope that together we can make these learning experiences GREAT for every child!