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6:51 PM Tue, Nov. 20th

Early childhood fun part of Chino schools

Courtesy photo<br>
Students learn the Pledge of Allegiance in American Sign Language during the morning meeting.

Courtesy photo<br> Students learn the Pledge of Allegiance in American Sign Language during the morning meeting.

In Chino Valley School District, the Territorial Early Childhood Center is off to a great start.

The program is in its second year and this year the district has been joined on campus by Cougar Lane Preschool. "We love this addition! Our little children have their first school experience in a setting that is designed especially for them and they love it!"

Each morning, after the children eat breakfast, their day starts out with the "Morning Program," which instills in the students the importance of community and patriotism. The district also has implemented a "PAWS-itive Character" program that teaches nine of the pillars of Character Counts and encourages students to implement the pillars in their lives. Classrooms have the opportunity to earn "Good Behavior PAWS" and will be able to redeem them for a special treat at the end of each month.

Kindergarten is the perfect time to learn acceptable social skills, the value of good character, and the importance of listening and following directions.

Academically, kindergarten is the foundation for everything else that children learn. "Our teachers are skilled at preparing and presenting academically sound lessons that teach the basics of phonics, reading, writing, math, science and social studies," according to a news release, adding that the students are assessed quarterly using the state approved DIBELS program. Those results help teachers design intervention activities to reinforce concepts with children who need extra help. Further, the information gleaned from assessing students allows teachers to plan additional activities for the whole classroom that will strengthen each student's skills.

Kindergarteners also will have the opportunity to go on several field trips throughout the year. Those become highlights of the year because they will visit a local pumpkin patch in October, the Gingerbread Village and Harkins Theatre in December, Bearazona in the spring, and the Chino Valley Aquatic Center at the end of the year.

Also, the kindergarteners present two music programs that parents and the public are invited to attend, one at Christmas time and one at the end of the year.

"Kindergarten is an exciting time in the life of a child. Sometimes it is a child's first experience being separated from the parents and sometimes it is their first experience being in a group setting and group activities.

"Kindergarten is definitely a learning experience for our students ... and our Early Childhood Center is the best place to be!"