Recreation Department To Hold Pre-School Open House

Recreation Department To Hold Pre-School Open House
Posted on 01/06/2011

The Village of Orland Park's Pre-School Program is designed to help children develop the skills necessary for independent learning and socialization in a warm, fun-filled environment.

The Orland Park Recreation Department will host its Pre-School and Lunch & More Open House on Wednesday, January 19, 2011. Both of the village's facilities will be showcased for parents from 6:30 P.M. until 8:00 P.M.

Orland Park's program is offered at the Franklin E. Loebe Recreation Center, 14650 South Ravinia Avenue and at the Robert Davidson Center, 14700 Park Lane, adjacent to the village's Cultural Arts Center.

"Each year, we allow ample time for parents to visit both buildings to decide where they'd like their children to attend pre-school," said Orland Park Recreation Operations Manager Irene Buikema.

Offered by the village's Recreation Department for more than 30 years, the village's pre-school is comprised of two divisions. Junior Pre-School meets two days a week for two-hour sessions and is available for children who will be three years old by September 1. Senior Pre-School is open to four and five year olds, offered three days per week, in two and one half hour sessions. The village's pre-school follows the standard academic year, September through May.

Open house attendees will also learn about the Recreation Department's Lunch and More. This enrichment program is a continuation of the pre-school class, offered before or after the senior classes. Students bring sack lunches and enjoy activities in nature, science, arts and crafts, math and games.

Roberta Flondor joined Orland Park's pre-school staff as an instructor in 1979 and was named the program's coordinator in 1989. "This is an exciting time for parents---especially those getting ready to enroll their first child in a pre-school program. Our open house is a wonderful way for parents to see all that we offer," she said.

Acclaimed as one of the best kindergarten preparatory programs in the area, the village's program helps prepare children for the academic and social opportunities of kindergarten. Creating a well-rounded academic foundation, Orland Park's curriculum includes academic instruction, arts and crafts, games, holiday parties and field trips.

Lesson plans for the three-year-old juniors include activities that promote hand-eye coordination, balance, body awareness and more. The senior level, for four and five year olds, helps prepare the young student for kindergarten. Both levels include letter and number recognition, science, creative art and more.

"We have received very positive feedback from kindergarten teachers and parents," Flondor said. "Teachers have told us that the students who graduate from the village's program are well adjusted, both emotionally and socially, and are at the right level to begin their academic careers," she added.

"The stress of being in the classroom for the first time is eliminated because they've already adjusted to a classroom setting with the Recreation Department," Flondor noted.

Orland Park's pre-school faculty includes many degreed professionals who have chosen to work part-time in order to be with their own children. All of the instructors have strong backgrounds in early childhood education and all are certified in CPR and first-aid.

"We have a wonderful faculty that truly loves what they do," Buikema said. "We have moms, many of whom have put their full-time careers on hold, who teach our students, as well as education and early childhood majors from local colleges and universities. It's a diverse group," she added.

Classes are held at both the Franklin E. Loebe Recreation Center and at the Robert Davidson Center. Morning and afternoon sessions are available for both age groups.

"We're looking forward to having the many new families in the Orland Park area enroll in our program," Flondor said. "We've had the second, third, fourth and fifth child in many families come through the program---not to mention our preschool alumni who are now returning with their own children," Flondor added, smiling.

Further information is available at the Village of Orland Park Recreation Department, located in the Franklin E. Loebe Recreation Center, 14650 South Ravinia Avenue, or by calling 708/403-PARK (7275).