Community Connections

A woman helps a young boy peel stickers from a sticker sheet. They are sitting at a low table that is covered in crayons, paper, stamp pads, and stamps.

Discovery staff and administration strive to stay connected with the community, both locally and statewide. These connections bring increased opportunities for learning for children, staff, and families, as well as exposure to what makes our community unique and special. Programs and projects may change annually. Some projects we have been involved in include:

Artist-in-Residency (AIR) – This grant-sponsored program has brought a local artist into the center to work with children and staff, sharing foundations of art through introduction to new materials, experiential activities, and shared strategies for building on children’s knowledge to further their explorations and learning.

A woman stands behind a ladder, holding onto a young girl who is standing on the ladder to pick cherries from a cherry tree.

Harvest of the Month (HOM) –  The HOM program showcases Montana grown foods in Montana schools and communities. The program is a collaboration between a variety of state educational offices and nutritional programs that offer many resources and support to schools and early childhood centers free of charge. Each month, participating sites focus on promoting one Montana grown item through educational classroom activities, taste tests, and weekly menu items. Primary goals for this program are to expose children and adults to new, healthy foods and to support Montana’s farmers and ranchers. Watch the Harvest of the Month intro video.

Intergenerational Relationships – Over the years, Discovery Pre-K aged children have engaged in monthly visits and activities with senior citizen residents of Prestige Assisted Living Center,  located across the road from Discovery. Activities have been arranged at both Prestige and at Discovery. Each year looks different, based on both senior and children abilities. Making neighborhood connections teaches children lessons about life beyond the walls of their home and classrooms.

Preschool-age children stand at a red ranch gate, looking at a covered paddock containing dairy cows.

Community Field Trips – Though not a special program, field trips play an integral role in the classrooms throughout the year. The Flathead Valley offers a wide variety of recreational opportunities, cultural resources, and family-friendly businesses. Children regularly visit area parks, playgrounds, and lakes. Trips to local nurseries are an annual trek when gardening season rolls around. Area schools, fire stations, grocery stores, and other businesses in Kalispell offer plenty of ways to expand children’s learning and engagement with the community.