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.
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.
Pyramid Model Implementation (PMI) – The Pyramid Model is based on Positive Behavior Instruction Strategies (PBIS), focused on promoting the social and emotional development of young children. “Relationships in the classroom, home and community shape the way children learn, interpret, and connect with others.” (Pyramid Model Consortium) http://www.pyramidmodel.org/about Working with an outside coach from The Nurturing Center https://nurturingcenter.org Discovery staff learn about and implement strategies that promote children’s emotional and social well-being, including providing supportive classroom environments, supportive relationships, and lessons that teach classroom and behavior expectations in an intentional way. For more information, click on this Pyramid Model link.
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.
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.