Enrollment for 2019-20 opening January 30
Nature-Based 4K Partnership
Riveredge is very excited to be partnering with the West Bend School District and the Kettle Moraine YMCA to offer a nature-based public 4K option for Southeast Wisconsin families, only the second such community based program in the state.
With a specific requirement that 75% of instructional time be nature-based, students are immersed in the natural world and have a classroom that extends far beyond four walls. While the 4K meets at the YMCA's location at Holy Trinity in Newburg, students spend the day outside at Riveredge at least twice a week.
Find out more about the program, the enrollment process (this opportunity is not limited to West Bend families!), and what parents of current students think about the program below!
Imagine a preschool where children go on outdoor adventures every day to explore acres of forests and wetlands under the careful watch of teachers but are free to learn from what they themselves discover and enjoy. Imagine a preschool where children may tap a sugar maple, catch a frog, follow animal tracks in the snow, or plant a garden during their class time. Imagine a preschool where children are prepared for kindergarten through a daily commitment to explore, discover, experiment, create, share and play.
Research has shown that time in nature is essential to our children’s health; yet, the average kindergartner has watched more than 5,000 hours of TV by age five, which is more than enough hours to earn a college degree (Experience Life Magazine). At the same time, the research shows a myriad of benefits to young children learning and spending time outside, including:
- Health benefits: increased physical activity, more Vitamin D, less vision problems growing up
- Mental benefits: time outside linked to decrease in ADHD symptoms, overall increase in attention spans, lower stress
- Academic benefits: schools with environmental education programs show higher math, reading, and writing scores among students and an increase in critical-thinking
The program features hands-on, child-centered opportunities for learning through exploration and discovery in rich outdoor settings. Through a wide variety of seasonally appropriate experiences, children develop a strong connection with the natural world and build fundamental skills needed to prepare them for kindergarten.
This community-based 4K program is free for families who reside in the West Bend School District, and nonresidents can open enroll if the community they reside in has a public 4K program. The YMCA will provide on-site care before and after class.
Children who are at least four years of age on or before September 1, 2019, are eligible to enroll in the 4K program. Enrollment for the 2019-20 school year will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis starting January 30, 2019, so interested families are encouraged to attend a 4K Parent Night on January 17 at Silver Lining Arts Center from 6 to 7 PM to learn more about the process and the schools.
Enrollment is handled through the West Bend School District. For all the information on enrollment and the forms that you will need to fill out, please see the School District's website. They also have a very detailed Frequently Asked Question page for prospective families!