The Reading Program is a vital component of First Presbyterian Preschool. It is fun and exciting to introduce children to the wonderful world of books as well as to practice skills they will need to read all those wonderful stories for themselves one day.
At Mansfield 1st EPC PreSchool, we are committed to introducing and practicing pre-reading skills in all our classrooms so the children have a firm foundation to be ready to read. Through Reading Program activities, we introduce children to fundamental early learning skills such as concepts of print (print goes left to right and how to hold a book), print awareness, letter and sound recognition, rhyming and syllables to name a few key concepts.
The Reading Coordinator creates developmentally appropriate pre-reading activities to implement in the classrooms. We use a variety of tasks to meet this goal. Rhyming bags, syllable sorting, alphabet matching, letter/sound songs, and reading journals are just a few of the activities that assist in developing strong pre-reading skills.
Another vital component is our take home "Book Baggie" Program. All classes are sending home book baggies for children and parents to read together. Each baggie contains a book and some practical instructions for the families on how to enhance the reading experience. From the basic skills of concepts of print to beginning recognition of various sight words, the "Book Baggie" program reinforces the skills we are learning at school. Plus, reading together at home is just FUN!
For children who are ready to read, we have book backpacks that engage the child in exploring a book. Then, they complete activities based on various concepts like vocabulary, reading comprehension and pre-writing/writing.
A fun and really exciting component of the Reading Program is getting everyone at the preschool excited about reading. Every year, several special reading events are held. We have taken a ride on our preschool Polar Express "train", visited the Reading Ranch and became cowboys during Western Week, set sail on the high seas during our Pirate Adventure, and explored word play and wackiness during Dr. Seuss Week.
We are proud of the First Presbyterian Preschool curriculum and its implementation which results in positive skill development but we are always searching for new, innovative ways to equip our teachers in engaging our children in literacy, language, writing readiness, numbers and math. We are incorporating key components of the Handwriting without Tears program to assist in key skill development. The program focuses on building a rich vocabulary, identifying letter symbols (both capital and lowercase by letter name), and learning how these "symbols" work together to form printed words and how printed words relate to spoken language. Music, movement and multi-sensory manipulatives bring lessons to life as well as build fine and gross motor skills. By playing with real world objects and by testing ideas, the program builds number sense and math becomes real and meaningful.
The most important thing you can do to assist your child in building a strong foundation for reading is to read, read, read!!! Also, by choosing and participating in a preschool program that emphasizes the importance of pre-reading skills and reading, your child will be better prepared to begin their elementary academic experience.