Seeds of Learning is a stand-alone, nonprofit early care and education center that is located in the heart of Pagosa Springs.
In February, Seeds celebrated its 13th anniversary serving the children and families of Archuleta County. High quality early care and education not only help the children of our county grow strong and healthy, it helps the county itself grow strong and healthy as a contributor to proactive economic development.
Seeds of Learning is open year round, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Breakfast, a hot lunch provided by Archuleta County Kitchen, and an afternoon snack is provided daily.
Seeds of Learning has a toddler room (ages 18 to 36 months), two preschool classrooms (ages 3 and 4) and one pre-kindergarten classroom (primarily 5-year-olds). When you walk into a classroom it looks like all they’re doing is playing and to them, that is all they’re doing. Intentional, individualized teaching presented through child-directed play is what makes Seeds such a successful school readiness program. They’re learning and having fun doing it. An average day in any given classroom might look like free play, breakfast, outside time, small group activity, story time, lunch, rest time, snack time, free play and outside time again. Activities throughout the day include science projects, finger painting, water play, monthly trips to the library and lots of other fun activities. Seeds of Learning strives to educate the whole child.
All classrooms follow Creative Curriculum with specific embedded learning opportunities in social-emotional, physical, language, cognitive, literacy and mathematics domains. Learning how to regulate their own emotions (social/emotional intelligence) is also taught through the Incredible Years Dinosaur School. Language and literacy, starting in the toddler room is one of the primary focuses as the children are preparing to read and write later on in life. The reality is that most children entering kindergarten lacking basic literacy skills do not catch up to their peers in subsequent years. In fact, the National Adult Literacy Survey found that children who have not already developed some basic literacy practice when they enter school are three to four times more likely to drop out in later years.
“The sad truth is that the vast majority of children who start behind, stay behind, leading to an increase in our nation’s dropouts rate among low-income and minority students. A 2005 estimate by Cecilia Rouse, professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University, show that each high school dropout costs the nation approximately $260,000 over the course of his or her lifetime. But the problem goes far beyond financial cost; America’s literacy gap robs us of our country’s highest ideal that every individual has the right and opportunity to succeed.” — Jumpstart September 2009.
Some states are even planning how many jail cells they will need by how many children are not reading on grade level by fourth grade.
Seeds of Learning partners with the Department of Education and Archuleta County School District and offers 22 Colorado Preschool Program (CPP) slots. CPP is intended to serve children who are at risk for educational failure. Early intervention is the key to a child’s success and high quality early care and education programs can support students that are at risk of failure to succeed.
Seeds of Learning is in the fourth and final stage of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Accreditation process. A validator from NAEYC arrived June 28 to evaluate the center. NAEYC accreditation is the mark of quality helping parents find the best possible early childhood experience. Accredited programs have met NAEYC’s 10 standards for high-quality education. Seeds has demonstrated that they provide a safe and healthy environment for children, have teachers who are well-trained, have access to excellent teaching materials, and work with a curriculum that is appropriately challenging and developmentally sound. The staff and Board of Directors at Seeds are anxiously awaiting the evaluation results.
Need a more positive relationship with your child? Need more effective discipline? Need new ideas to help your child learn and grow? Seeds can help you with that, too. The Incredible Years Parenting class is offered annually to Seeds of Learning parents as well as parents from the community. The class is free. Dinner, childcare and materials are paid for by a grant through the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation in Denver. The next 14-week class will start Sept. 6. Slots are limited so call Seeds today, 264-5513, to sign up.
Seeds relies on tuition, CPP funding, individual donations, grants and fund-raisers to cover their annual operating budget. Providing high quality early care and education to children ages 18 months through age 5 regardless of family structure or income is Seeds of Learning’s mission statement. It truly does take a village to raise a child. The board of directors is grateful for the very faithful givers from and around our community.
Seeds is now enrolling for the 2011-2012 school year. If you are interested in enrolling your child, becoming a Seeds of Learning Ambassador, serving on the board of directors or taking a tour, stop by 575 South 7th Street or call 264-5513.