The Cainhoy Children's Academy opens for pre-kindergarten students
The Clements Ferry Road area keeps proving to be a place for future families. In a large bright white building off of the busy road, the Cainhoy Children’s Academy will provide children six weeks of age to five years of age with everything they will need before they head off to kindergarten. “With our hands-on activities, they will learn--- that’s a given,” said Academy Director Lindsey Draugel. “Learning happens through play, so we will definitely focus a lot on social and emotional development at this young age.”
The nascent pre-kindergarten school opened on May 20.
Draugel explained that the curriculum at Cainhoy Children’s Academy is based on The Pyramid Model, which attempts to build healthy social and emotional development in young children. “It focuses a lot on social and emotional development and building relationships between staff, administration, and the parents, and also the children,” Draugel added.
The base of the pyramid is the workforce, including the Academy’s staff and parents, and the top of the pyramid is any student with a pattern of problematic behavior. “We gather data and use evidence-based assessments to really find out why and what’s causing that behavior and fixing or helping the child, instead of just putting a band-aid over the problem,” Draugel said about their method.
Even the way discipline is handled is influenced by The Pyramid Model. “We’re stepping away from time-out and punishment, and really taking to heart the meaning of discipline,” Draugel explained. “We’re teaching them how to act appropriately in the classroom, how to play with their friends. And picking out the triggers for challenging behavior and going a step further in preventing that.”
Cainhoy Children’s Academy will attempt to educate children on the most important things they need to know before kindergarten, as well. “I’ve reached out to Philip Simmons Elementary, the group of kindergarten teachers over there, and they provided me with a list of skills that they would like their rising kindergarteners to have mastered before entering kindergarten,” Draugel said.
Items on this list include children recognizing their names, counting to 20, holding a pencil correctly, and understanding the parts of a book. “It’s a very simple list, but those are the skills that they should have mastered before coming into kindergarten,” she commented.
One way that the Cainhoy Children’s Academy will teach is through seasonal themes. The inaugural season will be “All About Me,” where children will get the chance to learn about other students, their families, and even the cultures the students come from. “In the beginning, we’re going to take it slow and get everybody used to everybody,” Draugel offered.
While there’s plenty to learn in the small academy, the Director believes that the most valuable lesson to be found there is the ability to work in a group.