Creating Pathways to Success
By providing an environment to excel, focused on language and literacy, Stepping Stones ensures its curious, engaged learners are prepared for elementary school.
The Stepping Stones Preschool emphasizes and intentionally focuses on language and literacy across all curricula. This includes the language necessary to understand stories, understand new concepts, make connections, and share their own stories, opinions and ideas. It also includes the language of math, science, and social studies.
Warm and nurturing Stepping Stones teachers hold advanced degrees, have expertise in early childhood development, and understand the science behind what is required to best prepare our youngest learners for everything that comes after preschool. With access to the most current research, they individualize the educational experience to meet the speech-language, academic, social emotional, fine motor, gross motor and sensory processing goals of each student.
Stepping Stones children are immersed in conversation, guided play, and intentional lessons to develop speech and language skills. They begin to acquire the pre-literacy skills that lay the foundation for reading and writing. SLPs are in the classroom, working on specific areas with which children need support. Classroom teaching teams ensure they are developing the complex vocabulary, critical thinking skills, and empathetic awareness of the world around them in a culturally responsive community as they build the executive functions to help them put it all together. This is what we mean when we talk about "construction of the Deep Reading Brain."
All day, every day, teachers and students engage in meaningful conversations that support receptive and expressive language development. The trusting relationships formed between teachers and students are the secure base from which students develop confidence in their ideas, problem solving skills and risk taking in their creative learning. Free play, guided play, whole and small group experiences with teachers and peers build critical skills across all developmental areas that serve ongoing learning. In this deeply intentional language-centered community, children are not silenced - quite the opposite - they learn the value of listening, sharing their ideas, and being actively engaged contributors.
Speech and Language Development
Children learn best in environments where they are in trusting relationships with others. Stepping Stones staff members build personal connections with each child. The staff interact on an individual level and have a deep understanding of each child’s communication ability. They have advanced training in speech and language development. Both planned and spontaneous interactions are met with the opportunity to provide children with the cues, scaffolding, and support to develop articulation and language skills throughout the school day.
Across all subject matter, children are immersed in a language and print rich environment intentionally designed to develop connections between the sounds of speech and print. In each culturally responsive classroom, through playful, guided, small and whole group learning experiences, pre-literacy skills are systematically integrated into the day through multi-sensory engaging activities and built on a speech and language foundation. These skills include the reading brains’ phonological awareness, alphabetic knowledge and print-awareness. Additionally, sophisticated vocabulary, critical thinking and empathy development help children learn to fully express themselves, understand what they are learning to read, and ask the questions that go beyond the page.