UPK registration is upon us and for many parents, it’s a big decision to make. While it may be hard to let your child go to school as a three or four-year old, research shows that enrolling your child in a universal pre-kindergarten program has many educational and social benefits.
Meridith Dominy, who has taught UPK for 15 years, said that UPK gives children an advantage to be successful in school, and it helps them develop a love of education early on.
“We provide a program that is developmentally appropriate and gives our children experiences that meet the needs of all,” said Mrs. Dominy, who has taught 3-year-olds at Van Schaick Grade School for the past two years.
The UPK program in Cohoes City School District utilizes Creative Curriculum, which teaches skills that align with areas of development. Different themes are incorporated each month (such as apples/pumpkins, dinosaurs and the life cycle of a plant) into math, science, writing, art, puzzle and library centers.
“Alongside our themes, we are helping children develop communication skills with their peers, and how to problem-solve, develop self-help skills and follow the classroom routines and rules,” said Mrs. Dominy.
There is also an emphasis on feelings and how to express them.
“I think the most important thing children learn from pre-k is to have patience, kindness and to work together as a team,” she said.
Cohoes Pre-kindergarten (UPK) is a free, full-day preschool program for 3 and 4-year-olds. The school day runs from 8:45 a.m. – 2:40 p.m. and breakfast and lunch are provided. UPK registration runs through March 31 and is held by appointment. Click here for more information.