The Friendship Center is an intergenerational child care facility that incorporates senior citizens from Heath Village, the adjacent retirement community, into its child care programs. exchangingSenior volunteers assist the center's professional staff by teaching Bible stories, conducting nature walks, providing musical accompaniment, reading stories, and supervising craft and woodworking projects. Heath Village residents join with the children for special events and holiday celebrations, and pair off with them to be pen pals. Most important, the Heath Village residents who share in the Friendship Center's activities bring their maturity and love of children to help create a warm, caring Christian environment, giving your child the feel of a large extended family.
Our programs are developmentally age-appropriate and are designed to foster self-confidence, improve competence in self-help skills, and develop those language abilities and inner controls necessary for effective social interaction. We stress the process of learning and discovery to prepare the child for the many and varied learning situations he or she will encounter throughout life. We attach equal importance to emotional, physical, social and intellectual development.
A center for learning, a community, a family... The Friendship Center is all of these things.
The art program encourages art appreciation through hands-on activities that reflect the "process art" theory, an exploratory process of teaching rather than producing a product from patterns or pre-drawn forms.
The Friendship Center operates on Christian principles. Stories from the Bible will be introduced periodically to reinforce the importance of moral and ethical values. We use these teachings and resources in ways that are both developmentally appropriate for young children and that promote tolerance and good will towards persons of all backgrounds and beliefs. Prayers are said before meal times.
The Friendship Center uses computers at all levels to enhance cognitive skills. The children learn to operate language and math programs, as well as to use fantasy and adventure programs for play.
Dance is offered at the Friendship Center for an additional fee and is held once a week.
Rhythmic Dance for the Three-Year-Old: This is a combination of kiddie rhythmics (running, hopping, jumping, skipping, and galloping) all set to music, song, and dance with mime, balance and basic tumbling techniques.
Introduction to Dance: An introduction to various first steps in dance that combines creative movement, jazz, and ballet, and is designed especially for the four-year-old.
Ballet / Jazz: A more intense program for five year olds. Featuring new steps and combinations.
Seasonal field trips for both enjoyment and educational purposes are planned throughout the year. The children and staff are transported by the Heath Village van.
Health Care Visits
The children have monthly scheduled dates to visit the Clarence Sickles Health Care Center and Day Break (adult day care center nearby). Children benefit from these visits as they develop increased social skills toward adults and seniors.
Our kindergarten is a whole language classroom. It is one in which all of the students are actively involved in the integration of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. We are committed to keep language natural so that is learned for its original purpose - to express and receive ideas. Children learn best when language arts, reading, writing, listening, speaking, math, science, and social studies are interconnected. Our kindergarten program is open to any child in the community who will be five years of age by October 1st. of that beginning school year.
The goal of the music program is to encourage music appreciation. A retired senior plays the piano once a week for "group music". The teachers will provide music daily as part of their scheduled activities.
The Friendship Center children can take walks around Heath Village (the adjacent retirement community) and on their nature trail. A nature walk to observe the seasonal changes is conducted periodically by senior residents of Heath Village.
Pen Pal Program
Friendship Center students in our Pre-K and Kindergarten classes are each assigned a pen pal who is a retired senior from Heath Village. They correspond frequently and come together to enjoy special events.
A semester of wood shop is offered to our four and five-year-olds. They meet with retired seniors at the Heath Village wood shop and work together on a project. The retired seniors work closely with them and teach them about tools and safety.