"Sprouting Willows: Fun for little folks in Leavenworth!"

We did it!

In February we opened our half day nature preschool, Willow. With a goal to provide families more options to enrich their child's education, we created a seasonal, drop-in program. For three hours a day, four days a week children can come and explore the Wenatchee River, following their inquiries and building friendships. With all the same good stuff we offer in our full day program (newly named Evergreen) it's just a short walk from downtown. 

We ran 3 sessions: Winter, Spring and Summer and two week long summer camps. During our "Natural Artists" camp, we had the pleasure of having Brook Hinton join us for the day. With lots of love she wrote up a post for the Wenatchee Mom Blog Here is an snip-it from the article:

"I had the pleasure on a recent sunny morning (just prior to the gagging smoke and squelching heat) to visit with some very imaginative and lively little folks along the Wenatchee River in Leavenworth. This was no ordinary group of little pixies, mind you. This was a giggling, curious little group determined to find adventure under every rock and beyond every corner of the trail. Meeting at the playground, this particular group of adventurers were part of a summer camp for 3- and 4-year-olds offered by Mountain Sprouts Children Community and with Teacher Taylor at the helm and their little red wagon stuffed full of necessities, they put on their pint size back packs, grabbed their water bottles and set off in search of the biggest stick and full of questions about walking on clouds." -Brook Hinton

To read the full blog post by Brook Hinton click here "Sprouting Willows:Fun for little folks in Leavenworth!"  Or to find out more about our Willow program click here Nature Preschool

Toddler Room

Over the last year we have been working hard with Tierra Learning Center to finish design of a remodel for the Art Barn (our classroom).  We are expanding our preschool room so it can hold more students and adding a Toddler Room! This will be two rooms in our licensed, full day program.

Our goal is to build through this school year and open enrollment in Spring 2018 for both expanded rooms. If you would like to sign up for our wait list or just put your name in an interest list, email us: info@mtnsprouts.org.

This has been a long time coming with effort from many past teachers, board members and families all working to see Mountain Sprouts offer more options for families.  We see families in our community growing and we realize more options are needed to support these youngsters as well as their parents.

In 2 weeks we are having a our first ever Farm to Table Dinner and Dance that will raise money for this project.  We hope you can join the fun with locally sourced food by Ravenous, music by the Holly Blue Band and Leisure Games to hang out and play with friends!

Meet the Willow Class

Parents, I know how tough it is to balance work, errands, doctors, laundry and ensure your preschooler is getting the socialization and education they need before Kindergarten.  In a small town like Leavenworth, options are hard to come by for families, so at Sprouts we have been working hard to open solutions to fit family needs as well as meet our youngest learners where they are.

Starting February 6th, 2017 we will open our first half-day classroom - the Willow Class. Our home base is the E. Lorane Young House at Wenatchee River Institute (WRI), with our classroom being the great outdoors! In order to meet the complicated schedules of families, this class will run in sessions rather than year round, with a couple spots reserved for drop-in only use. That means families can use this class to supplement your current preschool program, start your young preschooler out in a program for the first time, or drop in when you need a few hours.  Classes are mornings from 8:30am - 11:30am.  Registration can be for as many days and sessions as you like and drop ins are welcome anytime, depending on availability.

We welcome preschoolers between the ages of 3 and 5 who are independent in the bathroom.  Our Evergreen Class (our current full day program) is also mixed age.  It is a wonderful opportunity allowing for mentorship and unique problem solving among peers.

Our favorite part of the new Willow Class is the same thing we love about our current Evergreen Class: being outdoors!  This class will spend almost the whole class time outside, no matter the weather. From much research on child development we know children learn through play. When children are given the opportunity to play and learn outdoors, they engage with concepts holistically and through real-life inquiry and experiences. When we make patterns from fallen pine cones and leaves, or count petals on a new spring flower, children are developing their skills in math; when we use our Naturalist Guides to identify the plant and animal species that are before us, children are developing their skills in observation and science; when we record these observations in our nature journals, children are developing literacy skills.  Through imaginative, outdoor play we intrigue their curiosities while developing all the fundamentals to prepare them for Kindergarten and beyond.

As true explorers and scientists outside every day, we build inner and physical strength.  Our focus is on developing critical thinking, independence, social skills, and strong bodies - all accomplished exploring our world outside, with our friends and teachers, ready to take on Kindergarten and the world.

We can't wait for you to join us in this new class!  Registration opens on January 3, 2017. 

Check back to our website soon for more info or email info@mtnsprouts.org!

 

MSCC Through the Eyes of Sprouts [Video]

This week we thought it would be fun to show you Mountain Sprouts Children's Community through the eyes of the Sprouts. Our program is unique in many ways and there are many reasons why we as staff love MSCC. But, more importantly there are even more reasons why our young learners love it so much. Therefore, we decided to film a short clip to help our community view a day in the life of a Sprout.

Q & A with Mia Bretz

This week we are going to dive deeper and answer some questions about the expansion project. We thought who better to interview than Mia Bretz, our president! Keep in mind, there are still quite a few items that remain undecided until we secure a location but hopefully this post will give you some insight into our vision for the project. 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in the new location?

A: A new location will allow us to provide 2 preschool classrooms for the community while still providing the outdoor experience we believe in.  We only have space for 1 room in our current location.

A new location will also house our programs during a future remodel at Tierra. Once the Tierra remodel is complete, it can then be a second location providing a choice of program locations between it and Tierra, and even more classrooms (toddler? kinder? infant?).

Q: What is the long term expansion project at Tierra?

A: Tierra Learning Center is our parent/lessor and is planning a big remodel of their barn where we currently reside. With a barn remodel we anticipate up to 3 new classrooms!  Unfortunately, this remodel is a few years out.  Sprouts will need to be out of the barn during remodeling AND we would really like to offer a second preschool room sooner than a few years.

Q: Does MSCC have any new facility/locations in mind?

A: We do not have any leads right now, but we are looking for anyone with ideas or who would like to help!  We will need a space that has access to the great outdoors.  The building would need to meet the WA State Department of Early Learning facility requirements.  This includes a checklist of items that ensure a safe environment for the kiddos; however, it could be a renovated home, barn or business.  The options are many!

If you have a space that you think may work or would like to help with us acquire one, please let us know

Q: How will securing a facility in a new location affect the current students?

A: A new facility will impact our current students in two main ways.

First, our current classroom will move in to our new facility, ideally at the start of a new academic year. Same great program, new view. Our staff, program content and nature based learning will all remain unchanged.

Second, we will add a second preschool classroom in the new facility as well, which will allow for a larger teaching team and more individualized learning time for all students. Same great program, new friends.

Down the road, once we are finished remodeling at Tierra, we plan to utilize both locations for programs. Which programs are at which locations will remain undecided until closer to move in time. Same great program, more choices.

Q: How many more kids will MSCC be able to accommodate?

A: We currently average about 22 families enrolled in our program each year.  We would at least double that potential with a second preschool classroom.  Eventually, with the barn at Tierra finished, we will run between 2 to 5 classrooms, depending on the needs of the community.

Q: How can the community help facilitate this process?

A: You can let us know if you have a location opportunity in mind!

OR

You can join our board of directors and help with the work it will take for us to make these big decisions and  transitions. The board is for you if you would like to see more options in our community for childcare and outdoor, experience-based early learning. We work to bring the best early education experiences possible for families of the Upper Valley.

If you or someone you know is interested please contact us!

 

We're Sprouting!

We're Sprouting!

Welcome to our community blog!  This is a new forum for us at Mountain Sprouts to communicate our vision for Sprouts’ future with the greater Leavenworth community. It’s important to us that we’re staying aligned with the needs around us, therefore, we hope this forum will help us share how we are responding to our community and organizational needs.

Our first big project we want to share is our plans for expansion of our preschool classroom.