EMAIL: Submitted by JoAnn Vautour firstname.lastname@example.org
TAG LINE: How going to Park Forest Preschool benefited my kids and me.
AGENCY: Park Forest Preschool
I was a stay at home mom of a one and three year old. I hadn’t planned on sending them to preschool because I knew I couldn’t afford it. A friend recommended Park Forest Preschool. I learned it was a non profit tuition free preschool for qualifying families for two, three, or four year olds. My son Eric started in the three’s class and absolutely loved it. He made lots of friends and learned how to share and play with other kids, take simple instruction and communicate his needs. My daughter Brooke started next year in the two’s class. She was very shy and really attached to me but learned very quickly how to adapt in a new environment without me. Starting at an early age really helped her to overcome her shyness and express herself and be more independent.
The school also has a cafeteria, which serves breakfast, and lunch, which consists of home-style meals and fresh fruit and vegetables. The children learn to stay in their seats and the proper use of utensils. It really helped my kids to try a variety of foods that they never ate before. When they see other kids eating it, they are more likely to try it.
I love that the school offers a weekly parenting class with lots of information on topics such as parenting advice and tips on behavior, cooking, meal planning and money budgeting. It was nice being able to talk with other parents with similar issues and learning new tips and tricks to see what works best for your family. The school also has a clothing room that has a variety of gently used clothes, coats, shoes, and blankets that are free to any child in your family. I used the clothing room many times, especially when the seasons changed or they moved up a size, it was nice to have that available.
Park Forest Preschool also offers health screenings for the children such as dental, vision, developmental, and speech delays. This helps to get early intervention if needed. Brooke needed speech therapy, which she was able to receive while at the school.
After both my kids were in the Park Forest Preschool, I took full advantage of their volunteer opportunities. I helped out in the kitchen doing dishes and meal prepping, I assisted in the classrooms helping teachers with projects and cutting, reading books to children and anything else that was needed. I found this to be very rewarding and loved being around the children. I was very grateful when the preschool hired me to be an assistant teacher; I’ve been there for 12 years. Park Forest Preschool has definitely benefited my children and me.