The big red barn
Our Big Red Barn served as a home for animals for 150 years before it received a facelift in 2001 and was restored to provide a bright, cheerful, learning space for the children. Old, grayed beams that once supported the roof above horses, cows, kittens, chickens and hay bales have been sandblasted to the honey color they sported over a century ago when the barn was built to last. Wooden nails and hand-hewn cuts in the beams were retained as a central part of the barn's substantial and long-standing character.
KELC's Big Red Barn serves a dual purpose as a classroom for 2.5-year-old students, as well as three-year-old half day children. Teachers in the classroom carefully assess each child's strengths and abilities before adapting their rich curriculum to teach each child in an appropriate and challenging manner. All students in The Big Red Barn enjoy special classes in nature studies, gardening, physical education and Spanish in addition to the traditional early childhood programming.
Two-and-a-half and young three-year-old preschoolers are welcomed into this pleasant, full-day classroom, located in Building #3. The large windows, over-looking the forest, nature center and playgrounds provide a peaceful environment for the children. Each day, teachers plan activities designed to meet the broadening skills of the children who walk through the doors. Developmentally appropriate and play-based activities in language arts, multicultural studies, Spanish, author studies, math/science, music and art are woven into the weekly lesson plans to encourage readiness for higher level learning.
Cooperation, empathy and self-control, so important to success in the early years of school, are modeled and practiced in all classrooms at KELC. Individual, small and large group activities are planned to meet the developmental needs of children. Nature study, physical education, gardening and Spanish activities round out the rich general curriculum offered by KELC teachers.
Wind in the Willows
Wind in the Willows classroom is located at the west end of the newest addition to The Dahlhouse, Building #1, on the KELC campus. Children welcomed into Wind in the Willows are at least three years old and enjoy the attention of teachers who hold university degrees in early childhood education. This beautiful, bright, spacious classroom overlooks the gardens and pastures, having a calming effect on nature-lovers of all ages. The inviting book nook beckons young readers to share favorite books with a friend or a teacher.
Three-year-olds are building a knowledge base from which to interpret their world. They have an innate drive to explore their environment and to find answers to their many questions. Wind in the Willows teachers excel at guiding young learners' exploration and self-expression. Spanish, science/nature, gardening, PE and Musikgarten classes enrich the classroom experiences.
The Giving Tree
Preschoolers who will turn four during the academic year call The Giving Tree (GT) their homeroom. This classroom was formerly the kitchen-dining area of Will and Sandra Dahl's home. Large banks of windows on the east side of this beautiful classroom allow children to enjoy a view of the gardens, play areas, forest and nature center.
Teachers plan goal-based lessons to promote children's growth in literacy, math, science, social/emotional, fine arts and more. Theme-based activities help children learn to communicate, cooperate, empathize and gain confidence in their abilities. Special classes in Spanish, PE, nature study/science and music opportunities round out the regular classroom teacher's lesson plans.