For young children, developing a love of learning is the key to a future of academic success. At SouthSide, we develop a love of learning by engaging children in play, guided by an engaging and hands-on curriculum that is implemented by talented and nurturing teachers.
The foundation of our program is the Creative Curriculum. Each day the children take part in carefully planned experiences that promote their interest and growth in literacy, art, mathematics, science, social studies, music and movement. These experiences engage children in creative thinking and socialization, while imparting the important “school readiness” skills they will need to succeed in kindergarten. Teachers attend to the individual needs and abilities of each child through one on one, small group and whole group activities. At SouthSide, we use the curriculum but allow children to tackle “studies” of topics that interest them. Through these two week studies, children learn to investigate, probe and problem-solve.
Recently, SouthSide children studied What Animals Eat, Clothing, and Winter.
At SouthSide, the curriculum is individualized to meet the needs of each child, no matter where they are when they start out with us. Learning goals, both for the whole group and for individuals, are embedded in the classroom activities.
SouthSide is an inclusive center and we provide services for children with disabilities. Through on-site partnerships with the Belle Center, First Steps and St. Louis Public Schools, children who need services receive weekly therapy in the classroom and, if needed, intensive one on one therapy.
Woven into the Creative Curriculum is the CSEFEL (Center for Social-Emotional Foundations for Early Learning) program, designed to build social-emotional strengths. Children learn to understand and deal appropriately with their own feelings and the feelings of others.
We continuously implement best practices, measurement and objective evaluation. To ensure that we are meeting the needs of our children and preparing them for academic and social success, teachers assess individual and classroom progress frequently throughout the year. With the support of the Mentor Teacher and Learning Center Director, teachers then adjust curriculum and create new strategies to address areas of need.