Modern Early Care and Learning Programs
are More than Day Care Centers
We have a wide range of offerings, including:
35 Learning Areas in Each Classroom
Artists in Residence
C5 Community-Wide Potlucks
Costume Days, Costume Week, and the Costume Potluck
Creative Movement and Dance
Dramatic Facilitation for Social Problem-Solving
Fall Family Festival (see picture on right)
Festival of Learning
Free Play and Experimentation
Greening of Learning Reducing, Reusing, Recycling
Head Parents in Each Classroom
In-Depth Explorations and Projects
Mentoring College Students and Supervised Field Experiences
Music and the Music Together Program
Nature Club Learning in Nature Weekly Sunday Gatherings in the Parks
Parent Meetings to Support the Classrooms and Projects
Parents Night Out
Preschool for All Program
Program for Infant-Toddler Care Training (PITC)
Resources for Infant Educarers Training (RIE)
Summer Book & Box Projects
Winter Cultural Highlights
There are also additions to the main program and curriculum
Music Together C5 provides the Music Together program once a week in the classrooms for every learning group. C5 teachers have been trained by Music Together from Princeton, New Jersey. The program is included as part of regular tuition, and families receive Music Together song books and CDs for each of the three 15 week-long collections that the children experience at school each year. Parents and family members are invited to join the weekly sessions. Simply, check with your child’s teaching team for days and times.
Summer Book and Box This is an all-summer activity where families collect things in a book and/or a box that that happen over the summer, and they decorate them and bring them into the school at the beginning of a new school year to share with their child’s learning group. Each family signs up for a 15 minute presentation. They are usually conducted in September. The children keep the books and boxes in the classroom and refer to them for months.
Winter Cultural Highlights This activity is very similar to the Summer Book & Box activity. The presentations by each family are about their current family culture, different cultural origins and influences, and/or heritage. It is usually held in January and early February.
Artists in Residence We attempt to recruit a different person to come each month on two afternoons, about two weeks apart, to engage children and staff members at both centers. These “artists” are friends of C5, parents, extended family members, and staff members. They have been musicians, dancers, crafts people, singers, story tellers, poets, etc.
Visiting Artists: Music The San Francisco Conservatory of Music sends two of their advanced students to C5 during most months of their school year to perform for children at both centers.
Creative Movement and Dance C5 has developed with professional dancers this special program at both centers to introduce children to the language of movement and dance and help them to develop competency by engaging in joyful individual, partner, and group activities that are extensions of their personal interests, explorations, and projects..
Afternoon Program At the discretion of each teaching team in each classroom, there can be an Afternoon Program that includes themes, processes, and materials that appeal to the children and allow for their emergent interests to shape the experiences within the program. The general guiding themes can change, although they tend to be scheduled on the same day of the week each week to offer consistency for the children.
Festival of Learning Each year in the spring, C5 plans and hosts a three week celebration of children and their work. There are demonstrations of children and their teachers working in public venues. There is an exhibit of children’s work from every age group, from infants to Prekindergarten. There is a seminar for parents, early childhood education professionals, and the public to discuss the work of young children and their unexpected potential. There is a gala evening of fun, food, films, games, a raffle, music, and dancing. It is held during the city-wide Week of the Young Child
Costume Days, Week, and Costume Party Potluck Each year in June or July, the children and their families prepare for two weeks and make costumes and props that match each child’s interest or fascination. The teachers help when the child is in school. During Costume Week, the children finish the costumes, wear them, use them in dramatic play and scripted stories, plays, and films that they write and produce. On Friday of that week, there is a C5 community-wide evening Costume Potluck, where everyone, including teachers, parents, siblings, grand parents, and others wear costumes and eat, sing, play instruments, dance, and socialize.
Project Books Occasionally teachers and parents collaborate to create a booklet that captures and represents an in-depth inquiry and/or project on which the children are working or have completed. C5 has a collection of these booklets. We can print copies for the group in the project and encourage parents to take the booklet home to keep and read with their child to extend and reinforce the learning.
ReCreate Room Two of our teachers who went to Reggio Emilia on the 2007 study tour came back to establish a more formal recycle and re-use materials area for the Preschool Center. One of them took the lead and redesigned the front half of the back store room and designating it the ReCreate room. Children can go to the room with their teachers to select materials for projects they want to create. Parents, family members, and friends of C5 donate reusable materials of all sorts for the room. The room is like a store where children can shop for free, while supporting the environment.
Bridge to Reggio C5 has sent over a dozen staff members to Reggio Emilia, Italy over a seven year period as part of the U.S. Delegation Study Tour. Each delegation attended a one week conference and tours of the world famous pre-primary schools in Reggio Emilia to enhance our skills and understanding of their approach, which is one of several fundamental curriculum and program influences at C5 Children’s School.
Annual Picnics Once each year in the fall, usually in early September, C5 has a picnic, with potluck food, Music Together songs, instruments for children, and a wide range of things for currently enrolled children and alumni families to do. A popular venue has been the Julius Kahn Playground in the Presidio. We go there again in May as part of our annual Festival of Learning. Both picnics usually involve play on the exceptionally wonderful park equipment and our own kite flying, bubble making, soccer obstacle course, flower crown making, treasure hunt, very nutritious organic food, sing-alongs, and video and picture taking.
Parents Night Out Parents have the opportunity on select evenings during the year to leave their child at the Center with C5 teachers and staff while they take an evening on the town. Some parents go on a date together, some do special shopping, others visit museums or parks, some join other couples, and others find creative things to do. The children are served a meal and have special activities. Getting to wear pajamas at school is a much anticipated part of the evening. These are scheduled when demand peaks; usually about twice a year.
C5 conducts special activities in each classroom in the afternoons. The classrooms have their own schedules that can repeat often, including weekly. The programs change and evolve over the weeks, months, and school year.
The emerging interests and fascinations of the children in each learning group determine the primary theme, focus, emphasis, content, and duration of the activities in the Afternoon Programs.
Example Afternoon Programs at Each Site:
At the CA State Building Center
For one of the Oldest Preschool Learning Groups
Mondays Share & Tell: Children, teachers, and parents can share items brought from home; then, explore them together as a group and individually.
Tuesdays Expressive Movement: Children, parents, and teachers explore various ways to express themselves through bodily movements, such as yoga, storytelling with gestures, stretching, balancing, and dancing.
Wednesdays Weekly Stories and Table Games: Tim the librarian brings books to read with the group. Children can also explore a variety of table games, some they invented, with help from the teachers and parents.
Thursdays Creative Exploration with Paints and Various Materials: Children, parents, and teachers work with a variety of materials and tools to create unique works of expression, such as paintings, sculptures, collages, murals, and drawings.
Fridays Dance and Instruments: Children engage in free movement to new and old recordings with scarves, ribbons, dramatic clothing, and props; along with exploration of musical instruments and sounds.
For one of the Younger Preschool Learning Groups
Mondays Yoga, Stretching & Movement: Structured for young children; with mats, music, guided activities, books, posters, videos, CDs, etc.
Tuesdays Dramatic Play: Children design plays; conduct enactments of life events; present excerpts from existing plays, movies, books, and children’s stories; enact role simulations; etc.
Wednesdays Creative Exploration of Materials: Children work with a variety of materials and processes with the support of teachers, parents, and friends of C5. It is in line with our belief that “Children have a hundred languages.”
Thursdays Cooking: Children’s mixtures; adult guided activities; tastings; demonstrations of processes; developing familiarity with tools and equipment; baking, poaching, and frying food from many lands; etc.
Fridays Dancing: Everyone gets involved in free movement to new and old recordings; copying specific ballroom, jazz, and ethnic dance steps; moving free-form; and, contributing to the dance party atmosphere and refreshments at the end of the week!
For one of the Toddlers Learning Groups
Mondays Clay: Children explore various forms of clay as a material and a medium to develop and test their expression of feelings and ideas.
Tuesdays Stories in Action: Children make the themes, plots, and characters in books come alive through a wide range of drama and craft approaches.
Wednesdays Music Together Session: C5 is certified to offer this structured, world famous program for our children to help them joyfully develop music competence and a more sophisticated appreciation for music and movement. It includes songs, chants, and instrumental treatments from many lands and cultures. It offers selections in different languages, rhythms, major and minor keys, new compositions, and new arrangements of folk songs and ballads.
Thursdays Yoga & Dancing: Children will breathe and move with yoga mats, music, and guided activities; free movement to new and old recordings; copying specific ballroom, jazz, and ethnic dance steps; and, dance party atmosphere or mellow meditative sessions will be designed to match the children’s moods.
Fridays Woodworking: Exploration of the materials and tools used in woodworking and related activities, such as hammering, cutting, nailing, gluing, screwing, assembling, measuring, planning, and finishing.
At the SF City Building Center
For one of the Older Preschool Learning Groups
Mondays Emotional Buffet: Children explore the photos they have taken of each other, renew their discussions of beliefs, feelings, and emotions, and review some of the many emotions that are possible in relationships.
Tuesdays Web Search: The children continue their online investigation of “Superheros and how and why they influence us and what do we want to do about it.”
Wednesdays Advanced Pre-K Yoga: This is yoga is led by a C5 parent who has been a ballet dancer.
Thursdays The Language of Fluids: A serious exploration of water, and more viscous fluids and how they compare to each other; and, then, joyful, free experimentation of the same things!
Fridays Big Event Dancing and Wild Movement: Children choose music, lighting, and decorations to supplement the movements and specific dances that they want to celebrate their understanding of creative movement and dance. May include dancing along with others found on the Internet via the large smart Board.
For one of the Older Toddler Learning Groups
Mondays Finger Puppets & Plays: Children sing songs and engage in other activities that promote small muscle exercise and development.
Tuesdays Balls: Children and teachers explore with different balls in the classroom or out of doors. They may focus on certain kinds, such as basketball, handball, or beach ball; and on specific movements, such as rolling, bouncing, and throwing.
Wednesdays Toddler Yoga: This is yoga designed for young toddlers. It includes movements, moods, and settings that are referenced from baby yoga books, posters, and videos that C5 has in its library. As with all Afternoon Program sessions, parents are invited to come and join in. This afternoon session could be called, Yoga for Two!
Thursdays Music & Movement: Singing, moving, and dancing to music; in addition to large muscle exercises, such as used with balance beams, jump ropes, and climbing structures. Children explore percussion, piano, strings, multiple instruments, listening to CDs and downloads of many types of music, etc. The Music Together session can also be conducted on this afternoon.
Fridays Baby Massage: Parents, teachers, and children explore the concepts, values, and techniques of nurturing, systematic touch for young toddlers.
For one of the Infants Learning Groups
Mondays Gentle Music: Teachers play soft lullabies that parents bring in. Many are from the children’s families cultures.
Tuesdays Books and More: Teachers, parents, and extended family members read books and tell family stories to the infants.
Wednesdays Textures: A variety of materials are available for the infants to discover and explore.
Thursdays Fresh Air and Friends: If the weather permits, the teachers will take the infants immediately outside the classroom in their own soft surface play area with a tent. They move about in their own way and their own time, socialize with their other infant friends, and watch windsocks spin in the breeze.
Fridays Manipulables: Various items are placed near the infants for them to discover and explore.