Program gives preschoolers access to a unique outdoor and hands-on learning environment with dedicated staff
Montecito, Calif., September 29, 2016 – The Montecito Family YMCA’s award-winning year-round preschool for children 2.5-6-years-old is enrolling for fall and beyond. The preschool is open from 7:45 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. with full-time or part-time enrollment available. The program is the recipient of the Channel Islands YMCA Program of Excellence Award, is part of Orfalea’s Outdoor Classroom Project, and is licensed by the State of California.
“Our strength is in our families, their involvement, and our teachers’ commitment to the students,” said Annie Fischer, the Montecito Family YMCA’s Preschool Director who has been teaching at the Y for 26 years. “Our teachers spend countless hours planning curriculum, reflecting on policy, philosophy and engagement, and caring for children year-round.”
The Montecito YMCA preschool is part of Orfalea’s Outdoor Classroom Project and the Preschool Food Initiative. The program was recently awarded a grant from the Orfalea Gardening Project as part of the Orfalea Outdoor Classroom Project, meaning Montecito YMCA preschool spends at least 50 percent of class time outdoors.
Research shows that this provides children with health benefits for fitness for all children including those with disabilities, where it can provide a calming and healing effect. The outdoor preschool model allows for more experience with nature and teaches children conservation and care for the environment.
The preschool utilizes upper and lower Manning Park, the Montecito Library and bus transportation into town for field trips and has access to the YMCA outdoor pool, movement room and playgrounds. Students have the opportunity to expand their horizons with field trips to the pumpkin patch, Santa Barbara Zoo, airport, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and City parks.
The programming at Montecito YMCA preschool is thematic with plenty of time spent on music, science and art, as well as dramatic play and hands-on activities. Through the Character Building Program children are taught to give back through various fundraisers like food drives, trike-a-thons and clothing drives.
Montecito YMCA staff believes in teaching honesty, respect, responsibility and caring by leading through example and with carefully planned fun activities.
For more information, contact Annie Fischer, Preschool Director, at 805.969.3288 ext. 107 or visit ciymca.org/montecito. You do not have to be a member of the Y to attend. The Montecito Family YMCA is located at 591 Santa Rosa Ln., Montecito 93108.
About the Channel Islands YMCA
Established in 1887, the Channel Islands YMCA is a charitable organization of seven YMCA branches serving Santa Barbara and Ventura counties including: Camarillo Family YMCA, Lompoc Family YMCA, Montecito Family YMCA, Santa Barbara Family YMCA, Stuart C. Gildred Family YMCA in Santa Ynez, Ventura Family YMCA, and Youth and Family Services YMCA which operates Noah’s Anchorage Youth Crisis Shelter, the St. George Family Youth Center and My Home.
The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Channel Islands YMCA serves over 46,000 individuals and provides over $1.3 million in financial assistance to families in need for child care, YMCA memberships, away and day camps, youth sports, and teen after-school programs. For more information about the Montecito Family YMCA, visit http://www.ciymca.org/montecito or call (805) 969.3288.