The NMSU School for Young Children serves children ages 2-5 from student, faculty and staff families in three classrooms. The Turtle classroom is a full day, full year program serving 2 to 3 1/2 year olds, the Bobcats classroom is a full day, full year program serving 3 1/2 to 5 year olds, and the Roadrunner classroom is a half day, academic year state funded Pre-K classroom for eligible 4 year olds.
The School for Young Children maintains a waiting list for families who are interested in enrollment. Families who wish to enter their children on the waiting list should call 646-7933 to find out more about the program and to obtain a waiting list form. Children must be 12 months old before they can be entered onto the list. When a space becomes available, the Enrollment and Tuition Committee will determine who the next eligible child is for the spot and the family will be contacted.
The School for Young Children is located in Buildings 300, 600, and 700 of Myrna’s Children’s Village at the corner of Williams and Sam Steele near the Aggie store in Family Housing. Short term parking for families and visitors is available on the south side of the MCV parking lot or on Williams or Center Streets. Please do not park on the north side of the lot or on Sam Steele.
The NMSU SFYC is based on a philosophy of child-centered learning, inspired by the practices of the municipal pre-primary schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy. In particular, the Reggio approach has inspired us to view each child, family and teacher as strong, competent, and ready to learn. Our practice is rooted in the belief that an effective program is possible only through partnership and collaboration between teachers, families, children and the community. We strive to create a beautiful and comfortable environment where children, teachers and families are given the guidance and freedom to fulfill their potential.
The program is developmental in its approach because we respect and support the natural stages of the child’s physical, cognitive, social and emotional development. The program addresses the needs and rights of the whole child, as opposed to specific isolated areas of development. Children develop concepts about themselves, others and the world by interacting through play. The teachers are learning facilitators, rather than activity directors. They create environments that expose children to many learning possibilities in the course of their play. The children’s interests serve as the foundation for learning.
Laboratory School Description
The NMSU SFYC serves as educational training and research laboratory for New Mexico State University in several different ways. This is a site for field experience courses for College of Education and individuals from other disciplines and colleges and for student teacher candidates. Families, students and faculty may observe the classroom environments. Students may enter the classroom to observe, conduct appropriate activities with groups of children, or to serve as teacher’s aides. Students and faculty may conduct research by observing or video or audio taping the experiences of the children. In all cases laboratory procedures have been established for the safety of the children. All data collected is kept confidential and will be used for educational purposes only. Staff and volunteers must understand and sign a confidentiality statement. Families will always be notified in writing of any research projects to be conducted in the classroom. The privacy and confidentiality of the children and their families is of primary concern. Families must understand and accept the tenets of a laboratory school to enroll their children in the NMSU SFYC. Students who are interested in participating in any of the classrooms in Myrna’s Children’s Village need to call 646-1651 for scheduling and classroom procedures.
The curriculum at the NMSU SFYC is Attachment Based, as well as Reggio inspired. We believe that children need to be involved in close, trusting relationships with their teachers so they feel safe and secure when exploring their environment and learning about their world. In this spirit, we work closely with each child’s family to establish a relationship that gives the child a secure base from which to explore and learn. At the NMSU School for Young Children, we strive to incorporate infant/toddler expert Magda Gerber’s philosophy of respect in our practice. Magda taught that respecting and responding to each individual child is paramount to forming relationships and nurturing the child’s development. In short, we believe that curriculum is about “respecting and responding to each child’s needs in warm sensitive ways that promote attachment and development” (Gonzalez-Mena & Widmyer-Eyer, Infants, Toddlers, and Caregivers, 2001, p.3).
The NMSU SFYC classroom environments are organized into interest areas that provide many opportunities for learning and integrating a variety of skills. The environments are organized to reflect elements of the child’s world and provide a vehicle for exploring integrated concepts. The main interest areas of the NMSU SFYC are the Block Area, Dramatic Play Area, Art Area, Reading Area, Manipulative Area, Sensory Play Area, and the Outdoor Play Area. Language development is incorporated into all interest areas.