The Hawthorn School District 73 preschool program is seeing noticeable academic and social emotional gains with its 181 children ages 3 to 5 who attend the program.
For the past 1.5 years the program has been housed at Lincoln School in Mundelein. In placing the children under one roof staff can provide the children with the immediate support they may need in such areas as speech and occupational therapy. In addition the district can support the English Language Learners. There are 31 languages represented in the program.
During their morning or afternoon session students learn to share, explore and create. They work on easels, and climb on playground equipment to help them develop visual and gross motor skills. They begin to identify simple words and write letters. They also work on simple math concepts such as sorting or grouping.
“Preschool lays the foundation for future learning,” said Renee Ullberg, director of special services. “In addition to preliteracy and math, children learn how to socialize, share, follow rules, and function as students. Studies have shown that disadvantaged students who attended high-quality preschools have better outcomes in reading and math than children who did not attend preschool from similar backgrounds.”