Families in the Mountain Area have a new early education opportunity for their children with the opening of Little Blessings Preschool in Yosemite Lakes Park.
Karin Sayre, or Miss Karin as she is known by students and parents alike, has been involved in special education and early education for almost 40 years. After spending the last 12 years as director of another YLP preschool, Sayre decided to open her own preschool with the goal of inspiring her students to develop a lifetime love of learning.
When parents of her former students learned of her plans for a new preschool they immediately jumped in to help make Sayre’s dream a reality. In total they raised over $1,000 to get the renovation of the downstairs facility of the Sayre home ready for preschoolers to arrive last August.
Parents also donated countless toys and supplies to fill the preschool rooms and the outdoor play area. Sayre was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and generosity. “Almost every day I would open the door and find someone had dropped off another outdoor riding toy or there would be a box from Amazon with an anonymous gift for the preschool,” she said.
Helping to found this new preschool was important to many parents because it is one of the few play-based preschools in the county. While there is structured time each day where children listen to stories, share with each other, and learn their letters and phonics, much of the day is devoted to learning through play. Sayre’s curriculum introduces students to various units of study where they learn about oceans and wildlife, apples and the harvest, the five senses, and occupations to name a few.
Each unit incorporates art opportunities, books, games, learning stations and even science experiments to help kids explore and discover. Kids are encouraged to touch and get messy as they learn, and they love getting to take an active role in the experiments and projects. They might come home covered in paint or with a mixture of corn starch and water in a section of their hair, but they learned something new, and that positive experience can help a child develop a lifelong desire to learn about the world around them.
Aurora Medina of Coarsegold loves the attention and care her son Reggie receives each day at Little Blessings.
“They are so attentive to the kids,” Median said. “If it is important to the child, then it is important to the teachers.”
Collette Davis of Coarsegold enrolled her daughter in Little Blessings after the good experiences her son and daughter have had with Sayre over the last couple of years.
“From the time they get to class Miss Karin and Miss Linda have activities for the children to do,” Davis said. “She reads to the children every day. She teaches them to play and teaches them social skills like how to be patient, raise their hands and to be kind to each other.”
In addition to helping children develop a love for learning, Sayre’s program has a history of preparing children for success as they move on in school. Jessica Yeats of Coarsegold enrolled her son in the transitional kindergarten (TK) class at Spring Valley Elementary this fall after two years under Sayre’s program.
“Ezekiel was wonderfully prepared for TK this year, so much so that his teacher approached me about starting him on kindergarten curriculum because he already has the TK concepts down,” Yeats said. “Academically he is keeping up with the kindergarteners. I really believe he was so well prepared academically due to his fabulous foundation with Miss Karin.”
The Monday, Wednesday, and Friday program is offered to children ages 4 and 5 while the Tuesday and Thursday program is for children ages 2, 3 and 4. Each day is limited to 12 children and runs from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm with early drop off and late pick up options available for all days. Details: Karin Sayre, (559) 974-5933.