At U-GRO, we are committed to helping your child reach his or her potential, both in the classroom and in life. Our goal is to partner with you to prepare your learner for all of the challenges and opportunities that life provides. Our passionate team of teachers, center directors, and support staff interact with your child on a daily basis, guiding him or her along a path of learning and discovery.
Importantly, we want your child to feel a sense of community in his or her classroom and center each and every day. Our teachers play a huge role in developing classroom community, but parents play just as important of a role in our U-GRO community. Learn how your child’s teacher creates community in the classroom, and how you can reinforce this at home.
How U-GRO Creates Community-Minded Learners
Our goal is to help your child build self-confidence, healthy communication, self-esteem, and problem-solving. Through these skills, children learn how to be empathetic and respectful to each other.
Focus on Social-Emotional Skills
Our PathFinder program employs fun, active learning techniques such as puppets, storytelling, group discussions and role-playing. Some of the goals of the program are to teach respect for others, build belief in one’s own potential, and practice responsibility, all of which help to develop a sense of community. These are all important skills in the classroom and in our wider communities. They teach children how to be respectful communicators.
Practice Kindness and Build Trust
In addition to these programs, U-GRO teachers also build community through learning approaches and experiences in the classroom. They facilitate opportunities to practice kindness, like through a kindness circle where each child takes turns giving and receiving a compliment.
One way our teachers model trust is through respectful listening. Teachers make eye contact with students and co-teachers, and get down to children’s eye levels when speaking or listening. This practice of thoughtful listening demonstrates that teachers care about children’s feelings and opinions.
One way to create identity is to show uniqueness. Our teachers love to encourage children to bring photos in of their families to hang in the classroom. This teaches children about different ethnicities and backgrounds, while reminding them that their classmates are a part of the U-GRO family too.
There are many ways that teachers create a sense of community in the classroom, and these are just a few.
What Parents Can do to Teach Community at Home
It starts in the classroom, but it’s important for parents and families to be involved in creating community as well. Here are some ideas to reinforce community at home.
Talk about Community Helpers
When you and your child see a police officer, emergency responder, or fireman, talk about the ways in which these community helpers make your town a safe and nurturing place for everyone. Ask your child, what are the ways in which these helpers demonstrate kindness and generosity?
Part of creating a sense of community is teaching your child that everyone is unique. Everyone has different experiences. Sometimes, this means giving back to those in need. Here are a few ideas, but ask your child for ways they want to help. You’ll be surprised to learn what inspires them to give back!
- Donate toys to a charitable organization
- Host a neighborhood clothing drive
- Create a community garden
- Create a thank you card for a community helper
- Put together a care package for soldiers
Model Kindness Every Day
Little acts of kindness go a long way in reinforcing community to your child. Use the skills your child is practicing and reinforce them at home, during errands, etc. Hold the door at the grocery store, and say “thank you” when someone holds the door for you. Ask the Target cashier how his or her day is going. Smile when you see someone who needs one. Pretty soon, you’ll see your child initiate these little acts of kindness on his or her own. In fact, he or she will be excited to do so.
To truly build a sense of community, teachers and parents both need to be involved. Interested in becoming a part of the U-GRO family and learning more about how we create community across our 13 centers? Request more information, or schedule a visit to tour our classrooms!