At Safari Learning® we believe that young learners need access to wonderful, open-ended materials and equipment that stimulate thought, play, analysis, evaluation, oral language, cooperation, interaction—and just plain fun. Not all things have to be considered “educational” to be educational. A child can take a stapler and turn it into a rocket ship. In their mind, they picture the moon and the stars and put themselves and their friends “in the driver’s seat.” And we supply the vehicles for just such adventure.
We continually provide a unique, innovative and integrated curriculum (concepts, products and materials) that align with the principles for developmental learning as established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Best teaching practices, based on well-established and rigorous research, guide our curriculum choices and approaches.
A print-rich environment will enhance student understanding of oral and written language and will provide a foundation for future learning. For this, the Zoo-phonics® Multisensory Language Arts Program, developed by the director Charlene A. Wrighton and her sister, Georgene E. Bradshaw, and artist/partner, Irene M. Clark, will be used daily. Zoo-phonics® integrates all aspects of language arts (phonological awareness, the alphabet, print information and oral language) with math, art, music, science, social studies, resource conservation, cooking and nutrition, sensory motor, physical education, grooming and self-care.
Maria Montessori had a concept of children as “their own creators.” We honor this view in that it would be egocentric of us to feel that we had everything to do with the child’s growth and education. We embrace her ideas that children are more interested in real objects they see in the world than contrived toys that bear no resemblance to objects that help them on their way to independence. So we provide relevant materials, objects, and equipment which enhance learning and self-reliance. And, because we believe in fantasy, imagination and just plain fun, we promote plenty of giggles and movement while “Using the Wild to Teach the Child… to discover, play, enjoy and learn” with Zoo-phonics®, our animal friends, and the world around us.
Safe, loved and comfortable away from home
We help our students to feel safe, loved, and comfortable away from home. Our center is an alternate arena, beyond the home, to develop socially, physically, emotionally and academically. We encourage self-discovery that points the child to people, places and things outside of themselves and their families.
Appreciating diversity, learning leadership and self-control
We help students to learn empathy and care for others and the environment in which they live. They learn how to express themselves appropriately, cooperate in a group, develop their ideas into reality and learn important tools to effectively interact with others in a community. We give each child the opportunity to be a leader and to allow others to lead as well.
The first five years
The first five years in the child’s life are pivotal for knowledge acquisition. Neural pathways are like a city freeway system. The brain has a vast neural network that reaches out constantly to make the connections with other neurons. With each connection, the neurons are given responsibility for some academic task or point of knowledge. A newborn has more than a trillion connections in the brain. It generates 15 million new cells per hour. The more neuronic connections that are made at an early age, the more able the child is to handle complex tasks later in life. And we use this as a mandate to maximize student growth and potential to help each child to become the best they can be in preparation for his or her future.