Welcome to Douglas County School District’s Early Childhood Preschool Program. As your child participates in our program he or she will learn many new things. One area that will be emphasized is the development of positive social interactions by directly teaching social skills and emotional literacy in the classroom. Social skills refer to the broad band of behaviors that allow children to get along with one another and develop positive relationships such as greetings, sharing, turn-taking, initiating, problem-solving, complimenting, and communication. Emotional literacy is the ability to recognize, understand and appropriately express emotions. When children develop emotional literacy, they will be able to better regulate their emotions, which in turn, allows for more positive behaviors and interactions with peers.
Social Skills serve a variety of important roles for preschoolers. Throughout the day, as preschool children watch, imitate, model and interact with each other, they learn to share, solve problems, and collaborate. These skills don’t come naturally and some children have difficulty interacting with their peers and building friendships. In the DCSD Early Childhood Preschools, time is set aside to learn and practice specific social skills that children can use to interact and build friendships with one another. These skills are reinforced throughout the preschool day. For each curriculum unit you will receive a letter describing the social skills being taught. This allows you to reinforce the social skills at home.
Research has shown that children with emotional literacy and problem solving skills have greater academic achievement, are more focused, are less lonely and impulsive, tolerate frustration better, and are healthier. These children have more positive peer relationships, acceptance and friendships, and less difficulty later on in school.
When children feel good about themselves they are able to develop positive relationships with others, know how to identify, express and manage their emotions, and they are more likely to be ready to learn and succeed.
We are excited about the learning that will take place this year. If you are interested in more reading related to promoting positive peer social interactions we suggest you look at the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning web site: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/csefel/resources/family.html and the Incredible Years website: http://www.incredibleyears.com. Both are research-based programs that focus on developing positive behaviors and social-emotional competence in young children. If you have any questions over the course of the year, please contact your child’s preschool teacher.
DCSD PRESCHOOL CURRICULUM: August, 2010 KH&PPM