ParkTalk Podcast S16 Play with a Purpose - Episode 02: Stories from the Classroom

Monday, April 6, 2020

Preschool teachers and program managers explain the basic units of the new preschool curriculum and share success stories from the classroom. This episode is part of Series 16: Play with a Purpose.

For a list of ParkTalk episodes and series visit

Quotes from the episode:

"We have five thematic units. Family, Friends, Wind and Water, Shadows and Reflections, and Things that Grow. We start with Family, because that's what the children know when they come in....Each unit has approximately 30 books that anchor where we're going. By starting with a book, we then go into each of the different learning centers and then the children can--with their whole body--make, do, and experience what's going on in the book." Sara Cass, Program Manager

"At the end of each unit we have a learning showcase for parents. It's a wonderful way for the children to share their work. They are so proud to take their special guests around, it's unbelievable. Showcase days are our favorites." Theresa Brady, Preschool Teacher

Naperville Park District Preschool Programs

Naperville Park District offers two preschool programs for the academic year, September through May: NPD Preschool Academy and Toadstools and Pollywogs Preschool. Both programs emphasize play with a purpose where teachers create an environment that fosters curiosity and facilitates learning. Through guided play, children develop kindergarten readiness skills. NPD Preschool Academy meets at the Alfred Rubin Riverwalk Community Center, 305 W. Jackson Ave., and Toadstools and Pollywogs Preschool meets at Seager Park Interpretive Center, 1163 Plank Road and at Knoch Knolls Nature Center, 320 Knoch Knolls Road. Toadstools and Pollywogs takes advantage of nearby walking trails, open fields and wildlife to explore nature and to facilitate learning. For more information about these programs and other early childhood classes, camps and events, check the Program Guide.