We expanded our Early Childhood program options in the 2016-2017 school year upon opening the Early Childhood Outdoor Education Program at Boulevard STEM Elementary School. This early childhood program option, the first of its kind in Indiana, has provided opportunities for 20 students to participate in learning experiences that go beyond the classroom walls and into the natural environment. Any child that lives in Kokomo boundaries and is 4-years-old by August 1 is eligible to attend. The outdoor program was inspired by the philosophies of Reggio Emilia, forest schools, and Waldorf education, all of which use authentic experiences to teach academic standards. The children participating in this program spend half their day in an indoor classroom and at least two hours, rain or shine, no matter the temperature (“There’s no bad weather, just bad clothing!”), in an outdoor environmental setting, including a log cabin and 6-acre outdoor lab at Kokomo High School.
On My Way PreK is a state funded grant that will pay the tuition cost for income eligible families. We have used grant funds to supplement the outdoor clothing needs for children whose parents are unable to pay for them.