As many of you already know, we are so lucky to live in an area that is FULL of amazing preschools for our little ones! We have loved hearing your excitement about the 2017 ICMB Preschool Guide and today we are excited to share with you a little bit more about Willowwind School in Iowa City, which offers both full-time and part-time preschool. Check out our interview with their staff here, and be sure to visit their website and Facebook page as well!
How did Willowwind School begin?
Willowwind was founded in 1972 by a group of educators and parents to provide an innovative approach to education for the Iowa City community. Since 1972, many children have benefited from the superior education available at Willowwind School. The Montessori Preschool program was added in 2007 when Willowwind moved to its current location at 950 Dover Street in Iowa City.
What can you tell us about preschool at Willowwind?
The goal of Willowwind’s Montessori preschool program is to teach the child as a whole, equally guiding the physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth of each child. Through the prepared environment, calmness of the teacher, and attention to grace and courtesy, we offer an educational experience based upon the teachings of Maria Montessori. The core Montessori curricular areas are Practical Life, Sensorial Development, Science, Language, Mathematics, Arts/Culture, and Grace and Courtesy.
Students are offered a wide array of guided, independent and group activities both indoors and out. Regular presentations from parents and community members further enhance the curriculum by offering students exposure to a variety of professions and hobbies. Preschool students also receive instruction in art, music, and Spanish. Our lead preschool teachers are Montessori certified. We offer both full-time and part-time options for preschool learners.
At Willowwind School, learning is accomplished through membership in a community. Classes are multi-age and students and teachers work together to form cross-grade partnerships in a caring, purposeful community of learners. K-6 academic themes and activities are often integrated into our preschool, offering opportunities for students of all ages and abilities to interact with and learn from one another. Willowwind students come from rural and urban settings and represent an economic, ethnic, and academic cross-section of the area, bringing a welcome and rich diversity to our school. We intentionally focus on the social and emotional development of each child through our character education curriculum. This additional investment in our students further enhances their educational experience.
What does your preschool staff enjoy most about teaching at Willowwind?
At Willowwind teachers are empowered to blend the framework of the Montessori teachings with a hands-on, experience based curriculum. Teachers are active participants in this learning adventure, preparing children to become independent, life-long learners.
At Willowwind we recognize that the educational experience is not one size fits all. Small class sizes and diverse learning opportunities provide a personalized experience for each child. In addition to our Preschool and K-6 programs, Willowwind also offers a wide variety of after school enrichment, spring and summer camp options. We encourage families to stop by to investigate, explore, and enjoy the spirit of learning that takes place at Willowwind!
What is your favorite part about being a school in Iowa City/the corridor area?
There are so many wonderful businesses and education professionals in the area. We have been fortunate to form mutually beneficial relationships with a number of local organizations that share similar community-focused missions. At Willowwind learning takes place both inside and outside the classroom, and it is through these connections that students are empowered to be active and participating learners and global citizens.
This is a sponsored post. ICMB was compensated, either monetarily or with product, for writing the piece. However, all opinions expressed are our own, and we love this organization and all that it has to offer to our community!