Classes and Programs
In addition to the programs listed below, Bright Beginnings offers “Lunch Bunch” enrichment programs from 12:30 to 3 pm. Starting in fall 2020, Cypress Lake United Methodist’s playday program for children under 2 years of age will be offered through Bright Beginnings.
Children reaching the age of two by September 1 are eligible for our two-year-old classes. Families may choose either two days (M-Tu) or three days (W-Th-F) per week from 8:30am – 12:15 pm. Our two-year-old classes will focus on providing a safe, healthy, secure and welcoming environment away from home.
Our purpose is to create an environment that encourages curiosity and exploration in young children. We will also focus on encouraging early cooperative play, sharing and taking turns, independence (leaving parent comfortably) and respect for authority, property and the rights of others. We will provide opportunities for language development, beginning with math skills, self expression through art, music and movement. We will help and encourage children with their toileting skills as they are ready. Children will begin participating in regular “Chapel time.”
Children reaching the age of three by September 1 and who are toilet trained are eligible for this program. Parents may choose from Monday/Tuesday or Wednesday/Thursday/Friday or Monday-Friday classes from 8:30 to 12:30. These classes stress socialization and learning through play and a wealth of “hands-on” activities. Time for art, music, outdoor play, story time, creative dramatics, and group activities are part of each day’s activities. The children attend a lively “Chapel time” each week.
Our four-year-old classes are part of the state of Florida’s free Voluntary PreK (VPK) program. These classes consist of hands-on, developmentally appropriate learning experiences, emphasizing beginning literacy and math skills, as well as building the self-esteem and self-confidence needed to move on to the primary grades. Children attend Chapel weekly.
You may choose between two options for your four-year-old child:
- Free VPK Only: 8:30 am – 11:30 am.
- Private VPK: 8:30 am – 12:30 pm. This program allows students to attend the full school day, which extends the 540 hours of Free VPK.
Stepping Stones is a one-of-a-kind program designed to address the needs of children who are eligible for kindergarten, but for a variety of reasons, will benefit from the gift of an extra year before taking that step. The Stepping Stones program is the only program in Lee County that works to prepare these students for public or private kindergarten classes, and can enroll up to 15 students. Children entering Stepping Stones must be five by September 1. This class will meet Monday through Friday, 8:30am-1:30pm.
From the parents of former Stepping Stones students:
True story: we moved our younger son to Bright Beginnings specifically for the option to enroll him in Stepping Stones. Having seen firsthand with our older son what Kindergarten is all about, we were unsure whether to send him so soon after he turned five. Upon finishing VPK, his Bright Beginnings teacher assured us he was prepared academically. Still our instincts told us to enroll him in Stepping Stones. It was the best decision. Not only did he receive a top-notch education, he also learned how to be a Kindergartner – within a safe, loving space. All of the things we never really consider (walking into school on your own, remembering where your classroom is, unpacking your backpack, navigating a 20-minute lunch, etc) are all HUGE (and possibly frightening) transitions for little people. Because of Stepping Stones, our little one made a very smooth transition without skipping a beat. Academically he has thrived and we knew he would. But the intangibles he learned through Stepping Stones are where he truly gained his confidence to be a big Kindergartener. I will say it again: BEST DECISION EVER.
Our son has a summer birthday and was one of the youngest in his class. Academically, he was where he needed to be, but we felt another year before kindergarten would be so beneficial to help him with fine motor skills and social skills. Stepping Stones has been amazing for him! I cannot say enough good things about this program! He and his classmates are learning so much! The play-based, hands-on learning is exactly what he needed! I have seen him grow so much this year – academically, socially, and even spiritually! I feel confident sending him to kindergarten in the fall. He is ready!!
Lunch Bunch is an extended day enrichment program that allows children to participate in a variety of activities such as art, Spanish, yoga, music, and science. Learn more here.