Two innovative pre-kindergarten classrooms are located at Project Enlightenment. The use of research-based best practices in early childhood education makes either of them an excellent pre-kindergarten experience for young four-year-old children that are not kindergarten eligible.
Each classroom emphasizes that children “learn by doing.” This instructional focus, combined with an emphasis on literacy and promoted through inquiry-based learning techniques, is based on early learning standards for North Carolina preschoolers, adopted by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. The classrooms are organized into centers such as: the construction center, dramatic play, a creation station, music, a discovery center and a literacy center. The schedule typically includes a “together time” to begin the day, creative play time, clean-up, snack, outdoor play time and an assigned center time. Small group activities are provided for movement education and social skills.
- The Demonstration Preschool (DPS) is an inclusive half-day classroom. It serves both children with developmental and/or social-emotional concerns and typically developing children. The application process for the 2023-2024 DPS classroom will begin in February 2023.
- The Blended Classroom (BC) is a full-day classroom serving students funded by Title 1, NC PreK and WCPSS Preschool Education Services. It emphasizes research-based early literacy practices. Students are assigned to this classroom by the Wake County Public School System. For an application for this program, call Smart Start at 919-851-9550 and ask for a universal application. This application is not specific to Project Enlightenment but is a universal application for all Title I, NC PreK classrooms.
Both classrooms at Project Enlightenment are "Guided Observation" sites. Guided Observations are designed for teachers of three- to five-year-olds and scheduled throughout the traditional school year. Participants that register will observe developmentally appropriate best practices occurring in one of the two inclusive pre-kindergarten classrooms serving four-year-olds. Following the observation, participants discuss and determine strategies for implementing best practices in their own classrooms. Some of the "best practices" participants might observe are: literacy-rich environments, phonological awareness and alphabet knowledge, building a caring classroom community, positive guidance strategies, and respectful teacher/child interactions. Check our workshop tab for more information about registering for a Guided Observation.