Preschool and Pre-K

Our Preschool Program

Acorns Room

30 months+, Imagination Station on Coolspring Ave.

Early Childhood Education Pre-K Imagination Station and Head Start

The Acorn class, known as the transition class, is a place where children continue to learn self-care, early literacy, and interpersonal skills through fun activities. Three qualified child caregivers provide opportunities for the 14 toddlers to transition into their “preschool-hood.”

Children use all of their senses as they learn about the world around them. Some of the social skills fostered here include sharing, taking turns, using empathy, and expressing feelings. Children begin work on preschool skills like:

  • Identifying colors and shapes
  • Recognizing their first name
  • Using counting games and songs to introduce children to number concepts and sequencing
  • Beginning reading such as book orientation, following text, and story retelling skills

Our Acorns class is the proud school-home for three qualifying Head Start Families!

Our Pre-k and Head Start Programs

Offered at Imagination Station, Niemann School, and Bethany Lutheran Church

For children age 3 to 5 years old.

Our two-year Pre-K and Head Start programs offer the highest quality program to children and families throughout LaPorte County. All programs are in alignment with Head Start Federal Standards as well as NAEYC Quality Standards.

Our programs use a curriculum which supports the development of the whole-child. We provide environments and learning opportunities for children to develop their social and emotional competencies, cognitive skills, physical-motor development, as well as their use of communication and language. The ultimate goal of the programs is to expand the child’s understanding of themselves and the world in which they live.

We serve up to 20 children in each classroom with 3 qualified caregivers. Each Lead Teacher holds a degree in Early Childhood Education. Our Teacher Assistants possesses or are working on their CDA Credential Certification. Additionally, every class has a classroom aide to keep ratios low. Lower ratios means higher quality interactions with individual children. This helps to increase trust in the relationship with the child which ultimately results in an increase in child outcomes.

Our programs are informed by the Reggio-Emilia approach, a child-centered philosophy. Our unique program offers an Art Studio or Atelierista. The studio teacher will ensure that children have the tools to communicate their thoughts through various media (e.g. paint, clay, wire, natural materials etc.). Children will be encouraged to use many materials for discovery and communication. These modes will serve as a demonstration of what they understand, wonder, question, feel, or imagine. It is the teacher’s responsibility to facilitate the exploration of a child’s surroundings.

Our teachers connect learning experiences to the community by planning intentional field trips or classroom volunteers. In this way, we can help curriculum come alive through real-life experiences and through relationship-based learning.

Our Preschool and Pre-K Staff

Imagination Station in Michigan City

NAEYC Accredited since 2004 and PTQ Level 4

Monarchs

Monarchs

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Lead Teacher

TBD
Sunflowers

Sunflowers

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Laura Urban

Lead Teacher
Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education | Since 2021
Acorns

Acorns

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Kahnah Kirk

Lead Teacher
Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education

Our Imagination Station Staff is Proudly serving Head Start Families

Head Start of LaPorte County at Niemann School In Michigan City

PTQ Level 3 since 2021

Walnut Room

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Raida Steele

Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education | Since 2015

Pine Room

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Tiffany Jackson

Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education | Since 2018

Chestnut Classroom

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Latrecia Lane

Master Lead Teacher
Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education| Since 2015

Elm Classroom

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Shirley Garner

Lead Teacher
Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education | Since 2015

Sassafras Classroom

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Angie Stewart

Lead Teacher
Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education | Since 2015

Atelierista

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Zulekah English

Associates Degree in Art | Sine 2019

Head Start of LaPorte County at Bethany Lutheran Church in LaPorte, Indiana

Dogwood Classroom

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Elizabeth Zimmer

CDA and Associate’s degree (in process) | Since 2018

Willow Classroom

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Debra Bournes

Lead Teacher
Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education| Since 2021

Our Locations

Imagination Station

Located in the heart of the Edgewood Neighborhood in Michigan City.

Head Start

Niemann School; Home of Head Start of LaPorte County

Head Start

Bethany Lutheran Church; Home of Head Start of LaPorte County

All Sites Are Equipped With

  • Closed circuit monitoring of every room
  • Secured entry system
  • Radio Communication System
  • One-touch emergency call buttons
  • Strict adherence to licensing, health, and fire regulations
  • ADA accessible and developmentally appropriate fenced-in playgrounds
  • Comprehensive staff training on safety drills, emergency procedures, and active supervision.

Ready to Help?

We need your support! With your gift, Paladin will continue our work to protect the rights of people with disabilities and support their full inclusion and participation in the community. May we count on you today?