Prekindergarteners learned a lot about their hometown of East Hampton through a curriculum unit centered on community. Visits from East Hampton Village Fire Department and Ambulance Corps volunteers introduced them to some of the “community helpers,” and walking field trips took them to key places in town.
EWECC’s central location in the village puts many great places within walking distance for our children to explore, from Herrick Park, where they met a friendly East Hampton Police Officer, to the nature trail and duck pond, Guild Hall — which treated our children to a pre-holiday screening of “The Polar Express” — to the East Hampton Library, where they were welcomed in the children’s room, and along Main Street and Newtown Lane, where children sent off their letters to Santa in the special mailbox.
Students met more of their school neighbors through visits and storytimes presented by Barbara Layton of Babette’s restaurant and by Mary Schoenlein of Mary’s Marvelous, where a wintry mural the children made brightened up the store’s holiday window. Now that the winter weather is lightening up, more trips will be planned.
The children used their growing knowledge of their community to make a mural of the town. Connection to family, friends, classmates, school, and village helps children learn not only about themselves and others, and the larger world, but fosters the sense of community that will help them grow into caring and productive residents.