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The Serving Unique Needs (SUN) Kids program provides a developmentally appropriate setting for children who have been identified with special needs and for children who are developing typically. We encourage and actively seek the participation of typically-developing children.
Research shows that peer children who participate in a program alongside children with developmental delays will grow to become more independent and more empathetic adults. Our students grow together as they develop language, social, and physical skills. The inclusive setting has proven to be successful experience for all children.
Play is the primary means of encouraging skill development, and children are given the opportunity to manipulate classroom materials and interact with each other. Our staff understands that children develop at their own rates and that new skills are acquired when they are developmentally ready. Our program focuses on child-directed, rather than teacher-directed, activities utilizing The Creative Curriculum (a link on this page is provided for more information). The program combines music, movement, art, drama, large and small muscle activities, language, and concept development.
Through social interaction and play, children learn to share, respect others, problem-solve and understand how they can positively affect their environment. To support the student’s social/emotional development, SUN Kids uses Conscious Discipline. “Conscious Discipline® is a comprehensive classroom management program and a social-emotional curriculum. It is based on current brain research, child development information, and developmentally appropriate practices.” In addition to Conscious Discipline, the program employs PBIS strategies.
Positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) is a way for schools to encourage good behavior. With PBIS, schools teach kids about behavior, just as they would teach about other subjects like reading or math. The focus of PBIS is prevention, not punishment.
Classes are taught by certified teachers with academic backgrounds in early childhood and special education. Specialists – speech/language pathologists, physical and occupational therapists – present activities to stimulate language, gross and fine motor development, and help children with sensory issues. Para-educators complete the classroom support team.