Early Childhood Development
Below is a letter from the Oak Forest Park District to the Rotary Club of Oak Forest. We are trying to fund this project and with your help (buying tickets for the Virtual BINGO) we will be able to help these kids get ready for their future.
If the Oak Forest Park District FunTime Preschool program were to receive these monies, they would be used to purchase one of two items that would be beneficial in our classrooms.
1.  Tablets
Technology is our future.  Bringing tablets into our classrooms would help the students connect school with how they are learning at home.  We would use the tablet for more interactive storytelling and music-n-motion.  We would be able to help those students who are not exposed to technology. This way they are more prepared as they enter into school districts.  
2. Listening Center
A listening center consists of a CD player and several pairs of headphones and book sets.  It is important for children to become active listeners at a young age. This is a skill we use daily in every aspect of our lives. The listening center would help to bring more technology into our classroom and would help children to focus on hearing and understanding the speaker, as well as making judgments based on what they heard.
In follow up to our conversation, this year we have 21 students in our preschool program. They are 4 years old and will be turning 5 during the school year. They will all be preparing to go to kindergarten next year. 
Normally, our program enrollment is approximately 85-90 students ranging from 3 - 5 years old.  However, due to the situation at hand with the Coronavirus, we only opened enrollment to the 36 three year old students who attend last year. I had 24 spots available, to allow for appropriate distancing in the classrooms.  The current 21 students are those who chose to return.  
A few parents who chose not to return due to the situation at hand, have requested to receive materials at home to work with their children and make sure they are keeping on task to be kindergarten ready.  I am also hoping to be able to do some video chatting with these students, so that they can feel a part of the classroom.  This would be another example as to how the tablets would be a great addition to the classroom.  Each child does not need to have one, but each classroom having one would give the teachers the option to access additional teaching tools.  We currently have 4 classrooms.