Project Discovery was the first fully integrated Preschool in New York State, with a student population composed of low-income, general education and special needs Preschoolers. Project Discovery is a unique and exciting program developed in cooperation with the Port Jervis School District.
Project Discovery offers an innovative program that is designed to meet the needs of students from the City of Port Jervis. The goal of the program is to provide special education services, including Speech and Language therapy, Occupational therapy, Physical therapy, Counseling and Special Education to special needs Preschoolers within the regular education environment, while simultaneously providing a rich and stimulating preschool curriculum for general education students.
The curriculum incorporates the Easterseals Child Development philosophy on Early Childhood education, with the Special Education goals and objectives of the Port Jervis School District. The expertise of the district teachers, and the creativity of the staff at Project Discovery bring unique and essential elements to the program. This integrated program operates well within the guidelines of the New York State Education Program. Each classroom is team-taught by New York State certified general education and special education teachers, with qualified and experienced teacher aides assisting in the implementation of the curriculum.
Classrooms are bright and colorful, full of language development and language stimulation. We promote a nurturing atmosphere where the possibilities for student exploration and "hands-on" learning are endless. By providing students with ample opportunities to explore areas of interest, the curriculum focuses on developing the strengths of the student to build self-esteem, and the important preschool skills of socialization, academic readiness, motor and language development.
An important aspect of Project Discovery is to meet the needs of the community, as well as the students it serves. Parent education classes, social work assistance, links to medical agencies, and nutritional counseling are important components of the program. We encourage parental involvement by integrating them into the classrooms, both to assist teachers, and learn ways of enriching their home environment to stimulate academic readiness for their children. Technology is another important aspect of Project Discovery, and we incorporate innovative technologies into our classrooms and the parent education classes.
Kiley Trigani, Director of Project Discovery, believes that as we begin to educate our special needs children in the regular education environment, as early as preschool, we are setting a precedent for their future education in the district. Ms. Trigani: "Children have the right to be educated in the least restrictive environment. It is our hope that they will go on to elementary school with a foundation that is strong enough to support their continued education in this manner".
For more information on Project Discovery, or to request an application, contact Director of Project Discovery, Kiley Trigani.
To learn more about Easter Seals Child Development philosophy on integrated Early Childhood Education, visit Easter Seals National Headquarters Web site.
88 E. Main Street
Port Jervis, New York 12771