Character in our Classrooms
Character matters. In our classrooms, we put the spotlight on curiosity, kindness, purpose, growth mindset, emotional and social intelligence, to name a few. Our teachers create authentic experiences to reveal, build, teach, and learn from our children and families about character. We strive to help raise children who are kind and committed to creating greater good in our communities.
Our preschool and kindergarten programs use the Second Step Early Learning and Kindergarten curricula to explicitly teach executive function skills, which research has proven to be the foundation for self-regulation and social-emotional competence. Learning is fostered through play and social interaction: puppets, discussion, songs, & investigation of visuals. The plan for teaching skills and concepts within a given year is cohesive; social and emotional skills build on one another over time. To accelerate development and provide a cohesive learning experience from one year to the next, the Early Learning skills are aligned with those taught in Kindergarten. This repetition and purposeful, age-appropriate planning builds confidence and accelerates growth. Click here to see the scope and sequence of skills for Kindergarten and Preschool.
Furthermore, in 2020, A Mother's Touch established a partnership with Rush University through the Neurobehavioral Center’s Education Team. For A Mother’s Touch, this partnership means access to expert training, a research-backed early childhood curriculum, and an ongoing school-wide focus on helping children build executive functioning skills, beginning in infancy.
Tender Hearts, an Intergenerational Program
Tender Hearts is our beloved intergenerational program that connects kindergarten children and teachers to the seniors in our community. A Mother's Touch believes that we can learn from one another at all stages of life, sharing time, acceptance, patience, and compassion. Our intergenerational programs helps seniors and young children build meaningful relationships in a supervised setting.
- Children and seniors engage in activities such as storytelling, art, music, gardening, and cooking.
- Children learn about and participate in the annual Alzheimer’s Awareness Walk.
- Our program is DCFS licensed for children ages 3-5.
We welcome families into A Mother's Touch at any time. Over the years, it has been our privilege to partner with families to establish the following traditions:
- Family participation makes traditions special, such as at our Harvest Feast, the Winter Performance, parades, Art in the Park, and Preschool Night at the local library.
- We always welcome parents to share their talents and interests with our classrooms.
- We host Parent Round Table and “Ask the Expert” presentations by local community outreach professionals.
We are proud to have deep roots in our community. We've established meaningful relationships with community organizations and leaders, and we regularly deepen your child’s connection to the community through programming at AMT such as:
- During Week of the Young Reader, we invite community leaders to read to our children, such as the Mayor, the superintendent of D25, a Metra Train representative, the Boomers Baseball President, and local Marines.
- We celebrate Fire Prevention Month by inviting the local firemen to bring a truck and ambulance for the children to see and learn about fire safety.
- Local dental staff come to talk to the children about oral health and safety during Dental Awareness Month.
- We collect and donate books to children’s wing of Northwest Community Hospital as well as to local programs that serve children such as Head Start and Maryville.
- We collect and donate food to the local food pantries.
- Our children participate in the MDA hopathon, a disability awareness, acceptance, and education program that teaches children the three core values of awareness, acceptance and assistance to others.
- A physical therapist from Northwest Community Hospital and Alexian brings in child size crutches, walkers, and wheelchairs and facilitate discussions about awareness and acceptance of children with disabilities.
- Kali, the therapy dog, visits for a demonstration and discussion about acceptance.
- Every spring, our children learn about and hatch chicks through the local 4H program.
- Our children plant and nurture a vegetable garden each year, and we share the harvest with our friends and family in the A Mother's Touch community.
We believe that all children deserve compassionate care, and with full hearts we support several organizations that serve children around the world.
Cuddle + Kind
This season, we welcome all new children to our center with a cuddle+kind doll, a gift that embodies our commitment to kindness. We agree with the family of five that founded the company: “a cuddle can change a child’s world.” Each cuddle+kind doll provides 10 meals to children in need and employment for women artisans in Peru.
Feed My Starving Children
A Mother’s Touch partners with Feed My Starving Children to “turn hunger into hope” for children worldwide. Our teachers look forward to coming together to pack nutritiously complete meals that are specifically designed to reverse malnutrition in children. Most recently, we came together to help pack 63 boxes containing 13,608 meals for children in Nicaragua.
“At A Mother’s Touch, we are committed to supporting the wellbeing of children in our community while also supporting our neighbors worldwide. I continue to pack meals because I love the experience of team building while impacting the lives of children in a tangible way. At A Mother's Touch, our passion for children reaches far and wide. Packing meals at Feed My Starving Children is one small way we are able to be a part of something much bigger than ourselves.” - Roberta, Director
The O'Brien School for the Maasai
The O'Brien School for the Maasai is a primary school for children who live in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Daily, the O’Brien School for the Maasai is able to effectively “educate 370 children, serve them 2 meals per day, employ more than 35 locals, assist over 100 widows with essential supplies, and support the remaining villagers in many other ways.” Our children and families at A Mother’s Touch have donated goods, and our founder, Laurie Gashkoff, traveled to Tanzania to spend time supporting the school’s mission.