What is the relationship between The Summit Center and Discovery Kids?

All Discovery Kids families benefit from the resources that the Summit Academy provides to the Center – an onsite nurse, a media library staffed by media and library specialists, a full-size gym and cafeteria, classroom technology, facility services, and additional operational support.

The two organizations, although separately incorporated non-profits, share a similar mission of helping children reach their full learning potential.

About our Discovery Kids/Summit Academy Integrated Classrooms

Discovery Kids and Summit Academy partner to provide four fully integrated preschool classrooms: two 3–4-year-old programs, and two 4–5-year-old programs. These integrated programs provide a safe and nurturing learning experience in which children can play and learn. Special needs and typically developing children are placed together in an integrated learning environment that utilizes a developmental approach.  Children are immersed in a variety of planned activities that promote readiness skills, language, and social/emotional growth. Research has shown that all students benefit from being in this type of programming. For additional information on Summit Academy, please refer to thesummitcenter.org.

The daily schedule includes small and large group activities, centers, snack time, story time and teacher facilitated play time.  The class participates in specials that include gross motor, gym time, music, and art, as well as play outdoors when weather permits.

In the Discovery Kids/Summit Academy Collaboration, the integrated classrooms include the following staffing ratios: 

8 students from Discovery Kids
8 students with special needs
1 General Education Teacher
1 Special Education Teacher
3 Teacher Assistants

What are the benefits of an integrated classroom for children without special needs?

First, all children in the integrated preschool classrooms at Discovery Kids enjoy more individualized attention and learning opportunities than you will find in other day care centers. Each classroom is staffed with certified teachers and aides, and there are specialists that push into the program regularly to provide learning support – including speech-language pathologists, physical and occupational therapists, and others. 

Through integration in early education, children learn more realistic and accurate views about individuals with disabilities and begin to develop positive attitudes toward others who are different from themselves. They learn altruistic behaviors and are provided with models of individuals, their peers, who successfully achieve despite challenges.

How will I know what my child is doing each day while at Discovery Kids?

In all age groups, our teachers provide a daily report to parents which reflects how each child’s basic needs were met, the learning opportunities that the child had and participated in, the social experiences they enjoyed with friends and adults in the classrooms, and any special activities that happened. Teachers may also include on these notes a reminder for items needed, information about an upcoming theme day or special guest, etc. Please be sure to read this sheet daily as it is also an effective way to spark conversation with your child on the drive home.


The Creative Curriculum® for Preschool is used in the 3–4-year-old classroom. It is a comprehensive, research-based curriculum that features exploration and discovery as a way of learning, enabling children to develop confidence, creativity, and lifelong critical-thinking skills.

The philosophy of The Creative Curriculum® is that young children learn best by doing. The Creative Curriculum® is built on theories of development in young children, that all children learn through active exploration of their environment and therefore the environment plays a critical role in learning. The goal of the Creative Curriculum is to help children become independent, self-confident, inquisitive, and enthusiastic learners by actively exploring their environment. The curriculum identifies goals in all areas of development: Social/Emotional, Cognitive, Physical and Language. The planned activities for the children, the organization of the environment, the selection of toys and materials, planning the daily schedule and interacting with the children, are all designed to accomplish the goals and objectives of the curriculum and give your child a successful year in school. The richer the environments, the more concrete opportunities there are for children to learn by interacting with materials and people. The teacher’s role is to create an environment that invites children to observe, to be active, to make choices, and to experiment.

Center areas include;

  • Dramatic Play (Housekeeping)
  • Blocks
  • Manipulative/Table Toys
  • Art
  • Sand, Water & Rice
  • Library
  • Music
  • Writing Center
  • Computers
  • Outdoors
  • Science Discovery
  • Listening Center
  • Large Motor Area
  • Trains/Doll House

The Core Knowledge Curriculum (CKLA)

Core Knowledge is a research-based, teacher-tested curriculum that engages students in diverse historical, scientific, and cultural content. The idea behind Core Knowledge is simple: knowledge builds on knowledge. The more you know, the more you can learn.

What is the Core Knowledge program? 

Core Knowledge Language Arts® (CKLA) is a comprehensive program (Preschool–Grade 5) for teaching reading, writing, listening, and speaking while also building students’ vocabulary and knowledge across essential domains in literature, world and American history, and the sciences.

Units of study include:

  • All About Me
  • Families and Communities
  • Animals
  • Plants
  • Habitats
  • Classic Tales (dispersed throughout the year)
  • Important People of American History (dispersed throughout the year) 

Jolly Phonics

Jolly Phonics is a world-leading English literacy method that teaches children how to read and write using phonics.

Phonics is the teaching of the sounds that letters make, rather than the names of letters that are taught in the alphabet, because it is the sounds that are the predictors for reading and writing, not the names. These sounds are taught in a systematic way, alongside all of the skills needed for being a fluent reader and writer. Jolly Phonics also teaches all of this in a fun and engaging way, through characters, stories, actions, songs and games!

Will Discovery Kids help prepare my child for kindergarten?

Yes! Our program is developmentally based and offers a wide variety of age-appropriate hands-on learning materials and activities all with the long-term focus of preparing your child to enter kindergarten. By the time children graduate from Discovery Kids, they should be able to*: 

  • Recognize and name alphabet letters
  • Recognize print they often see, such as their own name, various logos, and signs
  • Understand that words in books convey meaning, recognize the parts of books, and know that words run from left to right across the page and from top to bottom
  • Notice and work with the sounds of spoken language, for example through rhyming, and recognize when a series of words begin with the same sound
  • Use spoken language to express their thoughts and ideas, tell a story about an experience, and learn about themselves and their environment
  • Produce circles, lines, scribbles, and letters as part of their early writing
  • Recognize numbers and understand that numbers tell us about quantity, order, and measurement
  • Recognize, identify, and manipulate basic shapes and understand that shapes can be transformed into other shapes
  • Hold and look at a book and prepare to begin learning to read

*US Department of Education list of common academic expectations for children entering kindergarten

Whom can I call with other questions about Discovery Kids?

We welcome your calls, whether you have already chosen Discovery Kids as your childcare provider, or you are searching for a child-care arrangement to meet your needs. Call us at 716.629.3463, and we will be glad to answer your questions.