The Whole Child Difference


Daybreak Academy is a private preschool & elementary school that offers a "whole child" education based on the arts, music and academics that serves children from all over the Salt Lake Valley as well as Utah County. All of our classrooms Pre-K on up, have a degreed teacher with a bachelor or master degree in early childhood education or related field. Daybreak Academy recognizes that QUALITY early childhood education can significantly improve a child's future outcomes both academically and socially. Studies have found that children who receive quality early childhood education excel academically later on and become more stable, higher income earners as adults-this is true across the socioeconomic spectrum. (Ref1). 


Setting a New Standard in the Field


Daybreak Academy strives to go beyond standard early childhood educational services and sets a new level of excellence in the field. The Academy is a leader in its field for high quality academics taught by professional, degreed teachers. The Academy believes that both the education and experience level of instructors matters. The Academy is also a leader in incorporating scientifically validated enrichments. Academy students (ages Pre-K & up, while younger students participate in music lessons that prepare them to start on the piano and other instruments) receive in-house private weekly piano lessons with a professional piano instructor. (Visit http://daybreakacademy.com/video.html “Music & Piano Lessons” to meet the instructor and see clips of actual lessons with a 3 & 4 year-olds in progress). Research has found that learning to play the piano/keyboard at a young age can permanently increase a child's IQ (Ref2). 


The Fine Arts Go Hand-in-Hand with Academic Success


While these types of opportunities are more common at fine arts preschools in Europe, they are almost unheard of here in the states. Daybreak Academy is a leader and innovator in the field of high quality preschool education. We are always seeking out new ways to provide an even more excellent and comprehensive early childhood education in a safe and healthy environment.

Every child at Daybreak Academy is also taught a foreign language (currently Mandarin Chinese) by a native speaking instructor. (Visit http://daybreakacademy.com/video.html “Mandarin Chinese” to learn more and see clips of actual lessons with a 3 & 4 year-olds in progress). Students who study foreign languages tend to score better on standardized tests than their monolingual peers, particularly in the categories of math, reading, and vocabulary. (Ref3) It is well known that early childhood is the ideal time to start learning a foreign language as children’s brains (dendrites and neural pathways) are busily forming new connections and are highly geared towards language acquisition up through age 5 and then slowly starts to lose some of that sponge-like ability to quickly “soak in” a new language. 

The Academy’s arts curriculum is comprehensive, unique and inspiring. Students participate weekly in Martial Arts, Creative Tech (the art of using new technologies to further creative expression), Language Arts, Choir/Music, Applied Creative Science, Theater, and Gymnastics/Dance. 

Academically, the Academy’s age-appropriate, early childhood curriculum is also second to none. Most students graduate from their early childhood education program reading above core standards and with strong math skills. But they also graduate with so much more—a confidence in themselves and in their ability to succeed in life, along with an impressive appreciation for the Arts. 


All-Inclusive Enrichments & All Students are Included


It is important to note that these “Arts Enrichment Lessons” are taught by professional instructors who are experts in their fields and who specifically teach only the enrichments that they are qualified to teach. It is also important to note that EVERY child at the Academy gets to participate in EVERY enrichment (at no extra charge beyond basic tuition). The Academy decided from the start that no child would ever be left out of “extracurricular” arts enrichments, because the Academy believes that the arts and music is not an “extra”, it is a fundamental core of education that no child should ever be excluded from. This sets Daybreak Academy apart from other preschools, most of which have either very limited or no additional arts/music based enrichment opportunities OR offer them to only a select group of students whose parents have to pay additional fees. At the Academy, every child gets to participate in all of the enrichments at no additional charge.

With a strong passion for nurturing the “whole child” DA’s commitment to the arts as well as academics is backed by scientific research showing the many benefits of these enrichments. “Studies show that there is a correlation between the arts and other achievement. A report by Americans for the Arts states that young people who participate regularly in the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to participate in a math and science fair or to win an award for writing an essay or poem than children who do not participate.” (Ref4). 

Study references: 
Ref1: http://www.highscope.org)/Content.asp?ContentId=219 
Ref2: http://www.artsedsearch.org/summaries/music-lessons-enhance-iq 
Ref3: http://psychology.illinoisstate.edu/cbs/readings/BialystokMartin.pdf 
Ref4: http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/music-arts/the-importance-of-art-in-child-development/ Type your paragraph here.


Philosophy

Daybreak Academy’s focus on the arts and academics in their “whole child” curriculum constitutes a unique approach to early childhood education. DA recognizes that it’s not WHAT you do, but HOW you do it that matters most. The Academy’s curriculum is uniquely hands-on. Kids don’t just learn about science, they experience science with hands-on projects. Students don't just learn about music, they deeply experience music through individual piano lessons, choir, and recitals. Our philosophy is that if you make learning fun and active at an early age, children will learn to love the learning process itself--setting the child up for a successful academic future. Our learning philosophy and curriculum are designed to incorporate scientifically proven "best practices" for educating children. Daybreak Academy draws inspiration from the teachings and ideas of Jean Piagét, Rudolf Steiner, and Maria Montessori. We do not feel that any one "method" has all the answers or is "better" than others, but rather that each approach has valuable elements that can and should be implemented into any well-rounded educational experience. Most importantly, Daybreak Academy believes that every child is "YOU-nique", and therefore deserves a certain level of customization in their education to fit with their unique learning style and abilities.

The Hands-On Approach

Young children aren't meant to spend all day at a desk. We have a rigorous academic program that includes lots of opportunities for hands-on learning. Children's active minds and bodies need lots of opportunity for self-expression and movement. For example, our students recently built their own simple hovercraft with their own little hands under the guidance of our science teacher. Students learned all about friction force and other principles of physics through experience. After several unsuccessful attempts and lots of fun hands on tinkering, the kids got it working and were able to able to take turns taking rides on it (with the appropriate safety precautions and helmets!) Others may say, “why build a working hovercraft with kids so young?” Daybreak Academy says, “Why not!?” Preschoolers are a lot smarter and more capable than they are often given the recognition for, but that’s not forgotten at the Academy! ☺ (see a few clips of the action at https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=750167711660920&set=vb.160844127259951&type=2&theater). 

As another example of our commitment to hands-on learning, your child will get to participate in our school's organic gardening program. Research has long suggested that school gardening is a fantastic idea in terms of health, life sciences, language arts and general self-esteem. At Daybreak Academy there are designated organic raised garden beds, one for each class, that each child gets to help plant and grow to fruition. These gardens are more than just berries and vegetables—they are a catalyst for hands-on learning and individual growth. (visit http://daybreakacademy.com/video.html “Organic Gardening” for a short video clip featuring the organic gardening program with fun footage of students participating.) 

“Gardening offers hands-on, experiential learning opportunities in a wide array of disciplines, including the natural and social sciences, math, language arts (e.g., through garden journaling), visual arts (e.g., through garden design and decoration), and nutrition. With recent concern over relatively weak science and math skills among American children, the need for innovation in science and math teaching is apparent. There is mounting evidence that students who participate in school gardening score significantly higher on standardized science achievement tests (Klemmer, et.al. 2005). Further research along these lines can be found at Cornell University’s Garden Based Learning website and at the California School Garden Network.” (http://web3.cas.usf.edu/tbsg/benefitsofschoolgardening.aspx) 

Studies suggest that: 
“After gardening, children have shown more positive attitudes toward fruit and vegetable snacks.” Lineberger (1999).

What parent wouldn't love for their child to learn to appreciate and enjoy eating more fresh produce? Our gardening program and healthy organic meals & snacks teach children over time to do just that! 

“In a summer school project that used a whole language approach with gardening as the central theme, the most significant student gains were in self-esteem and achievement in reading, reading comprehension, spelling, and written expression.” Sheffield (1992) 

The Academy serves organic lunches and snacks to all students at no extra charge, and the in-house chef prepares these meals with produce grown in the school gardens as much as possible, making it exciting and fun for kids to try new produce, full of pride that they helped “grow” their own lunch! Parents are frequently complimenting the Academy on how amazed they are at how much produce their kids eat at school. The Academy's innovative difference is how student-driven the learning is. Children don't learn by being told things, they learn best by doing things!