Loving Preschool, Parks and Pee Wee Programs

Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG)  |  By Cady Nagy-Chow, Cordova Recreation & Park District
  Share this pic with friends!

James (second from right) and fellow Discovery Kids Preschool students. Photo courtesy of CRPD

  Share this pic with friends!

James on his first day of preschool. Photo courtesy of CRPD

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - The Davis family has been in the residence of the Cordova Recreation & Park District (CRPD) for over eight years, are active members of the community and frequent District parks for leisure time and events. Meet Jamie (mom), Chandler (dad), 4-year-old James, and 2-year-old Ben.

One of the youngest members of the District, James Davis, is a Discovery Kids Preschool student, who loves science, sports and socializing. Jamie keeps James in the program year-round, so he has an opportunity to continue preparing for future schooling and life.

“I was so excited to find out the Discovery Kids program existed. James loves it and I love it, because I feel like the program gives him the opportunity to socialize and trains the skills he needs for kindergarten. That’s why he attended preschool camp, all four weeks this summer. I wanted to keep him in a routine and keep him learning,” Jamie said.

CRPD’s Discovery Kids Preschool program is a child-centered, classroom experience that emphasizes hands-on activities to help children develop socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually.

Having completed a full year of Discovery Kids, James has already demonstrated immense growth. “James has flourished so much going to Discovery Kids. He’s learned to share, learned compassion for other people, and on the academic level, he’s learned the whole alphabet, and will tell me about the weather… He’s even starting to learn to spell and identify words just by looking at them,” Jamie said.

This upcoming fall, James will enter the new Discovery Kids STEM program at White Rock Community Clubhouse. “Last year, James showed a particular love for any sensory play or hands-on learning. Whether it was painting things or making things with clay, he always came home with something he made that day. But science-based activities, like making goo, were so fun for him, since he loves science stuff. So he’s really excited for the STEM program,” Jamie said.

After preschool, James participates in CRPD’s Pee Wee Sports program at the Mather Sports Complex. “He’s done basketball, t-ball, soccer, track & field, and is about to start flag football. It’s an amazing way to let them explore when they’re young, so they can pick and choose what they like. Plus, we’ve had an incredible experience with the coaches. Specifically, Coach Jim. He is so nice and always remembers kids’ names – he’s almost like family – like uncle Jim!” Jamie said.

Living right off Bradshaw Road, Jamie feels that Riviera East Park is part of their home. “It’s like our second backyard, literally and metaphorically. The kids love to be there. They explore, identify the animals in the park, make friends with other kids – the socialization James has learned at the preschool helps him in these environments. He’s not afraid to talk to other parents or go play with other kids,” Jamie said.

While Riviera East Park’s proximity makes for a convenient, nature getaway, the Davis family considers themselves District park experts, having visited almost all 36 of them, multiple times. “The park and facility directory in the back of the recreation guide is so helpful. I can glance over each park’s amenities and use it to pick where we want to go that day. It’s nice to have the options for whatever we’re in the mood for. We hit up all the splash pads, attend some birthday parties in parks, enjoy the shade structures at the parks out in Anatolia and my two-year-old loves the Hagan Community Barn, which he calls ‘the farm,’” Jamie said.

With their consistent participation in community events, District programs and utilization of parks, the Davis family has found joy in giving back to the District that serves their community. “Whenever we can, we go down to the barn to donate extra produce that we can’t eat in time for animals. It’s a great reason to bring Ben to the barn, but also nice to know we’re helping make this barn experience possible,” Jamie said.

As a parent in the District, Jamie does not solely seek out resources for her children. She has utilized District resources and programs for herself. “I have participated in golf lessons at the Cordova Golf Course and played in adult softball leagues. We utilize the services, because they’re ours to capitalize on. We kinda feel like they belong to us,” Jamie said.

In her children’s future, Jamie sees further participation in the District. James will get to explore his other interests, like joining the Jr. Kings’ basketball league when he's old enough, or expressing his love for dance in hip hop classes at the Hagan Community Center. “Until I had kids, I didn’t even know we had such a strong park district. Now that I have two, I’m so excited to flip through the rec guide CRPD sends out and see how many ways I can get them involved,” Jamie said.

As for little Ben, Jamie plans to place him in both Discovery Kids Preschool and Pee Wee Sports once he turns three. “It’s super affordable, and they’re playing with kids their age, and learning those super basic skills they’ll need later. For that age, that’s more than we could ask for,” Jamie said.

Visit https://crpd.com/programs/earlychildhood/ to learn more about programs for children under 6. Discovery Kids Preschool is still open for registration and begins Tuesday, September 3.