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Laguna Blanca Hosting Open House Thursday for New Junior Kindergarten

Teacher Cindy Nichols will meet with Santa Barbara-area youngsters and their families

Laguna Blanca School, 260 San Ysidro Road in Montecito, will host a “Meet the Teacher” Open House from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Thursday for its new Young Scholars Junior Kindergarten program.

The teacher, Cindy Nichols, who has flown in just for the Open House to get an opportunity to meet Santa Barbara-area youngsters, will launch the school’s new program this fall 2012. She currently teaches pre-K at The Fay School in Texas and has been an educator for more than 25 years, specifically focusing on pre-K over the past seven years.

Her imaginative Journey Around the World curriculum is sure to be a hit in Santa Barbara. From ancient Rome ruins and the jungles of Africa to China for the Chinese New Year, her creative and integrated curriculum allows junior kindergarteners to travel around the world one continent at a time, while incorporating a strong foundation for reading, writing and math.

Travel is planned to coordinate with different countries’ holidays so that children can gain a unique perspective on various cultures and traditions, languages, major landmarks, animals, food, costumes, art, music, instruments and dancing.

Activities are designed to help children develop an awareness and appreciation of themselves and the world around them, while fostering a multicultural understanding of their own heritage and an appreciation of differences.

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All learning experiences are hands-on. While in each country, children will cook native foods, dress in native clothing, build famous landmarks, study artists and paint in their particular artist style, play games that children in the chosen country would play, and even learn a few words in each country’s language. Imagine your child painting under a table like Michelangelo during a trip to Rome!

Students will spend time in the garden and with animals to provide an opportunity to learn about nurturing, responsibility, nature and life cycles.

With enrichment classes in Spanish, art, music, science, physical education and library, Laguna Blanca’s Young Scholars Program expands every child’s curiosity for the world around them resulting in a truly authentic learning experience.

The junior kindergarten schedule will be 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, with an extended day option available. The application deadline for fall is April 20.

For more information, call Lower School Admission Associate Kim Romanov at 805.695.8143 x415.

— Tara Broucqsault is the director of communications for Laguna Blanca School.

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