Philosophy

Curriculum

Quality

History

Philosophy

Children are strong, competent, and active learners with a need to learn and a right to reach their fullest potential. Their artistic and creative endeavors deserve sincere encouragement from the adults in their lives. We respect children by listening, observing, and interacting as they work to construct theories about our world. We share in children’s excitement as they learn to solve problems.

Relationships are at the core of our philosophy: teachers and children, children and children, and teachers and families. We value our families as their child’s most important teacher and the best resource in understanding each child. With positive and loving interactions each day, we build trusting relationships with the children. We value children as strong, competent, and active learners with an innate need to learn and a right to reach their fullest potential. Teachers implement curriculum, listen, observe, and interact with children as they work to construct their own theories about the world around them. We provide opportunities for children to practice skills that develop their high emotional intelligence. This is one of the traits that leads to well-adjusted, successful adults.

Curriculum

Our experienced teaching staff implement an emergent curriculum that is inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach, where children are active members of the community. Through collaboration with families, teachers, and children, the daily curriculum promotes children’s development through curiosity-led self-discovery. It incorporates children’s interests and their development to provide playful, hands-on learning opportunities in a wide range of experiences. In collaboration with the curriculum, daily documentation is a guide for developing a deeper understanding of the interests that emerge from the children. Through this negotiated process, teachers celebrate and challenge each child. The curriculum evolves each week while integrating music, art, culture and language.

Combining an individualized curriculum and documentation, teachers observe, document, and respond to the unique interests and developmental needs that arise for each child. Activities are planned based on the interests and needs of children. Various types of supporting documentation are implemented, including observation sheets, photographs, weekly plans, and journals are also implemented. Written observations are compiled with work samples into a child specific portfolio to assess developmental growth, inform curriculum, and communicate to families about their child’s experience in our school. Families and teachers meet regularly during the year to set goals and review the child’s developmental portfolio.

Quality

At Rainbow Riders, we believe that quality is a moving target. We continually reflect and assess our programs to develop goals and action plans for improvement. This commitment includes our voluntary participation in Virginia Quality and NAEYC Accreditation.

Virginia Quality is a state-wide program that sets standards for quality and provides a path for continuous quality improvement. Periodic assessments and mentoring support the creation of a Quality Improvement Plan that guides and supports program growth.

Accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) indicates that our program is meeting 10 standards for high-quality early childhood education. Our program has demonstrated that we provide a safe and healthy environment, have teachers who are well-trained, have access to excellent teaching materials, and work with a curriculum that is appropriately challenging and developmentally sound. All three Rainbow Riders sites have earned this prestigious recognition of being Accredited through NAEYC.

History

A locally owned and operated organization, Rainbow Riders has over 30 years of exemplary service to children, families, and the New River Valley Community.

  • 1986: Rainbow Riders opened its doors and heart to children, families, and teachers in the New River Valley offering full time care for infants through 5th grade.
  • 1989: Awarded Accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
  • 1999: Moved to a new, collaboratively designed facility influenced by Reggio Emilia, Italy on Knollwood Drive.
  • 2009: Established partnerships with Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech College of Engineering, and the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (CRC) and expanded operations to a second site: Rainbow Riders at the CRC.
  • 2016: Rainbow Riders partnered with Roanoke Valley Total Action for Program (TAP) and opened an Early Head Start Partnership Program located at St. Michael Lutheran Church (SMLC).
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