The Eagles’ nest at Beaver Dam Elementary School includes a very special group of nestlings, the cherished preschool eaglets. Thirty little ones have landed in nests tucked into the hallways of the school. The first day was Monday, August 18. Amid smiles and tears, each little one perceived this new experience in a very personal manner. It was a tiny step into the journey of formal education.
With loving assurance top eagle, Mrs. Phyllis Leavitt, greeted parents and students. Her welcoming smile and encouraging words set any parental anxieties to rest. Joining her was the preschool staff: Savanna Gonzales, Edith Trujillo, Isela Zarate, Doris Finlinson, and Rex Hoyt. Mrs. Gonzales comes to Beaver Dam with a strong background in Early Childhood and preschool education. Both Mrs. Trujillo and Miss Zarate are fluent in Spanish, which is an additional source of nurturing for the preschoolers whose home language is Spanish.
The preschool falls under the umbrella of First Things First/Quality First, which is an Arizona model for early education. The program is designed to promote communication, vocabulary development, and social skills. There are many opportunities for students to make new friends and learn how to get along. A major goal is to set the stage for future school success. Three and four year old students attend full day learning activities Monday through Thursday. Transportation is provided by the school district. Children are served delicious home style meals by Miss Susan and her staff.
The success of week one can be seen in two events which occurred after the classes began. One student was observed crying at the end of the day. When asked why, she replied “I want to stay in school!” Older siblings reported on Friday that younger ones were chagrined because they didn’t get to attend school five days a week too!
Alexander Eagle, mascot and protector of the school, agrees with the entire Beaver Dam Community in acknowledging that it’s an honor to have these beautiful little ones in the nest. The eagle team, including teachers, Miss Susan’s restaurant staff, the custodial staff, support staff and bus drivers will work together to provide an excellent preschool experience for the chicks.