View our 2019-2020 Eaglet Preschool brochure for additional details; available sessions are listed below.
Registration documents and details will be available on this page, and can also be found by contacting Cathedral-Info@cdolinc.net.
Cathedral is home to the Eaglet Pre-School Program, a nationally certified Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom. This dynamic aproach focuses on the development of the whole child: Socially, Emotionally, Spiritually, Academically, Physically. The Eaglet Nature Explore Preschool is broken into two classes: Eaglets I for three year-olds, and Eaglets II for four and five year-olds.
“Our nature as humans is to connect with the wonders God made,” said Jeremy Ekeler, Cathedral principal, “so our Eaglet classrooms are predominantly natural materials: tree stumps, bamboo fencing, wall vines, garden beds, interesting native plants, worms, and dirt. Really, not too different from the way a lot of folks my age grew up playing outside.” This approach also carries over to the indoor classroom, which will have less posters and plastic and more natural materials, like stumps, plants and rocks.
Ekeler, who serves on the Early Childhood Advisory Board for Prosper Lincoln, and the Eaglet staff researched the approach and project two years prior to its final completion in April 2017. The project has been joined by an All-Star team, including Nebraska Nurseries and Color Gardens, Landscapes Unlimited, Neighborhood Tree, the Nebraska Natural Resource District, multiple volunteers, and primary funding from the Flanagan Innovation Grant of the Catholic Diocese of Lincoln.
Ekeler said, "Nature Explore and Dimensions Childhood Research Foundation earned our trust for a few reasons. First, it's a local venture supported by Dimensions Educational Research Foundation and The Arbor Day Foundation. The fact that we have an approach right here in the Lincoln area that has been under the microscope of is amazing. Not that this group needs any more credibility, but they've built classrooms like the one we're developing across the country."
“The Cathedral team has done a wonderful amount of research in looking at the interplay between these programs and child learning and development,” said Msgr. Perkinton, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Lincoln.
The professional development is ongoing, which is a cornerstone of the approach. Eaglet I teacher Patricia Korensky said she is excited about the opportunities brought about by the new classroom: “I am thrilled to encourage nature and exploration with our little ones! We are hoping to foster a love for learning by letting the kids get messy, touch and feel nature, and learn through playing with God's creations."
Laura Johnson, who teaches the Eaglet II program, said, "It's a wonderful combination of approach, professional development and environment. To place those three things upon our foundation of a vibrant Catholic faith formation is a true blessing to Cathedral and our community."learning by letting the kids get messy, touch and feel nature and learn through playing about God’s creations. And the more we discover about the more excited we get at the future of our Eaglets!”
Ekeler said the Nature Explore Classroom pushes back against the trend to rush children into their education.“
The academics will happen – we really aren’t too concerned with having kids who are reading chapter books and doing double-digit addition and subtraction when they’re in kindergarten. What is vital to us are kids who stay curious. Curious kids make for curious adults,” he said. “We don’t want a school culture in which 3-, 4-, or 5-year-olds are concerned with a grade, or about getting a wrong answer. We should all be more willing to explore and experiment, rather than being concerned about mistakes.”
View the map of Cathedral's Outdoor Explore Classroom
Much of the above story is written by Jess Wahlmeier for the Southern Nebraska Register.
Cathedral of the Risen Christ is also home to the Holy Family Extended Care. This is a fun, faith-centered learning experience for students ages five to 13.
Give your child the opportunity to grow in a fun, caring and spiritual environment. Questions can be directed to Laura Brouillette at firstname.lastname@example.org.