One Amazing Summer!
Serving Families in Brandon, Valrico, Bloomingdale, Lithia & Fishhawk
FREE Summer VPK (Voluntary PreK)
June 8th to July 30th, 2020
Our proven Summer VPK curriculum combines our "Ready for Kindergarten" activities with our amazing enrichment experiences to ensure each child has a summer rich in exciting experiences while achieving individualized learning goals.
First Discoveries Academy is excited to offer a Summer VPK program again in 2020. Serving the Brandon, Valrico, Bloomingdale, Lithia and Fishhawk areas, our Summer VPK will nurture the growth and development of each child to inspire a life-long love of learning. Our program blends two important components:
"Ready for Kindergarten!" Learning Experiences
Individualized instruction and one-on-one developmental assessments
A child-centered classroom that encourages communication and cooperation
Literacy and math experiences embedded throughout the day
Touch-screen HATCH computers to build PreK and Kindergarten skills
"Discovery" learning experiences that encourage creativity, problem-solving and collaboration
Summer Camp Fun!
Lots of time to explore and learn in our huge playground
Special Field Trips, including visits to the library and to the Florida Aquarium
Special Guest Speakers, including a Mad Science demonstration, an on-site puppet show as well as a visitor with live ocean animals that we can touch
Water play days to cool off during the hot summer
Weekly Cooking Projects ... it's fun to be a chef!
This summer, be sure your child receives plenty of vitamin N ...
Hatch Touchscreen Computers
This summer, our Summer VPK program will focus on "Amazing Animal Adventures"
Touch live ocean animal
Learn how baby sea turtles hatch
Discover how we can help animals and our earth with a few simple steps
Observe alligators & sharks at the Aquarium
Learn about prehistoric reptiles and dinosaurs!
And so much more!
Our PreK classroom now uses the Hatch iStartSmart Touchscreen computers, for individualized learning:
Build early math & literacy skills
Individualized activities to challenge each child
Incorporates both PreK and Kindergarten Skills
Reports for teachers and parents
Brandon's Only Eco-Healthy VPK... so your child benefits from the healthiest possible learning environment. Endorsed by the Children's Environmental Health Network (CEHN)
Handwriting Without Tears ... a developmental handwriting program that uses songs, games, and fun activities to introduce correct letter formation.
Amazing Outdoor Classroom ... Learning doesn't stay in the classroom! Our children explore our outdoor classroom every day for strong bodies & strong minds. The best exercise for the brain is exercise! Let's move and explore!
Goats and Gardens ... Children care for and harvest herbs & vegetables in our organic gardens. They also play with and care for gentle Nigerian Dwarf goats. Now that's science!
Certified, Experienced Teachers ... Ms. Cindy, our Summer VPK teacher, has a Masters degree in Early Childhood and National Board Certification and has taught both Summer VPK and kindergarten for more than 10 years. Ms. Ashley, VPK co-teacher, has taught at First Discoveries for six years.
FAQ about Summer VPK at First Discoveries
What is Summer VPK?
Summer VPK is part of the Voluntary PreKindergarten program in Florida. Children may participate in either the school year or the summer VPK program. VPK is funded through the State of Florida to ensure that Florida's children have a high-quality preschool experience prior to entering kindergarten.
Who is eligible for Summer VPK?
Every child who is five years old on or before September 1st, 2020, is eligible to participate in the VPK program. Children may participate in either the school year program or the summer program, but not both. (There are a limited number of exceptions, such as when a child disenrolls from the school year VPK program because of placement in the EELP program or due to military orders. See www.elchc.org for more information.) Children who might potentially be eligible for the summer VPK program include: children who attended a private prekindergarten that didn't participate in VPK, children who attended EELP or Head Start, children who did not attend any preschool program, and children who recently moved to Florida. For more eligibility information, please see www.elchc.org. There are no income restrictions for the VPK program.
What is the schedule and cost of the Summer VPK program?
Each school sets its own schedule for Summer VPK. For 2020, our tentative Summer VPK schedule is: 7:00 am to 4:30 pm. We will be closed the week of June 29th to July 3rd to observe Independence Day. There will be no VPK on July 23rd or 24th due to a teacher training.
Your child's VPK voucher will cover the cost of tuition from 7:00 am to 4:30 pm, but children are not required to attend that entire time. Your child can attend for a half-day schedule from 8 to 12:45 pm, or a full school day. Drop off time and pick up time are flexible for the summer VPK program, but children must arrive at school by 8:30 am.
Are there any other costs for the summer program?
We will have field trips and special events this summer, including guest speakers that come on-site. The cost of field trips, special events, and a school t-shirt (required for off-site field trips) is $100 for the entire summer. If your child was referred by a Head Start program, or your family qualifies for free lunches, you can request scholarship assistance to help with the cost of field trips.
Is extended care available?
Yes, you can sign up for extended care on a daily basis or for the entire summer.
Does my child have to attend every day? Or attend for the full day?
We understand that families have many plans for the summertime, and our program is designed to be flexible to meet the needs of your family. Some families need a summer camp that spans the entire summer, and others want a great summer camp experience for a few weeks. Each family can design a summer camp schedule that meets their needs. We are happy to discuss it during the tour!
Also, many of our summer VPK students attend for a half-day program rather than a full day program. (See above for suggested schedules, or talk to us during your tour!)
Would my child benefit from Summer VPK at First Discoveries?
Yes! Our Summer VPK is completely individualized, so it builds on each child's unique strengths and interests. We understand that children do not all learn the same things, in the same way, at the same time. Instead, we plan rich learning experiences that encourage each child to reach his / her potential. Each child receives a pre-assessment to identify strengths and to set individual learning goals for each child. We also encourage parents to identify specific learning goals for their children.
Are children with special needs welcome to enroll?
Yes, our individualized program is designed to meet the needs of all children, including children with developmental disabilities, children who are learning English as a Second Language, and children who need extra support or extra challenge to reach their potential. We work with therapists, including speech therapists and ABA therapists, and our teachers have participated in specialized training to support individual children in the classroom. Our teachers understand that young children learn through active, hands-on experiences and we individualize our program to ensure that children are growing and learning every day! Our staff will be happy to explain our inclusion program during your tour!
How do we enroll in Summer VPK at First Discoveries?
Enrollment begins by scheduling a tour of the school! After your tour, we will schedule a play-date for your child and provide you with enrollment information. You will also need to get a VPK certificate from the early learning coalition. To get your certificate, you will need proof of your address and proof of your child's date of birth.