Anderson Children's Foundation

Palm Valley School

Toddler Playground & Outdoor Curriculum (2023-2024)

In the current post-pandemic environment, a child’s screen time has increased by 52%, and outdoor play has decreased significantly. These trends have a direct impact on a child’s ability to explore the environment authentically and interact with nature in order to learn in their natural element from a visual, auditory, tactile, vestibular and kinesthetic sense. Additionally, children in our desert have a limited timeframe for outdoor play, free of excessive heat or wind. Therefore, at PVS, strategically planning outdoor playtime embedded in the curriculum with proper equipment is critical for a child’s development. 

The PVS Preschool (PVS-PS) is committed to fostering the whole child; developmentally, socially-emotionally, and physically. As we strive for continuous improvement, we consider all components that contribute to exceptional learning to develop a curious and inquisitive nature.

With ACF support, our students will finally have an outdoor play structure coinciding with a teacher-trained outdoor curriculum. This opportunity has the capacity to provide our youngest PVS Firebirds with the ability to explore their natural environment while developing independence, and problem-solving skills. In addition, enhanced teacher-training supports essential foundational skills for our developing students aligning with the PVS mission to provide exceptional learning opportunities.

Contact: Paul Lewin Director of Advancement and Community Engagement


Toddler Playground and Classroom Improvements (2022-2023)

Palm Valley School is excited about our growing student population. With the help of Anderson’s Children Foundation, we can improve our toddler playground and make classroom improvements. The toddler program that we offer starts at 2 years of age and goes through 4 years of age (Pre-K). We have had our current play structure on the playground since the opening of the school in the 80’s. With this grant we can remove the current play structure and have a brand new one installed. We have also improved the outside seating area for the children to be able to have somewhere to sit while they are outside playing. Having an area that is designed as a quiet area outside will allow students to take a break mentally and physically from outdoor activities while still being outside.

Inside the toddler classroom, we have added shelves and a lighting table. The lighted surface draws kids in and enhances the learning process. Children learn best visually. The light table makes the visuals the main feature of whatever lesson your child is learning. This also enhances the colors and provokes our student's imagination. The shelving at the child’s height and is used to display toys or developmental aids according to the child’s need and interest at that time. Not only does it encourage organization, but it also helps with enabling students to be more independent as well as have a choice in what they would like to explore.

Eating Rainbow Preschool Snack Program (2020-2021)

The Palm Valley School Eating Rainbow Preschool Snack Program provides for healthy snacks, lessons in positive eating choices, as well as related cooking, gardening and fitness instruction. Over one hundred children in the program will be impacted as teachers spend an hour each day on positive food choices, including morning and afternoon snack time, age-appropriate meal activities such as learning how to mix and measure, and learning how to plant a vegetable garden. Children establish eating habits early and thus preschool is an ideal time for them to cement lifelong healthy patterns. Integrating a curriculum of “eating the rainbow” and offering a wide variety of options to try teaches young students to taste and appreciate vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables. Students will be taught more advanced nourishment lessons according to their different levels. It’s important in a busy and rushed society to take the time to make good choices in nutritional intake. Obesity is a major health danger for many American children. The “Eating Rainbow” program will also keep parents updated on what is taught with informational handouts.

Children who practice healthful habits regularly will carry those principles forward throughout their lives, including when they have their own children. Participating in the farm-to-table process of growing, preparing and consuming food provides an integral understanding of how food affects the body. Learning how to integrate active play throughout the day instead of screen time helps children socialize in ways that burn energy and strengthen fitness. This is crucial to break the cycle of negative health outcomes based on poor diet. All these elements are essential as a foundation for lifelong good health.