VPK stands for Florida’s Voluntary Prekindergarten. In 2002, Florida voters passed an amendment requiring a high quality prekindergarten learning opportunity be available to all 4 year old children residing in the state of Florida. VPK is free and voluntary.
VPK is not intended to replace kindergarten, but rather it is a time for children to be engaged in hands-on experiences that facilitate active learning in areas of development that will prepare them for kindergarten.
It is okay to play in VPK! Many of our activities are planned to encourage children to explore things directly with their 5 senses and practice new skills through their play. Our play has a purpose! At Argonauta, we have many developmentally appropriate learning environments that are meaningful to children at their various stages of development.
We have stimulating learning centers where children can independently engage in learning about the world around them, such as: a construction area with large and small blocks, a library, a computer area, listening center/headphones, manipulative toys, musical instruments, puppets, an art center, and a dramatic play area.
Activities are planned for individual children, as well as, small and large groups, where children can participate and develop their language and communication skills. Children’s emergent reading skills develop as they have daily opportunities to look at books that are read and re-read to them. Lessons and materials are planned to facilitate children in learning about letters and phonological awareness. Activities are provided daily for children to develop their emergent writing skills in order to help them understand that print conveys meaning. These activities also provide opportunities for children to gain age appropriate skills in letter and number writing.
Every day children at Argonauta learn basic skills through music and movement. There are opportunities for children to express their ideas and feelings and respond to music as they let their bodies and imaginations flow with movement.
Children are encouraged to create and express their individual ideas through many and varied art materials that are accessible to them throughout the morning. Many of their projects are “process art,” where children create and build upon their art work over several days with varying media and art techniques.
Developmentally appropriate math activities and manipulatives are provided for children to use to experiment with counting, measuring, comparing, making patterns, sequencing, matching, recognizing shapes, and becoming familiar with written numerals.
There is a daily time for outdoor play where children can imagine, socialize, and develop coordination and motor development and participate in sand and water play.
Each day we have a devotion time where the children hear a Bible story, pray, learn scripture, and sing. Every Friday, we participate in praise and worship during chapel.
The children also participate in a Spanish program where through songs, movement, and rhythm activities they learn about colors, shapes, counting, and animals. They also have simple conversations in Spanish.
To register with the state for VPK, you can call for an application by mail, or complete the application at a local registration site. You will need to bring proof of your physical address and proof of your child’s age to any Coordinated Child Care Office. Call 547-5782, or visit their website at www.childcarepinellas.org.