Jan Peterson has been working for more than 25 years to provide age-appropriate education opportunities for children in the Chicago area. She joined forces with businessman, children's book author, and philanthropist Brian McClure to create a new kind of preschool, letting nature be the teacher. The name of the new center, Pathway Connections, is drawn from the recognition that early childhood is a time when young people are naturally making connections between themselves and the world around them. It is a time when their brains are building pathways that will set up their default thinking patterns for the rest of their lives.
Pathway Connections (Lisle, IL)
Pathway Connections was founded in August 2012 in Lisle, IL. Pathway was established with the mission to provide the highest quality care for children and families by providing a safe and nurturing environment that celebrates each child's individuality, inspiring curiosity and imagination through a connection with all.
Daily activities include digging in dirt and sand, gardening, splashing in water, creating toys and games out of everyday boxes. Pathway Connections
also features quiet areas where children can sit on stumps, and observe and listen to nature without artificial external interference and stimulation. All meals are served family style in order to get back to the roots of communication, cooperation, sharing, and fun, bolstering self-confidence and self-esteem. The school teaches conservation, recycling, composting, growing vegetables, and above all modeling "respect for ourselves, others and our environment."
At Pathway, we believe in providing opportunites for unstructured play and exploration in an inviting natural and safe enviornment, letting nature be the teacher. Through hands-on experiences, children will establish the basic early childhood standards for learning: curiosity and initiative, engagement, reasoning and problem solving, courage and self-confidence, self-reliance, and personal responsibility, so that they can confidently and responsibly venture along the pathway of life.