Lighthouse PATH has a 20-year history of serving at-risk youth in the Pontiac-area community. The educational programs at PATH range from infancy through school-aged services and serve both children residing at PATH as well as community children who may also face endure some of the same challenges many of the PATH families encounter.
The children’s programs offered at PATH emphasize the development of self-esteem, character development, social interaction skills, and problem solving. Social and emotional milestones are often harder to pinpoint than signs of physical development. It is our goal to enhance and build upon skills that increase self-awareness and self- discipline. Research shows that social skills and emotional development (reflected in the ability to pay attention, make transitions from one activity to another, and cooperate with others) are a very important part of school readiness.
The goals of Lighthouse PATH Children’s Services programs are to provide a high quality and affordable Infant/Toddler program, Montessori preschool and kindergarten, an after school enrichment program and summer day camp for previously homeless and at risk children involved in the PATH program or living in the surrounding community. The children entering school will be prepared and excited to learn. Here they can begin to build a foundation for future academic success.
- Children will be able to grow and develop to their fullest potential when they play and learn in safe, structured environments that encourage them to learn about the world around them.
- Children will be able to learn the skills they need to succeed in school when they interact in positive activities with trained, knowledgeable and supportive educators.
- Parents will be better prepared to guide and nurture children when they are supported in their efforts to reunite their families and receive effective parenting instruction.
Infant/Toddler Program: PATH’s program for infants and toddlers is a hands-on developmental program. Activities include music, art, and language development, an introduction to the computer, sensory exploration, gross motor development and lots of loving. Daily logs concerning naptimes, feeding schedules, diaper changes and developmental progress are available to the parents. Children in this program are administered an Ages and Stages Questionnaire. This developmental screening tool assesses children for possible delays. If a screening presents possible delays, the child is referred for a more complete assessment through Early-On.
Montessori Preschool: PATHway Montessori provides early education in a nurturing environment for pre-school through kindergarten children ages 3 to 6 years. PATHway Montessori opened in 2001 to provide a quality education to children of PATH families and other disadvantaged families in the community. The program is designed to be of particular help for at-risk children. The Montessori Method is built on the child’s need for freedom within limits. The classroom environment is carefully prepared so the child moves naturally through a progression of materials and experiences that satisfy his/her emotional, physical, intellectual, and social needs. PATHway Montessori strives to encourage children to reach their individual potential by providing them with the essential building blocks to an early education.
The teaching methods are based on the philosophies of Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952), world-famous educator of children. The classroom environment is carefully prepared so that the child moves naturally through a progression of materials and experiences, which satisfy his or her emotional, physical, intellectual and social needs. The children, ages three to five years of age, are taught concepts such as colors, letters, numbers/counting, sizes, comparisons, shapes, direction, position, self and social awareness, texture/material, quantity, and time/sequence. Many are learning to read. It is the goal of PATH to continue providing high-quality educational tools and a nurturing environment for our current and future enrollees.
Summer Day Camp: A camp program for children ages 3 to 12 years includes educational and recreational field trips (costs included in camp fees), academic enhancement, physical activities, arts and crafts, computer literacy, gardening, and special presentations by Cranbrook Institute of Science that further enhance a child’s enthusiasm for science.