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Rainbow Bridge Preschool

1920 Zehndner Ave.
Arcata, CA 95521

(707) 825-7447


Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

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  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
Other subjects taught

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

We really work on focusing on the individual child's needs. Every child develops at their own pace and so we recognize the developmental speed and help them with new skills or to master what they are already starting.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Rainbow Bridge Preschool is a non-traditional program which brings together ideas from varying philosophies which foster a life-long love of learning by educating the whole child: head, heart and hands. At Rainbow Bridge Preschool we enrich imagination, enhance creativity and are responsive to diverse learning and cultural backgrounds. The children learn daily domestic skills through the natural rhythm of the days and weeks. Rainbow Bridge Preschool offers a loving, play-centered program for children.

Rainbow Bridge works to educate the whole child by balancing social, creative, academic, and practical work. Children learn primarily through imitation and activity, and live in a world of imagination, expressing himself or herself through creative play. We have created a preschool program which gives the children a balanced feel of free-play and structure through the rhythm of the day.

It has been observed that children thrive when their surroundings are filled with love and warmth. We seek to provide a nurturing home like environment where the primary ingredient is love. The demands that children presently face in regard to academics and media have substantially drained the pure joy, imagination and wonder from our children’s live. We would like to reinstall these experiences at Rainbow Bridge. At the same time, we recognize that our society is evolving and the perceived need for early academics is real. Therefore, we do offer child and family directed pre-kindergarten readiness activities in small teacher facilitated groups. Children also strive to portray the roles of adults in their creative play. They feel a sense of accomplishment and autonomy by completing tasks through role-playing that consist of daily real-life skills, such as dishwashing, clothes washing with washboards, sweeping and gardening. Rainbow Bridge incorporates these aspects of daily work in the play, in effect children feel as though they are fulfilling tasks in a playful way and as a result they will have lasting positive memories of completing domestic duties.

A Typical Day

Rhythm of the Day

7:30-9:00 Arrival/Wash Hands/Snack

9:00-9:20 Morning Greeting/Songs

9:20-10:00 Art Activities/Curriculum Baking/Free Play/ Centers

10:00-10:30 Wash Hands/Snack

10:30-12:00 Outside Time/Gardening Time

12:00-12:15 Morning Circle

12:15-12:30 Story Time (Oral Story, Book or Felt Puppet Show)

12:30 Prepare for Departure/Arrival

12:30-1:00 Wash Hands/Lunch

1:00-2:30 Naptime/Quiet time

1:00-1:45 Outside Play

1:45-3:00 Curriculum Baking/Free Play/Art Activities/Centers

3:00-3:30 Afternoon Circle

3:30-4:00 Wash Hands/Snack

4:00-5:00 Outside Play

5:00-5:15 Story Time (Oral Story, Book, or Felt Puppet Show)

5:15-5:30 Prepare for Departure


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

Rainbow Bridge Preschool works with the parents in finding a comfortable morning routine that the child becomes familiar with, whether it's one hug and a wave, or the same teacher holding the child every day and waving out the window.