Childhood Development Class Bridges Experience and Student Relationships

The aroma of gingerbread and frosting wafted through the preschool and kindergarten wing of Chenango Forks Elementary on Friday as young food artists and their high school buddies decorated holiday cookies with an abundance of frosting and sprinkles.

It's a routine for the preschoolers to have their high school peers visit on Fridays as they have received them as visitors since September. Each high schooler helping in the classroom is part of Mrs. Daniel's Child Development Course. 

According to Daniels, the class is offered through Syracuse University and focusses on the growth and development of children from the birth to adolescence.

For all involved, the partnership between the classes is ideal. "The Pre-K teachers are wonderful to work with," said Daniels. 

Cassidy Kelly, an 11th grader at the high school said she signed up for the course because she wanted to become a teacher or occupational therapist after college. 

"It's really fun to see how they grow" said Kelly, "...and they are very entertaining" she added. 

Kelly said this course is helping her prepare for where she sees herself in the future. 

For Mrs. Hudak and Mrs. DuBois, just a couple of the Pre-K classroom teachers at CFE, having the high school students is something they enjoy.

"They (preschooler) love their high school friends," said DuBois. "Every year they look forward to it".

Hudak who is the primary teacher in the classroom said even though they were creating gingerbread cookies on Friday, there are still educational lessons involved. 

"The gingerbread cookies are awesome because they help with our motor skills, and we are learning about family traditions, as well as the letter 'G' being the center of what we are learning at the moment" said Hudak. 

Hudak said the cookies helped fill their 'tummies' as well.

Mrs. Daniels and students decorate holiday cookies.