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Preschool Director/Lead Educator Monica Woods

Monica is our Program Developer/Lead Educator and she has been with us since summer staff orientation back in late May 2017. She whole-heartedly believes that children should have the opportunity to connect to the outdoors and is astounded at how everything she has done up until this point has prepared her for this amazing opportunity.

Monica is a native Texan, but got here as fast as she could. She moved to Little Rock in 2008, after falling in love with it while visiting family here for many years. She loves to surprise outsiders with stories of some of the beautiful places here, but always stops short from telling all she knows because she would really like for Arkansas to remain a secret.

She has two children, Tristan and Lucia, whom she chooses to spend time with above just about anyone else, and never takes for granted the gift of being a parent.

After backcountry guiding for several years in Colorado and Wyoming, nine years in the classroom and ten years homeschooling her own kids, Monica then tutored dyslexic students at Catholic High School before serving in her current position at Lake Nixon. Monica is an avid rock climber and often enjoys climbing in Northwest Arkansas, as well as in other parts of the U.S.

After doing her own research into outdoor preschools for many years, Monica could not be more excited to have this chance to provide this nature immersion experience for young children right here in Little Rock. You can email Monica at mwoods@2bclr.com.

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Educator/Camp Director Marie Brakebill

Serving as a full-time teacher, Mrs. Marie is the newest addition to the Lake Nixon Outdoor Preschool family. However, her ties to Lake Nixon and to Second Baptist Church are true and deep. Marie was born in Louisiana and has lived in Arkansas since 1986. She is married to her husband, Charles, for 39 wonderful years and has three children and six grandchildren. In addition to her role at Lake Nixon Outdoor Preschool, Marie has served as Assistant Director for the Lake Nixon Summer Day Camp for the last 22 years.

Mrs. Marie began her teaching career 24 years ago when her children first entered preschool, and it wasn't long before she realized she had found her calling in teaching. Marie went on to earn an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education and continues to be as enthusiastic about education today as she was when she began.

In addition to her love of reading, Marie enjoys walking and has finished the Little Rock Half Marathon. Lake Nixon Outdoor Preschool and Summer Day Camp is proud to have such a dedicated and hard working individual.

Marie's favorite Bible quote, "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." -Phil. 4:13

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Educator Alan Brooks

Hi preschool families. My name is Alan Brooks and I have lived in Arkansas for 22 great years. My experience working in an educational setting extends from preschoolers to adults with disabilities. My internship with St. Marks' brought me to especially love working with children, and so I've also dedicated my time for the last 3 years to St. Michael's Children's Chapel. My passion and heart is for kids, and there is never a dull moment with these kiddos. They keep me on my toes, and inspire me to see the world through their eyes. I'm looking forward to getting to know each and every family.

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Program Director/Educator Jeremy Spann

Jeremy is equally excited to lead both the Lake Nixon Outdoor Preschool and the Lake Nixon Summer Day Camp programs.

Throughout his life Jeremy has walked many paths, but through this new role at Lake Nixon Outdoor Center he has been blessed to find the most meaningful work, guiding youth from prekindergarten through elementary on their many adventures and building their faith in God.

Jeremy is a kid at heart, who is lucky enough to have married the love of his life, Elizabeth Spann. They have been blessed with two children, Kenneth and Miles. Jeremy brings to this new role a background in environmental science, his experience as a middle school educator, and serving the community through the Little Rock Climbing Center.

Jeremy seeks to provide the children and families of Central Arkansas with a trusted environment to grow, play, and learn. He looks forward to growing a meaningful relationship with the wonderful community surrounding Second Baptist, and fulfill his calling to serve through Lake Nixon Outdoor Center. You can contact Jeremy by emailing him at jspann@2bclr.com.

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Educator Sheila Gloer

Sheila Gloer is a parent of two grown boys, a grandmother, an educator and lover of the outdoors. She studied early childhood education in her undergraduate degree and taught preschool early in her career. After further study she became a reading specialist teaching in public schools for 28 years in four different states. After completing a doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction she extended her teaching career in the School of Education at Baylor University for sixteen years. Having retired from their teaching positions at Baylor, Sheila and her husband moved to Little Rock this past May where her husband is serving part-time on the staff of Second Baptist Church Downtown. Sheila enjoys this new vocation of building relationships with your children in the outdoor classroom on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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Assistant Educator/Assistant Camp Director Chris Gardner

My name is Christopher Gardner and I work at Lake Nixon Outdoor Preschool and Lake Nixon Summer Day Camp. I began working at Lake Nixon in 2015 as a substitute counselor. Each summer, I have played a different role from subbing, being a team counselor, becoming the praise and worship teacher, and even this past summer, I served as the assistant director and bible study teacher. I have worked at Lake Nixon Outdoor Preschool since January of 2018 and it has been a blast. Being at Lake Nixon and allowing kids to grow, play, and learn in this environment is simply astounding. My heart is with kids and I plan to teach high school speech and theatre.

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FAQ Who Can Attend Outdoor Preschool?

The Lake Nixon Outdoor Preschool is an all-weather learning community for children, ages 3-5. We welcome your child into our program as soon as he or she is able to use the bathroom independently.

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FAQ When Can I Visit the Outdoor Preschool?

Meet the teachers, visit the indoor and outdoor classrooms and find out what Outdoor Preschool is all about! Due to great community interest and support, meetings are arranged into small group tours.

Please call (501-228-0202) or email Monica Woods as soon as possible to arrange a tour.

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FAQ What if it’s Raining or Cold Outside?

Your preschooler’s safety is our primary concern and we will constantly monitor weather, especially on stormy and/or very cold days. We want your preschooler to be safe, always, and we also want to stress the importance of a true outdoor experience. Preschooler's outdoor time will be reduced when windchill temperatures are in the upper 20's, and the heat index is over 100 degrees. Rain suites are used when it is an especially wet and rainy day.

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FAQ What About Meals and Snacks?

Families are asked to supply their preschooler with a lunch and two healthy snacks each day. Lake Nixon Outdoor Preschool will provide milk or a milk alternative to each preschooler during snack times. We encourage families to supply their children's food in packages he or she will be able to independently open themselves.

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FAQ When is Parent Orientation?

Registered preschoolers and families will need to attend the Lake Nixon Outdoor Preschool Orientation at the Lake Nixon Outdoor Center prior to school beginning. Our next Orientation will be August 27th.

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FAQ What is the daily schedule?

Our daily schedule is:
7:00am - 8:15am Morning Extended Care*
8:15am Drop Off
8:30am School Begins
8:30am - 11:30am Morning Outdoor Excursion (Snack at 9am)
11:30am - 12:00pm Lunch
12:00pm - 1:30pm Rest Time
1:30pm - 2:45pm Afternoon Outdoor Excursion (Snack at 2pm)
3:00pm School Ends
3:00pm - 3:15pm Pick Up
3:15pm - 6:00pm Afternoon Extended Care*
*Additional fees apply for Extended Care options

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FAQ What additional teaching resources will be used?

Our program draws from many resources. These include: North American Reggio Emilia Alliance, Conscious Discipline, North American Association of Environmental Education, Schoolyard Habitats, National Wildlife Federation, Growing Up Wild, Arkansas Game and Fish, Arkansas Environmental Education Association, and the Natural Start Alliance.

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FAQ What local partnerships does the preschool work with?

We have working partnerships with: River Valley Horticulture, Green Corner Store, Arkansas Heritage Quail Habitat, Wings Over Arkansas, and the Native Plant Society.

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Outdoor Preschool

Space is Limited

Lake Nixon Outdoor Preschool is Enrolling Now.

The Lake Nixon Outdoor Preschool is an affordable, high quality alternative traditional preschool.

 What is Outdoor Preschool?

The Lake Nixon Outdoor Preschool is an all-weather learning community for children, ages 3-5. Our program closely follows a Forest Kindergarten model of full nature-immersion with emphasis on natural rhythms, seasonal changes and the natural sciences. Our classes are mostly student lead, by teachers trained to utilize childrens’ innate curiosity as a basis for further instruction. Our preschool classroom experience extends from our indoor classroom to our dedicated outdoor space. Our teacher to student ratio of 1:8 or better ensures your child’s safety and individual attention.  

Year-Round with Extended Hours:

Early childhood experts agree that consistency increases a child’s health and happiness. A year-round schedule prevents the need to transition back-and-forth from another program during the year. In addition, extended a.m. and p.m. hours help meet the diverse needs of families, while helping to build community. This consistency lays a foundation for learning that fosters the children’s independence and confidence in trying new things.

Teaching Models:

We encourage and build on each child’s innate sense of wonder by guiding preschoolers with an inquiry-based teaching style, rather than a boxed curriculum. This builds autonomy as well as both critical thinking and problem solving skills. Our teachers work with each child and family to develop appropriate learning plans.

Children naturally learn to be self-motivated, cooperative, respectful, grateful, and aware of their impact on the earth during their experiences with us. Outdoor adventures in all weather conditions facilitate healthy risk-taking. Our day provides complete immersion in garden and natural areas, helping to build a child’s sense of place in the world.

Social Emotional Growth:

By building confidence through knowledge of and experience in the outdoors, students’ social and emotional growth is strengthened. By learning to take acceptable risks in the outdoors, preschoolers’ pride, self-worth and perseverance also grows.

Community:

Families who choose the Lake Nixon Outdoor Preschool will be supported in building positive attitudes toward all weather possibilities, since, in a child’s mind, there is no “bad” weather, only endless opportunities to learn and play through new and varied experiences. Our teachers help families choose the appropriate clothing for children, so they will always be comfortable out-of-doors. We also help families embrace the dirt and mess that comes with the fierce curiosity of a child being blessed with daily nature immersion.

It is crucial for us to intentionally create places of learning where children are encouraged in their love of the natural world, and inspired to gain more knowledge of it. As Baba Dioum reminds us, “In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught.”

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2018-2019 School Year Monthly Fees:

Preschoolers need to arrive at Lake Nixon between 8:15am and 8:30am. We begin our day together promptly at 8:30am. Please plan on picking up your preschooler between 2:45 pm and 3:00 pm.

Monday – Friday: $550/month before June 1st, 2019, and $650 after June 1st, 2019.

Monday/Wednesday/Friday: $475/month enrolling now. Beginning August 1st, 2019.

Tuesday/Thursday: $350/month very limited availability. Email Monica at mwoods@2bclr.com for information.

Tuition does not include lunch or morning and afternoon snacks. More details on the FAQs below.

Extended Care Fees:

Our Extended Care program offers parents the option to drop off their child as early as 7:00am and pick up by 6:00pm.

Monday – Friday: $200/month

Monday/Wednesday/Friday: $125/month

Tuesday/Thursday: $75/month

The Fine Print: A nonrefundable yearly registration fee of $50 and a school year supply fee of $200 is due upon registration.

Price reduction incentive:

Lake Nixon Outdoor Preschool is a new program. As an incentive for families to help build our community, LNOP is pleased to welcome new families into our preschool with very competitive monthly tuition rates that will be locked in for the duration of your child’s enrollment! Children beginning before June 1st, 2019 will have their monthly tuition rate locked-in for the duration of enrollment.

The benefits of being outside of the “box.”

It is no secret that children need to be outside, that it is a right, not a privilege, and that they thrive when able to do so. It has also been shown that children who are able to play for long periods of time outdoors are happy and confident, as well as better prepared for future academic work. The Lake Nixon Outdoor Preschool will provide your child with learning opportunities not found in traditional settings. Our program provides the benefits of an outdoor preschool while ensuring your child practices age appropriate skills and learns through concrete experiences with a variety of natural objects.

LNOP makes local news!

FAQ

Scroll through our list of commonly asked questions and please feel free to shoot us an email with any other questions you may have.

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FAQ Who Can Attend Outdoor Preschool?

The Lake Nixon Outdoor Preschool is an all-weather learning community for children, ages 3-5. We welcome…

Learn more
FAQ When Can I Visit the Outdoor Preschool?

Meet the teachers, visit the indoor and outdoor classrooms and find out what Outdoor Preschool is all ab…

Learn more
FAQ What if it’s Raining or Cold Outside?

Your preschooler’s safety is our primary concern and we will constantly monitor weather, especially on…

Learn more
FAQ What About Meals and Snacks?

Families are asked to supply their preschooler with a lunch and two healthy snacks each day. Lake Nixon …

Learn more
FAQ When is Parent Orientation?

Registered preschoolers and families will need to attend the Lake Nixon Outdoor Preschool Orientation at…

Learn more
FAQ What is the daily schedule?

Our daily schedule is: 7:00am - 8:15am Morning Extended Care* 8:15am Drop Off 8:30am School Begins 8:30a…

Learn more
FAQ What additional teaching resources will be used?

Our program draws from many resources. These include: North American Reggio Emilia Alliance, Conscious D…

Learn more
FAQ What local partnerships does the preschool work with?

We have working partnerships with: River Valley Horticulture, Green Corner Store, Arkansas Heritage Quai…

Learn more

Our Staff

Our educational team is a combination of traditionally certified state educators, nontraditional teachers, and other staff bringing a diversity of skills to the program. Learn more below:

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Preschool Director/Lead Educator Monica Woods

Monica is our Program Developer/Lead Educator and she has been with us since summer staff orientation back in late May 2017. She w…

Learn more
Educator/Camp Director Marie Brakebill

Serving as a full-time teacher, Mrs. Marie is the newest addition to the Lake Nixon Outdoor Preschool family. However, her ties to…

Learn more
Educator Alan Brooks

Hi preschool families. My name is Alan Brooks and I have lived in Arkansas for 22 great years. My experience working in an educati…

Learn more
Program Director/Educator Jeremy Spann

Jeremy is equally excited to lead both the Lake Nixon Outdoor Preschool and the Lake Nixon Summer Day Camp programs. Throughout hi…

Learn more
Educator Sheila Gloer

Sheila Gloer is a parent of two grown boys, a grandmother, an educator and lover of the outdoors. She studied early childhood edu…

Learn more
Assistant Educator/Assistant Camp Director Chris Gardner

My name is Christopher Gardner and I work at Lake Nixon Outdoor Preschool and Lake Nixon Summer Day Camp. I began working at Lake …

Learn more

 

Camp
Day Camp
Arkansas's best day camp just got better.

This year Lake Nixon Summer Day Camp is expanding our program to provide more opportunities for kids to have fun.

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