An Ecumenical Education Environment for Children Aged 3-5
Building Blocks was founded in 1979 to provide our community with a quality, affordable preschool education based on experiential learning.
Headed by Ann Jablonski, Building Blocks operates out of St Paul’s Parish and offers four half-day programs from September through May, and a three-week summer session in June.
It also offers four special programs: Kids in Music, Kids in Motion, and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
Building Blocks’ philosophy is concern for the “whole” child including social, emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual development. A self-funded, non-profit agency, Building Blocks operates on revenue from tuition, a book fair fundraiser and class photos.
Core Program Schedule
Three-day Preschool: Monday, Wednesday, Friday; 8:45-11:15 am
Two-day Preschool: Tuesday and Thursday; 8:45-11:15 am
Pre-Kindergarten: Monday through Thursday; 12:15 – 2:45 pm
Kinder Stars Program: Tuesday and Thursday; 11:20 – 2:40 pm
Registration for fall classes begins the prior January on a first-come, first-served basis. Each class holds 20 students and the school often has a waiting list for enrollment. Pre-School is for children aged three and four. Pre-Kindergarten Class is for children aged four and older and offers a different structure from Preschool with an emphasis on language development. Kinder Stars is a program for children enrolled in a Kindergarten program.
Special Program Schedule
Summer Session: Three weeks in June, Monday through Thursday 9 – 11:30 am
Kids in Music: A curriculum designed to enhance a child’s overall education by using songs, rhythm instruments, stories with songs, and the basics of reading music by tonal numbers. This class is taught by a professional music instructor and meets once per week.
Kids in Motion: A physical education program that combines fun and healthy activities once per week.
Kids in Language (Spanish): This program focuses on building vocabulary and listening skills. The class will utilize games, songs, and other hands-on experiences to encourage children to actively participate in both speaking and understanding the language.
All Building Blocks programs carry a similar hallmark — there is a consistent rhythm to each session including supervised activity, supervised play, experiences in handling leadership, music, and clean up. The core programs also incorporate quiet time which includes stories and puzzles. Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten classes revolve around monthly topics reinforced by a field trip related to that topic.
All Building Blocks programs offer a significantly higher adult to child ratio than the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services requires.
Building Blocks employs eight people and all teachers hold four-year degrees and are certified — many are have a Master’s degree. One of the most reassuring features of Building Blocks is a consistent staff year to year that really gets to know the children and follow them as they travel through different Building Blocks classes.
Although Building Blocks does not provide transportation, teachers and aides are at the street greeting children right as they are dropped off, and each child is escorted personally to the car at the end of the day’s session.
Building Blocks does not advertise — its reputation for excellence is carried throughout the community simply by word-of-mouth.
Ann Jablonski, Executive Director
Building Blocks Preschool
60 Akenside Road
Riverside, IL 60546
How You Can Help Building Blocks Preschool
Corporate Matching Gifts: Because Building Blocks is a not-for-profit agency separate from St Paul’s Parish, the organization qualifies for most corporate matching gift programs. Consider gifting directly to Building Blocks and having it count twice with a corporate matching donation.
Fund a scholarship: Fund a full or partial scholarship for a needy child in our community. Your gift can ensure that a deserving child gets off to a great start with Building Blocks. A full scholarship runs between $900 and $1350 per year, but any size gift is welcome and can be designated towards a scholarship.