Rainbow gains accreditation
After trying for several years, the Rainbow Experience Preschool finally received its national accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
The preschool received the news in a letter from NAEYC last week. The news brought great joy to everyone involved in the process.
"We were excited," Angel Fursman, president of the REP board, said. "We spent a lot of labor over several years and many boards. It's been a long process to this point."
REP Director Dana Hart said she was so glad to see the preschool finally receive the accreditation.
"I was pleased, not only for our school, but for all of the work that had gone into it," Hart said. "There were lots of community individuals that helped bring this together. I just felt a sense of collective joy that we finished the project and we were very successful."
Fursman said she thought the accreditation process started back in 1998. The preschool had to perform a self study along with an examination from an outside agency to receive the accreditation.
Fursman said the preschool started doing this years ago, but has been raising standards to meet the national requirement.
"It's taken us that many years to elevate those standards that the accreditation board has set," Fursman said.
Fursman also said the accreditation will help show how the preschool is a worthwhile program.
"It recognizes the program as being a quality program," Fursman said. "It shows we are offering a quality program and we are meeting national recommendations as far as the education this age group should be receiving."
Hart said the accreditation helps show how the preschool is contributing to childhood education.
"It will help the preschool to be seen as a professional partner in early childhood education," Hart said. "I think it helps keep our morale up knowing that we are obtaining the highest standard of educational facility that we can."
The REP can now be found on a list of accredited schools on the NAEYC's Web site at www.naeyc.org. It is one of only three accredited preschools in Douglas County, and one of 12 within a 50 mile radius of Baldwin City.
Fursman said she knew the preschool was a good school, but accreditation shows that.
"I think it's helped our reputation," Fursman said. "We have that stamp of approval that we are offering a quality program, which we have known for years, but this was the final step."