Terry Duncan (Owner) is a seasoned early childhood professional and a Kindergarten Readiness Teacher at our center. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Wheelock College and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from The Sage Colleges. She has been a daycare teacher, a Child Life Specialist working on the developmental needs of hospitalized children, an adjunct professor of Early Childhood Education at HVCC, and a Special Education Teacher with an emphasis on infant, toddler, and preschool development. When she’s not at the Discovery Place, Miss Terry works as a Special Education teacher where she continues to provide services for children in the Early Intervention Program. She enjoys baking, yoga, and spending time with her family and friends.
Kathy Arduini (Owner) is a Kindergarten Readiness Teacher at our center. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Care Management from Plattsburgh State University College. She is certified in the development and education of children ages birth to five years. Miss Kathy has worked both as a preschool teacher and an Assistant Director in a variety of childcare settings. She also worked for a Pilot Program in a disadvantaged school district where she supported pregnant teens and mothers by teaching important basic parenting skills and infant care. She enjoys using her knowledge as an educator, administrator, and a Mother to encourage children to express their creativity and individuality in an educational environment. Kathy says, “I love walking through the door in the morning and seeing those little faces. It puts an instant smile on my face and reminds me why I love to work with children this age!” She also enjoys reading, baking, crafting and spending time with her husband and two daughters. Beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, Miss Kathy began her teaching roll in our center as a Teacher’s Assistant and in the following school year became both new owner and teacher in our Kindergarten Readiness Program.
Miss Jess is our newest addition to the Discovery Place family of teachers. She is a Kindergarten Readiness Teacher at our center for both the Play Gym and the additional Tues/Thurs preschool program. She holds an AAS in Early Childhood Education from Hudson Valley Community College. She has worked as a private Nanny and most recently came to us from the Head Start Program in Troy where she worked for several years as an Assistant Teacher. We welcome her calm, patient disposition and creativity she brings to our center. When she is not working she enjoys reading, baking, and attending soccer and dance activities for her two daughters.
Miss Jessica is the teacher for our Grow Baby Grow I program. She has many years experience as a mother and caregiver to young children in different settings; including her church nursery and as a Nanny. Her sweet demeanor and friendly smile are always welcoming to our littlest friends. When she has time for hobbies, she enjoys crafting, organizing homes, line dancing, and spending time with her two children.
Miss Melissa is the teacher in our expanded Grow Baby Grow II program. She has an AAS in Early Childhood Education from Hudson Valley Community College, a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Sage Colleges and a Masters Degree in School Counseling from The College of Saint Rose. Her patience and soft manner are key when introducing our youngest students to their first experience with school. When not at work, Miss Melissa enjoys visiting local playgrounds with her young son and daughter, taking tons of pictures and scrapbooking their adventures.
Miss Erin is currently working on her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education at SUNY Albany. Her schedule this year allows her to help us in many ways “behind the scenes”. She is an asset in keeping our programs organized, prepping activity materials, organizing field trips and and so much more. In addition to working at Discovery Place and going to school, she also waitresses, enjoys cooking, baking and spending time with her family and friends.
Our curriculum has a strong foundation in language and cognition. We strive to teach children how to learn by focusing on communicating with adults and peers and problem-solving independently and as a member of a group. Age-appropriate concepts and play skills are targeted within each classroom. Pre-literacy and early math skills are embedded in our play based activities. We use a combination of approaches to teach skills and concepts, including movement and hands-on activities, because we realize every child learns his or her own way. Activities are designed using the Core Common Standards.
Toilet (“Potty”) Training
Your child does not need to be toilet trained to enroll in our Grow Baby Grow or Kindergarten Readiness learning groups. The children have the opportunity to see and learn from other children who are using the toilet. We encourage each child to participate at his or her comfort level. If your child needs a change of clothing, diaper, or underwear, we will assist your child in that process while encouraging as much independence as possible.
We provide a healthy snack each day. Kindergarten Readiness students serve themselves snack, allowing for a growing sense of independence. Grow Baby Grow students enjoy a family-style snack. Social conversation and using language to request items from teachers and friends is a big part of our snack time routine. Your child may also have the opportunity to learn how to pass napkins, plates, and cups to his or her peers and to practice scooping and pouring skills. He or she will also have daily opportunities to drink from an open top cup. We encourage parents and caregivers to try giving your child an open top cut at meal times when he or she is seated at the table. Pour a small amount of liquid in a sturdy cup and model drinking from a cup as well. You will be amazed at how quickly your child picks up this skill. Children love to do what the big people in their lives are doing!
Health and Safety
We do our best at Discovery Place to provide children with a safe, nurturing environment. Our doors are locked at all times and visitors are not allowed entrance until a faculty or staff member verifies the visitor’s identity and purpose for the visit. We hire staff that are personally known to us and who demonstrate kindness, compassion, and respect for the children in our care. Our staff members clean and sanitize each classroom and the play gym at the end of each day. We use nitrile or vinyl gloves when passing out food and the children wash their hands before snack and after blowing their noses. In return, we ask that parents follow the illness policy in our policy packet and that children attending Staff or Parent Supervised Play Time also follow those policies before attending the center.