Parma, OH 44134
Param Preschool is a family-owned, private, part-time preschool that serves children ages 3-5. They are nationally accredited by NAEYC and maintain a 5 star rating from Step Up to Quality. The preschool opened in 1972 and the current owner, Kim Surniak, has been there since 1998. Although not affiliated, they are located in the Parma Lutheran church. Several teachers maintain certifications in areas, including yoga, certified naturalist, Kindermusik, USA gymnastics, and studio art. However, they are best known for their Reggio-inspired curriculum and teaching approach from Italy.
- When did you first become an Ohio Healthy Program?
- What appealed to you about Ohio Healthy Program? What made you want to apply?
We have always put our whole-child development at the forefront of our philosophy. We value outdoor play and have an outdoor classroom that our students use daily. Years ago, in 2000, we began incorporating gymnastics classes into our curriculum and in 2002 we added yoga. Since we’ve always put health and wellness at the top of our priority list, we jumped at the chance to obtain Ohio Healthy Program status. We’re always looking for new resources and programs for our families.
- What one thing has changed for your children as a result of Ohio Healthy Program? How about the staff?
Children and families are now celebrating birthdays and holidays in healthy ways. They no longer connect birthdays to cupcakes and are incorporating other special snacks that are healthy instead! Everyone is realizing that celebrations don’t have to revolve around food!
- What do you think has been your biggest success?
There are so many. However, one does stand out. Slowing down our day and spending time with children at snack time. The children are learning portion size and control as they sit family style and set and clear the tables. This respect for mealtime has translated to our children’s homes as well and we hear more families sitting down for meals together.
- What is one goal that you have for the future?
We have started collecting rain boots for outdoor play. This has helped to keep muddy shoes out of the classroom and also protect feet and shoes while playing in the outdoor classroom. If we want children to have outdoor playtime everyday in all weather, we need to make space to store boots, rain coats, umbrellas, and snow gear! In the future, we would love to have more outdoor play gear available for families to use here at school.
- Do you have advice for other programs wanting to improve health for their children and staff?
SLOW DOWN. If we rush and try to get through activities that we plan, what is the point? Sometimes we are the only ones who are listening to children. When they are with us we need to just be there to listen, play, model social skills and develop relationships where children feel loved. If we do that, everything else will fall into place.