Rochester Catholic Schools to open nature-based pre-kindergarten program

(ABC 6 News) – Rochester Catholic Schools (RCS) announced on Friday they will be opening the city’s only nature-based pre-kindergarten program.

The Nest at Lourdes: Nature Birds Environmental Kinship Program will open on Tuesday, September 6 at the Lourdes High School campus.

The program will welcome children ages 4 and 5 to learn and play through outdoor interactions with the natural world while developing skills for kindergarten readiness, exploring American Sign Language, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese, according to RCS.

“In Rochester, the demand for a high-quality, Catholic preschool is high! Our programs were near full last year. When looking to expand, we wanted to offer a program unique from our others. With its proximity to St. Mary’s University Cascade Meadow Wetlands and Environmental Science Center, Lourdes High School was an incredible location for a nature-based program!” shares President, Annemarie Vega. 

Preschool Coordinator, Kayln Wilkinson, shares, “The Nest is a special place, welcoming over 165 students this fall. We partner with parents to provide them with parenting support. We develop lessons emphasizing inquiry, discovery, and creativity. We welcome families of all faith backgrounds. We practice caring for creation, being a friend to everyone, and helping others through service.” 

Along with adding a new preschool program at LHS, Rochester Catholic Schools has expanded programming to include an early childhood, age 2, program at its Holy Spirit Catholic School campus and an all-day pre-kindergarten program at St. Francis of Assisi School.

Enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year opens on October 1.