3 to 5 Preschool has been reaching the hearts, minds, and imaginations of young children in Sitka since its start in 1970. Our mission is to create an exciting and supportive learning environment where all members of the school feel they are accepted, nurtured, valued, and loved. Our philosophy is that young children learn best when provided with a safe, structured, and exciting learning environment. Our teachers believe that students excel with an equal approach to both emphases on play as well as an enhanced curriculum. Both our indoor and outdoor environments provide many opportunities for exploring and engaging in a world of activities. Through child directed and teacher facilitated play and a structured class schedule, the children acquire self-confidence, independence, excitement in learning, social skills, joy in friendship, self-discipline, curiosity, and physical coordination. The mission and philosophy of our preschool are in line with the core values of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in which educators: appreciate childhood as a unique and valuable stage of the human life cycle; appreciate and support the bond between the child and family; recognize that children are best understood and supported in the context of family, culture, community, and society; respect the dignity, worth, and uniqueness of each individual (child, family member, and colleagues); respect diversity in children, families, and colleagues; and, recognize that children and adults achieve their full potential in the context of relationships that are based on trust and respect. Teachers at 3 to 5 Preschool belong to professional organizations, such as NAEYC, in addition to continuing education and professional development to stay current on issues, policies and best practices in the Early Education field.