Ivy’s League: Local preschool offers emotional coaching
Ivy Land dance class is partnering up with the Churchill County High School Ballroom Dance team to perform Alice in Wonderland.
Shows are Friday, June 1 at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, June 2nd at 2 p.m. at the CCHS Auditorium.
Adults are $5, kids 2-12 are $3, and kids under 2 are free.
Tickets can be purchased through facebook.com/IvyLandFallon.
When a child walks into Ivy Land, they’re encouraged to be the best they can be.
But that doesn’t mean they need to achieve the norm of perfection — it’s about connecting with their own emotions.
“Kids are individuals, not numbers,” said owner Ivy Ward. “Maybe there are challenges at home or they have a learning disability. Sometimes, it’s a matter of being there.”
Unconditional support is the key to a child’s happiness and well-being at Ivy Land, as well as a priority. As Ward is one of the instructors at the school, she also offers emotional coaching in order to help a child progress in emotional and mental growth.
She sits down with kids and lets them unravel frustrations or even take anger out on cardboard boxes. At Ivy Land, it’s a bully-free zone and there’s no time-out. There’s no reward system, either.
Ward said having children open up emotionally during the Pre-K Prep program has shown results. Research also shows empathy helps the child to calm down so they are more open and able to reason, achieve more in school, have more friends, experience fewer behavioral problems and are more resilient. Emotional Coaching such as Ward’s reassures children they are supported and cared about, and communicates they cannot always get what they want.
“The point is not to make them feel bad about themselves,” she said. “We had a student not in a great situation, he was feeling hatred at first. So we brought in boxes for him to destroy, to promote he doesn’t take it out on someone or something else. Over time, he changed. He wasn’t angry anymore and was more comfortable expressing himself. His situation at home improved.”
On top of emotional coaching, there’s ton of other activities to do at Ivy Land such as dance, karate, gymnastics, reading, and art. There are no electronics, except for a television.
The preschool recently held a graduation ceremony for those transferring to kindergarten, including a valedictorian speech address.
“That moment you see when they’re filled with joy is rewarding,” Ward said. “Kids are so electronically bound, so they’re unsure how to express emotions.”
Even if a child doesn’t need emotional coaching, parents have seen improvements of interest within their children surrounded by others who are learning about emotions. Amanda Avalos it’s been easier to homeschool her 9-year-old daughter since sending her to Ivy Land.
“She started dancing one day a week as of two years ago,” she said. “She can do her school work while still interacting with her hobbies.”
Ivy Land opened in 2015 and was first located along East Williams Avenue and moved to a larger space 160 Industrial Way. The space is perfect for the themed summer camps and the future expansion of students and teachers for next year; with an average of 12 kids enrolled per year, Ivy Land is expanding to at least 40, including new instructors and parent volunteers.
Ward is currently obtaining a daycare license for Ivy Land and is launching two, all day programs for 3-year-olds and 5-year-olds.
Although Ward doesn’t have children of her own, she will always be known as the “girl with the kids.”
“I’m like a grown up muppet,” she said. “I’ll be artsy and creative with them, like face painting, and they’ll sit still and talk to me.”
Ivy Land offers open play $6 for three hours, Tuesday-Friday 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.-6 p.m.; Saturdays open after 12 p.m. and closed Sundays and Mondays.
For more information about birthday parties, events, and programs, contact Ivy Land 423-3939 or visit facebook.com/IvyLandFallon.