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Miller: New Horizons Preschool goes the extra mile

Having a positive preschool experience is essential, in my opinion. Those days may be filled with mostly play, nap and snack time, but they build a solid base for whom we will someday become.

From my teacher and classmates to parties and show-and-tell, I still look back fondly on my preschool days. Growing up in the small town of Byron, I was lucky to have a quality education from great teachers who cared about their students. My preschool days – along with my teacher, Mrs. Craig – may be a distant memory, but they had an impact.

Here in Batavia, parents consider themselves lucky to have a preschool such as New Horizons. Amy Cheney of Batavia believes in the program so much that all five of her children have attended the preschool. Her youngest son is currently enrolled there.

“We had no idea how wonderful a preschool could be until we came to New Horizons. The staff goes way above and beyond and treats every child in a way that touches even a mother’s heart,” Cheney said.

Recently, the New Horizons Preschool was honored by the Fox Valley Special Recreation Association for the work it does with students who need additional guidance with the help of an Inclusion Companion. The “Extra Mile Award” was presented to New Horizons Preschool at the Fox Valley Special Recreation Association Recognition Banquet on Friday.

“The New Horizons Preschool teachers have acted as advocates for preschoolers supported through Inclusion,” said Julie Eggleston, inclusion specialist for the Fox Valley Special Recreation Association. “They’ve opened their classrooms and their hearts to our inclusion team to make sure each individual preschooler was working toward their goals throughout the school year.”

Eggleston said she has been honored to work with New Horizons staff throughout the years and was glad to have an opportunity to recognize them.

“Inclusion takes a team of people working together,” Eggleston said. “This wonderful group of women at New Horizons has gone out of their way to help things run smoothly and pave the way for successful inclusion for numerous participants in the New Horizon Preschool program at the Batavia Park District.”

Marge Brown and Kathy Michael were on hand to accept the award on behalf of New Horizons Preschool teachers. Brown has been a teacher with New Horizons for more than six years.

“We were deeply touched to receive the recognition,” Brown said. “It takes all of us teachers working together to help children develop in to the people they’re going to be, and we’re so honored to be able to work with the Fox Valley Special Recreation Association.”

For information about New Horizons Preschool, call 630-406-5282 or visit

• Kari Miller is marketing and public relations manager at the Batavia Park District. Contact her at

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