River Road Church Welcomes Danielle Simone

Following an extensive search process, the Preschool Development Center of River Road Church is excited to announce the selection of Danielle Simone as our next Director! She will officially begin her tenure June 1, 2019.

When asked why she felt led to River Road Preschool, Danielle said, “River Road has an outstanding preschool program with a world-class faculty. River Road’s curriculum design of learning through play is the perfect model for the ages of students that we serve. I am eager to get to know our families and faculty and find ways to serve them in this new role.”

What is Outside of the Window?

While it can be a bit lengthy sometimes, I have a beautiful commute to my home in Powhatan. Once I get off Route 288 on the way home, I’m off the beaten path. I pass fields with cows and horses, trees, and shrubs just budding for spring, and folks walking a little slower on their way up the driveway to check the mail.

Some of my best drives home happen on a Friday afternoon when I have picked up my granddaughter, Emma, to come out for a visit. The nonstop chatter usually starts with the happenings of the day, then turns to what’s outside the window. These conversations give us a chance to talk about our community and the things we find here. Children not only have a chance to observe and absorb nature through the glass, but they start to establish an understanding of our community, state, and country where we live.

This year, the River Road Preschool Staff will read a book by author Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods. This book focuses on the importance of nature in shaping a child’s physical and emotional development. In one of my favorite quotes, he wrote about backseat window time:

“The highway’s edges may not be postcard perfect.  But for a century, children’s early understanding of how cities and nature fit together was gained from the backseat:  the empty farmhouse at the edge of the subdivision; the variety of architecture, here and there; the woods and fields and water beyond the seamy edges—all that was and is available to the eye.”

While I can appreciate the television screen’s popularity in the backseat for a 14-hour drive to Florida, they are distracting from the social studies lesson unfolding out your car window daily. Take time to let your mind wander and to watch out the window as different forms of nature, various parts of our community, and our world go by.

Written by Danielle Simone
River Road Preschool Development Center Director