Our mission is to prepare children to become self-reliant, productive individuals;
to teach them to think, speak, and write with clarity, precision, and independence;
to lead them to recognize and value their individuality and unalienable rights;
and to inspire them to embrace challenge and find joy and self-worth through achievement.
Our mission statement was written with a view of preparing children for life. But the traits we hope to develop in children are the same traits (self-reliance, self-worth, honesty, rationality, integrity, justice, productivity) we hope to find in our peers and associates. It is no surprise, then, that our mission statement applies not only to our work in the classroom, but also to how we manage ourselves and interact with our customers and coworkers.
Our curriculum is designed to be consistent with the principles behind our mission statement. We expect these values to be taught and reinforced in the classroom and in our classroom management practices.
We do not prescribe what our personnel must think or do in their personal lives, but we do expect them to manage and teach in a manner consistent with Challenger values.
It is our goal to operate every aspect of Challenger School in a manner consistent with our mission and the principles on which it is based.
It is our hope that publishing and discussing Challenger beliefs and values will inspire all those associated with us to consider the importance of ideas in their lives. Ideas define our purposes, motives, and practices of living. Without our own ideas, which we take seriously, we drift on whatever current others may sweep us into.
Self-reliance is thinking and doing for oneself.
Self-worth is the recognition that you begin life as good and have the potential to be great. It is also the satisfaction that you get from living up to that potential.
Honesty is recognizing and accepting reality and refusing to pretend otherwise to oneself or to others.
Rationality is the use of reason (as opposed to emotion or whim) to discover knowledge and guide our decisions. It is the use of reason to form and evaluate opinions; identify value, virtue, and vice; and choose correct courses of action.
Integrity is acting in a manner consistent with your moral principles.
Justice is granting to others that which they deserve and taking only that which we earn.
Productivity is creating life-enhancing value.
In preschool, teaching effectively is arguably more important than at any other time in a child’s education because it is when the child’s educational foundation is established. A key to Challenger’s success is its ability to blend fun and learning in early education—when children are curious, eager to learn, and when their minds are developing rapidly.
Consider how we approach arithmetic with our preschoolers:
We teach preschoolers that numbers are symbols representing quantities. We sing songs and play games that supplement our teaching and ask questions like, “If you have 2 cookies and your friend brings you one more, how many would you have?” Reinforcing this connection between numbers and real items forges an understanding of numbers that simply reciting numbers in sequence cannot create.
A child taught to count to 25 and a Challenger preschooler may both demonstrate counting to 25. But their confidence, understanding of numbers (such as the 2 meaning two groups of ten, and the 5 five ones), and their readiness for higher concepts will be very different.
At Challenger School, we use singing, dancing, and games to help teach the core subjects and to make and keep learning fun and interesting. Observe a Challenger preschool class, and you’ll struggle to find the line between learning and fun!
A healthy sense of self-worth is very important to children’s development because a child possessing it knows that he is good, has great potential, and can learn and do many things of his choosing.
Because they know self-worth is so important, many educators or educational institutions will suggest that they can give a child self-worth. Impossible! That is like saying to a friend that you will give her a rich and rewarding relationship with her spouse.
We do not give your child self-worth—it cannot be given. But as we teach a child proper thinking methods, he soon discovers the joy of using the strength of his mind and his capacity to do and achieve. His self-worth starts becoming anchored in him and not on the unreliable favor, approval, or praise given by others.
So while we don’t and can’t say that we give children self-worth, we do help them develop it for themselves. And there is no shortcut, no way around the work.
At Challenger School, your child can gain a healthy sense of self-worth, but he will earn it, own it, and take it with him when he leaves.
2021 National Blue Ribbon School