Setting the Standard: EXCELLENCE BREEDS EXCELLENCE
Since its beginning in 1989, Rainbow Station has consistently defined itself as a leader in early education and school-age recreation. With unique concepts like PLAYWORKS©, The Village, Camp Blue Sky, and the Get Well Place, we have created initiatives that continually raise the bar for preschools on a national level. It all started with one novel idea and a focus on excellence.
The First Idea: Emergency Backup Care
It all started with one novel idea called The Get Well Place at Rainbow Station, which provides valuable assistance for working parents with mildly ill or chronically ill children. Rainbow Station and its founder, Gail W. Johnson, RN, MSN, both got their start in nursing. While on the faculty of the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing, Gail saw firsthand how families struggled and went into crisis mode when their children had acute or chronic health conditions. A major crisis contributor was the lack of support services for these children when parents had to return to work.
As a solution, Gail created the Get Well PlaceTM at Rainbow Station to provide valuable assistance for working parents with mildly or chronically ill children — a support for the entire community, regardless of whether children are enrolled in Rainbow Station. Here, a full-time nurse cares for children so parents can be productive at work. As an additional benefit, nurses are always there should children need care during the school day. Even more than 20 years later, the idea of full-time, on-site nursing care at a preschool remains exceptional.
The Second Idea: A School-Age Recreation Program
In 1996, Gail and her team conceived The Village, a unique school-age recreation program. In years past, children played freely in their neighborhoods and safely participated in various recreational options after school and on summer break. The Village at Rainbow Station is reminiscent of these days. Children can go to the Village Green for town meetings, the Café for snacks, the Library to study, or the Theatre for dramatic play. It’s a complete village within a building!
The Village creates an atmosphere in which children are free to choose age appropriate activities in a safe, fun, and stimulating environment staffed by professional teachers. The Village was an exciting breakthrough — it’s the all-encompassing afterschool and summer recreation program today’s families need!
The Third Idea: Becoming the First Leadership Preschool
“We have been exploring different programs to develop the highest level of leadership and confidence in our students, and I think ‘The Leader in Me’ is the clear gold standard for teaching these skills,” explained Johnson. “It’s not only the best academically, but it also has the most entertaining lesson plans for the students, who will really enjoy doing this. Parents are very intrigued about the program and supportive. I think this is going to be a great journey.” Gail Johnson, 2010
Rainbow Station is proud to be the first “Leadership Preschool” in the world, based on adopting the nationally acclaimed initiatives outlined in Sean Covey’s 7 Habits of Happy Kids, which focuses on leadership development beyond academics.
The 7 Habits of Happy Kids
Habit 1: Be Proactive • You’re in Charge
Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind • Have a Plan
Habit 3: Put First Things First • Work First, Then Play
Habit 4: Think Win-Win • Everyone Can Win
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood • Listen Before You Talk
Habit 6: Synergize • Together Is Better
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw • Balance Feels Best
This is a new paradigm of modern leadership where every student is nurtured as a leader, and our teachers are equipped with proven tools to instill a deep sense of responsibility and personal leadership accountability in their students. Our “Learn early. Learn well. Lead.” brand promise helps children become successful 21st century citizens with skills in areas like synergy, responsibility, and teamwork that will be foundational for their future success. We are no longer just preparing children for school, we are preparing them for life in the 21st century.
To learn more about “The Leader in Me” initiative, visit: leaderinme.org
Yet Another Idea: Camp Blue Sky
Summer camp has always been a part of the Rainbow Station Experience. In 2013, we took that experience to a new level and developed Camp Blue Sky—a fast and furious day camp with an away camp feel. Camp Blue Sky offers the perfect summer solution. Kids 5-13 get an age-appropriate Summer Camp program where they can do all the things they want and learn all the things you want them to learn.
And, there is more: Rainbow Station, International
In 2013, Rainbow Station opened its first International School in Shenzhen, China. This opportunity created a curriculum enhancement—developmentally appropriate enrichment classes that can be taught in 60 to 75 minute blocks of time. The possibilities for these classes are many, both domestically and abroad.
The growth of the middle and professional classes in many countries around the world has resulted in a dramatic increase in disposable incomes. When combined with a strong focus on education and children in many cultures, this has led to robust demand for new and innovative early education options. To meet this demand Rainbow Station has flexibly adapted its version of the preschool classroom and early learning experience while still maintaining its core emphasis on creativity and leadership development. Foreign markets value our unique curriculum delivered in English in the American way of interactive teaching.
We opened our first school in China in January 2013. We are now implementing plans to open dozens of new schools this year and in the years ahead. Rainbow Station also anticipates entering another country in 2014 and is pursuing an international strategy to open schools in a new country every year.
No other school for early education and school-age recreation offers Rainbow Station’s full spectrum of care for the whole child — from academics and healthcare by an onsite nurse to leading-edge leadership development initiatives.