Universal Pre-Kindergarten Room

Four year olds are enthusiastic, adventurous, bold, eager, silly and fun! This is the year when you will see a growing interest in letters, numbers, and academics. The UP-K program is designed to enhance the development of children and challenge them based on their individual abilities without pressure or loss of self-esteem. Our program also is designed to familiarize your child with the types of schedules and routines they will find when they enter Kindergarten. By providing whole class instruction, small group interaction, and peer interaction, your 4/5 year old will begin their journey into their early childhood education. The UP-K classroom has specific areas, like our Preschool Room, that are designed to enhance the following areas of development:

  • Language
  • Literacy
  • Physical
  • Creative Expression
  • Social and Emotional
  • Cognitive skills

What is Universal Pre-Kindergarten? 

Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UP-K) offers an age appropriate learning environment for pre-school children. New York State has set forth learning standards and staff requirements to maintain a consistent curriculum, administration and philosophy state wide. The goal is for children to learn through play, investigation, and experience, facilitated by a staff trained in early childhood education. Similar programs exist not only in New York, but across the country with the intention of UP-K being available to all four year olds.

Children are being continuously challenged by specific learning goals that we have 
set for them. In order to begin to read and perform other academic tasks, the children must first gather meaning from the world and develop an awareness of concepts. In order to gather meaning from the world, children must have many satisfying sensory and sensory-motor experiences-they must touch, feel, smell, hear and see. Perceptual development follows. This is how children interpret their sensory experiences, which is a prerequisite for developing their minds.

Our program is geared toward helping children develop habits of observation, questioning, and listening. It gives them an awareness of their own feelings and their right to express those feelings by sometimes  channeling them into other means of expression. They learn that they are free to make choices, and that as  long as they stay within the limits of consideration for people and things, they do not always have to conform. An open-ended program prepares children to use their intellectual and creative abilities in future learning tasks.

Call to talk about the program with previous parents of UPK children:

Brittney and Peter Goodyear -- (585) 582-1459
Tara and Chris Boggio -- (585) 355-3289
Heather and Jonathan Grasso -- (585) 506-6432
Andrea and Mike DaGama--(585) 455-9001

Testimonial from Parents of UPK students:


This UPK program at Great Expectations with Susan Gaynor transformed our shy, unsure 4-year-old little boy into a confident, well-prepared future Kindergartener! The daily exposure to the topics a parent expects, like letters, numbers, shapes, and colors, in addition to things you don't, like using scissors to strengthen hand muscles and encouraging friendships, did a phenomenal job preparing our son! My husband and I couldn't be more pleased with the entire program!
-- Brittney and Peter Goodyear --

We have been lucky enough to have each of our three children selected to be a part of the Universal Pre-K program through the Honeoye Falls Lima School District. Mrs. Susan Gaynor has taught all three of my children. The class size is relatively small and there is one teacher and one assistant in the classroom. The format of the class is very similar to a kindergarten format. Through my experience I have noticed many similarities in my children's schedule at UPK and their kindergarten schedule. Their day includes a morning work time, where they do independent work; centers, where they move through different activities in small groups; reading time and play time. Most everyday includes time to play outside on the playground, even in the winter. The students are able to borrow a book from the classroom library and bring it home to read with their parents. The parents sign the reading log and send it back so the student can borrow another book. There are careful security measures in place at the center. The door from the outside is locked. Whomever drops off the child is required to sign them in and then sign them out when they pick them up. If someone the teachers do not know picks up your child I have seen them ask that person for identification. The teacher assesses the children so that they can see how they are progressing. These assessments are shared with the kindergarten teachers and will help place the child in kindergarten. Mrs. Gaynor works closely with the principal and Kindergarten teachers at Lima Primary to align her curriculum with what the children will soon be learning in kindergarten. Because Mrs. Gaynor is a certified teacher, she is able to work with students of all abilities. I cannot begin to tell you how happy I have been with the UPK program. My children have been very well prepared for kindergarten. I would highly recommend the program.
-- Andrea and Mike DaGama --

I am writing as a parent of twins who just finished the Universal Pre‐K (UPK) program at Great Expectations in Lima. Going into the beginning of UPK, I knew that our boy/girl twins had a very different set of skills, and different strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, I was concerned how any one teacher (even with an aide) would be able to meet both their needs, but I quickly realized they were both being given exactly what they needed to succeed. My girl twin already had an interest in learning but the boy had zero interest, and yet by the end of the year, they are both able to read many (most) of the kindergarten words, know how to nicely write all letters of the alphabet, and most importantly are ready and excited for kindergarten. The benefits of attending a Pre‐K program associated with the school system are many (my previous child went to a private Pre‐K). They took field trips to the school so they already are becoming familiar with the school, staff, and the playground! In addition, Mrs. Gaynor used many of the same policies and procedures (such as shooting for the rainbow) that they will see in kindergarten. Of course it's also nice that they know more than a dozen other kids that will be entering kindergarten with them, ensuring some familiar faces in class and the hall.
        The classroom was organized, fun, and constructive to learning and socializing. I think the kids loved the visitors that came in (from parents and grandparents sharing about what they do for their jobs or coming in to read, to bringing community representatives like dentists and farmers in) the kids really took a great deal away from these experiences. Both Mrs. Gaynor and Mrs. Moreau did an amazing job of making every day fun and productive. The extra support from Mrs. Chatterton as the facility director was also very evident all year long and all together the team at Great Expectations is just fantastic.
        It was convenient for us to have the added benefit of the wrap care program at Great Expectations which we took advantage of a few days a week. The twins equally benefitted from the great teachers/staff of the daycare and had fun in a safe and supportive environment. I can't say enough positive things about our experience.

-- Tara and Chris Boggio --

UPK at Great Expectations was a great program. Our daughter really enjoyed it and it seems that she'll be very well-prepared for kindergarten. I would strongly encourage parents to consider UPK or another structured nursery school/preschool day care program for their children. As academic demands continue to increase for students in public education, having participated in UPK will be even more advantageous for children.
-- Heather and Jonathan Grasso --


"Great Expectations is a fantastic environment for children! We love the fact that they go outside everyday when possible! They come home with the best projects! This tells me that Great Expectations does more than just watch our children while we work! I've seen wonderful improvements in our children since they started going to Great Expectations! Since day one, we have been happy with your service!"
--Dawn and Greg Moon, Rush


7289 Slocum Road
Lima, NY 14485-9707

Phone: 585-624-5630