Little Lions Playroom- Educating on Education

State High Students engage in hands-on interaction with the preschoolers
State High Students engage in hands-on interaction with the preschoolers
Courtesy of Courtney Beers

The Little Lions Playroom is a unique educational experience at State High for high schoolers and preschoolers alike. It’s both a pre-K for young children and a Career and Technical Center (CTC) teaching course for students. Different courses in the program allow students to learn about these children and give instruction in the playroom. 

“The Little Lions Playroom is a preschool for children ages 3-5 […] and we have students that are enrolled in one of the Early Childhood Education programs plan and implement lessons in the playroom, so they basically run the playroom,” Courtney Beers, Early Childhood Education teacher, said. 

This hands-on teaching in the playroom allows students a look into what it’s like being around children. 

“You get to work with kids, as well as have class time with your teacher and learn about the development of kids,” sophomore Abigail Asbury, Early Childhood Education 1 student, said. 

A typical day with the preschoolers involves lesson planning and fun educational activities. 

“You plan your lessons, and then pick the kids up, and you teach them, do crafts, do circle time, reading, and give them a snack,” Asbury said. 

There are three levels of the program, giving high schoolers varying amounts of control in the classroom. The first level, Understanding Young Children, or UYC, is a half-credit course designed to be an introduction to the playroom. 

“In that course, they’re observing and implementing lessons that they’ve been practicing skills in the high school classroom, and using those in the Playroom,” Beers said.

Students agreed with her.

“We have a lot of individual projects and get to group off with the preschoolers and you learn a lot,” sophomore UYC student Julia Bigger said. 

The next level is Early Childhood Education 1, a two-credit course for students wanting to dive deeper into education. 

“You get to teach the kids way more as well as like, you’re way more in charge of the classroom, your teacher doesn’t infer at all, it’s totally run by you,” Asbury said. “And you’re just going more into depth on childhood development.”

Lastly is Early Childhood Education 2, another two-credit course. This course builds on the previous levels, further preparing students for careers involving children. 

“Their coursework is going to focus more on careers in the realm of early childhood education, so they could be thinking about having a career as a teacher, which a lot of students do, or they could be thinking about becoming a pediatrician or pediatric nurse, or a child advocate, so there are lots of different routes that they can take,” Beers said. 

There are many careers involving working with young children that aren’t necessarily teaching jobs. Students also shared the importance of being comfortable with these kids and the interaction with them that will come throughout life. 

“I think it [the ECE program] is really beneficial because even when the preschoolers aren’t there […] we learn more about them, which is useful in the future, whether you’re teaching preschool, you have your own kids, or you’re babysitting, like I think it’s really useful for future jobs,” Bigger said. 

For many students, having these skills can help to a great degree throughout life. 

“You will work with children no matter what, no matter what your career is. You might work with children now, as being an older sibling or maybe you are hired somewhere a lot of children attend,” Beers said. “You might have children of your own someday. So a lot of what we cover is human development and what that looks like…it can be put into practice in so many ways.”

The Little Lions program is also free for preschoolers in the community. It’s open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:00-1:15. 

“In order to qualify for the program, the child needs to be between the ages of 3 and 5 […] and they have to be potty trained,” Beers said. 

For more information on the Little Lions Playroom program, go to

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