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Discovery School was established in 1966 by Art Erb, who was, at that time, pastor of First United Lutheran Church in O’Fallon, IL. Initially, the school was first called Our World Preschool and was sponsored by the church, but with no religious affiliation. Later, in 1978, it was incorporated independently as Our World for Young Children. In 1982, the school was renamed DISCOVERY to avoid confusion with other Our World programs. The school is incorporated as a private, not-for-profit organization and is tax-exempt. It has charitable organization status in the state of Illinois and is eligible to receive donated funds from the Combined Federal Campaign.
Over the years, the school grew from a handful of children to its present size of approximately 130 young children. At one point the school contained a private kindergarten. It has expanded to include Enrichment classes, and Project Child (3 Preschool for All classes funded by the Illinois State Board of Education). The school also sponsors special programs periodically, including parenting classes and professional development workshops for staff. Parent-infant classes have been offered as needed.
Discovery was one of the first centers in the United States to receive national accreditation through the Center Accreditation Project (CAP) of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in 1987.
As the State of Illinois began a drive for quality in early childhood education (2010), Discovery staff began working on the acknowledgement of quality that was being expected by the state. After obtaining accreditation through the National Accreditation Commission (NAC), the Discovery staff went on to achieve a 4-star rating by the state. This was the highest obtainable level, with only 7 centers in Illinois achieving that level.
In 2013, the State of Illinois receive a “Race to the Top” federal grant to, once again, improve quality. With Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral (INCCRRA) in the lead, centers now would no longer be “star” rated, but the indicator of quality would be reflected through “circles” of quality. In 2014, Discovery received their “Gold Circle of Quality”, the highest rating awarded. Needless to say, Discovery is very proud of the quality they have continued to maintain over the years.
As a parent of a child at Discovery, you can rest comfortably knowing you have chosen an outstanding program for your child!