In the last part of our series on the Dr. Sarah K. Jandrucko Academy for Early Learners, we explore the Investigation Pod, which encourages children to grow together, inspiring imagination while nurturing empathy.  Children are empowered to investigate through developmentally appropriate activities and learning exercises that challenge their academic, physical, social and emotional growth.


Childhood development is an important determinant of health over a person’s lifetime. Early exposure and opportunities can provide a foundation for a child’s academic success, health, and general well-being. Preschool-aged children experience profound biological brain development and achieve 90 percent of their adult brain volume by age 6. This physiological growth allows children to develop functional skills related to information processing, comprehension, language, emotional regulation, and motor skills. Positive experiences support children’s cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development, and conversely, adverse experiences can hinder it. The wonderful, amazing me classroom experience enables students to find out exactly what makes them wonderful as they nourish their minds and bodies.

Childhood development is an important determinant of health over a person’s lifetime.



The natural world is one of the most important influences of human physical, emotional, intellectual, and moral development. Today’s children and families often have limited opportunities to connect with the natural environment. Children spend more time viewing television and playing video games than they do being physically active outside. A child’s social, psychological, academic and physical health is positively impacted when they have daily contact with nature. Inside My Green House, children experience the feel of earth between their fingers while planting in outdoor garden beds. They have a chance to explore the intricacies of a garden and marvel at the curiosities of nature as they investigate with a magnifying glass. Discoveries are made under the canopy of the trees as they run to catch butterflies or curl up in the garden shed to read about the wonders of plants and nature.

A child’s social, psychological, academic and physical health is positively impacted when they have daily contact with nature.



One of the most joy-inspired moments for children is to see their favorite animals in real life, up close and at a reachable distance. Zoo visits help children make the connection that the animals they read about in books, see on television, and have stuffed versions of really exist. Zoos provide children with the opportunity to see the animal’s natural beauty. They are garnering respect and removing the fear of these animals. The zoo animals exhibit offers a great learning opportunity, while engaging students in sensory activities to explore animal senses and become more in tune with their own senses. This classroom experience transports children into the awe-inspiring animal kingdom, where they can investigate the sounds they hear, touch and feel different species and even explore various reptiles. After grabbing a favorite animal toy, children can cuddle up in the giant bear’s lap and read about all the animals they dream about.

There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.

— Gilbert K. Chesterton



A child who learns to care for an animal, treat it kindly, patiently, and with love receive invaluable training on how to treat people. Pets play an important role in children’s lives. They provide enjoyment and help them develop responsibilities transferable to adulthood. Sometimes pet relationships are ranked higher than certain kinds of human relationships for comfort, esteem, support and confidence. Children love their pets—and for good reason. Creatures large and small teach, delight, and offer a special and unique kind of companionship. Proximity to a pet can facilitate language acquisition and improve nonverbal skills in children. Pet Central reinforces the importance of empathy and responsibility when caring for pets. Students can become veterinarians and give their favorite stuffed animal an x-ray, enjoy playtime with the class Tortoise, and learn how to better communicate as they curl up in the dog house nook to share a story with their best friend. Pets are important to a child’s development, providing nurturing companionship and inspiring their imagination. Those that grow up with pets, we understand that they are an important part of our families.