Oak Brook Park District's ABC Preschool Coordinator, Special Education Teacher, and Inclusive Education Advocate
Oak Brook residents and parents with children enrolled in ABC Preschool and District 53 have noticed a bright new force within Oak Brook’s education system. This school year, the park district and District 53 welcomed Miss Kimberly Voltaire as the ABC Preschool Coordinator and Early Childhood Special Education Teacher.
Drawn towards learning from an early age, Kimberly developed a passion for exploring how each individual learns differently, especially children. She graduated from Lewis University in 2017 where she earned undergraduate degrees in Sociology and Early Childhood Special Education with an ESL Endorsement and minored in business administration.
Kimberly says her first niece, who has autism, is a constant motivation discover new ways to help children with special needs explore their strengths and learn alongside their peers. “I want to work to help all children learn by discovering ways to celebrate and align their uniqueness.”
She firmly believes that involving families early-on in their children’s educational journey is key to achieving this goal because it works to remove labels so all children have the opportunity to learn to best of their abilities. “It’s important to let parents know what their children have accomplished, and to identify and celebrate every milestone,” she says.
A 3-sport athlete in high school, Kimberly embraces a multi-faceted and holistic approach to learning. She ran track all four years for Lewis University, and says in a sense it was a savior for her. “I’ve always been passionate about track, but when my dad passed away during my second semester, I continued going, and I continued running for him.” Kimberly firmly believes regular activity and play are essential to the physical, social, and emotional health and development of all children.
Her athletic experience and natural curiosity have also instilled a team-oriented, collaborative philosophy with her colleagues. She takes time to get to know people and asks questions to better understand what motivates others. “You never really know someone’s whole story, so just by starting a conversation, you may be able to change the way their day is going.”
About Kimberly Voltaire, Oak Brook Park District ABC Preschool Coordinator and Butler 53 Early Childhood Special Education Teacher:
Education: Wheeling High School, Lewis University
Favorite Subject in School: English
Athletics: Volleyball, basketball and track
Extra Curriculars: Kimberly belonged to a slam poetry group and even participated in a competition in the city.
Greatest Accomplishment: Becoming a licensed educator Favorite thing about being a teacher: “Hearing students say ‘Miss Voltaire’ warms my heart!”
About Oak Brook Park District ABC Preschool:
Through a partnership with Butler School District 53 and the LaGrange Area Department of Special Education (LADSE), Oak Brook Park District is proud to provide a fully inclusive preschool program. ABC Preschool staff includes certified early childhood education teachers, special education teachers, classroom aides, and speech/language, therapists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists. Our qualified staff and the parents of our students work together as a team to ensure that children receive the very best educational experience possible.
By working closely with the award-winning Butler School District 53, children explore pre-academic skills using a variety of exciting multi-sensory strategies that are reinforced through play. Our curriculum focuses on social, emotional, and intellectual development through creative art, activities, and songs in bright and inviting classrooms.
Our goal is to encourage all children to learn at their own pace through a variety of exciting experiences that are crafted to build the foundation for a love of learning, and to prepare children for success in school. Close communication with Kindergarten teachers from Butler School district 53 allows ABC Preschool teachers to focus on important Kindergarten readiness skills. With a staff to child ratio of 1:6 for the 3-year old Acorns program and 1:7 for the 4-year old Saplings program, students will receive the attention they need to develop a strong foundation for a successful educational career. ABC Preschool offers choices to children whenever possible to encourage positive decision-making and our creative curriculum incorporates essential indoor and outdoor play.