Rockford Schools’ Child Development Lab Preschoolers horse around at their own rodeo

along with LYNN BEGIN

One popular and unique program offered by Rockford Community Services is the Rockford Child Development Lab Preschool (RCDL). The 36-week program, for three and four-year olds,is offered every year in the “state-of-the-art” Rockford High School facility.

Nate Reaume demonstrates his skill roping a steer. John Wayne would have been proud.


In a safe and secure environment with its own private entrance, playground, and observation room, enrolled preschoolers are under the guidance of warm and nurturing teachers with degrees. The program provides a kindergarten-readiness curriculum that includes creative learning, problem solving, literacy, discovery, art, nature, field trips, and special events.

At this year’s special event, held on Tuesday, Oct. 19, the RCDL Preschool celebrated family fun, with parents and friends in attendance, by holding a rodeo complete with steer roping, barrel racing, stick horse racing and learning about real ponies.

The featured guest for the rodeo was Amy Risner from “Farm Animals on the Go” who demonstrated the care and feeding of her pony and mini horse. (Kids love horses their size!)

“It was a beautiful sunny fall day and everyone in attendance, including parents and friends and especially the kids, kicked up their heels and enjoyed horsing around”, said RCDL Aide Lynn Begin.

Complete with happy faces and cowboy hats and neckerchiefs are (L to R) Hannah Bechtold, Miley Patrick, Sadie Boswell, and Juett Perroud and RDCL mascot, a Paws with a Cause Lab with his own special cowboy hat.


Parents of preschoolers interested in learning more about and/or future enrollment for this innovative preschool program should contact Rockford Community Services at 863-6560 or go

Sadie Boswell tries out a saddle for size and shows off her cowgirl boots.


Miss Amy from “Farm Animals on the Go” tells the 4-year old class about the care and feeding of “Moon” the pony.


Urging their stick ponies on to victory are (L toR) Madyson Jesse, Gavin Peters, Maya Mollema, and Maya Merren galloping aroundthe “racetrack”.

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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.