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Welcome to Gesell Institute where believe in the power of play and natural learning experiences to help young children gain knowledge and understanding.

In our program at UW-Stevens Point, we offer 4K program and 3-year-old preschool through the Stevens Point Area Public School District.

History – The Gesell Name

The Gesell Institute bears the name of Arnold Gesell (1880-1961), noted pioneer in the study of child development. Gesell was a native of Alma, Wis., and graduated from the Stevens Point Normal School in 1899. He later earned doctorates in both psychology and medicine. Gesell founded The Yale Clinic of Child Development. The Gesell Institute has been in operation at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, since 1972.

The Gesell Institute exists as a vital component in the School of Education at UW-Stevens Point. Each year approximately 50 undergraduate and graduate students receive laboratory experiences working with young children and their parents within this facility.

Program Philosophy

The program is developmentally based, utilizing several principles set forth by Arnold Gesell

Other theories upon which the program draws include those of Erik Erikson, Lev Vygotsky, and Jean Piaget. These theories provide us with a set of developmental expectations which allow us to plan appropriate activities and develop behavioral guidelines for children

Program Goals for Gesell Students

Based upon the theories and principles of Erikson and Piaget, six goals have been established. Activities for all children are directed toward meeting these goals:

  1. To provide children with opportunities for social interaction with same age peers.
  2. To assure that children have a good start in the development of a positive self-concept.
  3. To assist children in the formation of positive attitudes toward school and learning.
  4. To provide the children with a wide variety of activities and experiences which will build the firm foundations for later academic learning.
    1. Conceptual development
    2. Language development
    3. Listening and following directions
    4. Thinking and decision making
    5. Independence and responsibility
  5. To provide children with opportunities to practice large and small motor skills.
  6. To encourage development of creativity

Program Goals for UWSP Students

4K Program

Class Sessions and Hours

Monday-Thursday

12:15-3:25 p.m.

Registration

Registration for Four Year Old Kindergarten (4K) is through the Stevens Point Area Public School District. Register online or visit Bliss Educational Services Center.

Admission Policies

The Stevens Point Area Public School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, pregnancy, parental status, arrest or conviction record, membership in the military reserve, religion, political beliefs or affiliations, citizenship, use or non-use of lawful products off school premises during non-working hours or any other factor prohibited by law. Discrimination on the basis of age, sex or other requirements constitutes a bona fide occupational qualification necessary to the proper and efficient operation and administration of the school district. The director of Student Services is the district’s compliance officer. If you have concerns, please call 715-345-5454.

4K Guiding Principles

“To provide equal access to quality early childhood learning experiences for all children.”

For collaborative community based early childhood programs to be successful, we believe…

3-Year-old Preschool

Class Sessions and Hours

2021-22:

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

8:40-10:40 a.m.

Registration

Registration for 3-year-old Preschool is through the Stevens Point Area Public School District.

Complete forms and return to:
Bliss Educational Services Center
1900 Polk Street
Stevens Point, WI 54481

Enrollment Fees

$600/year

Admission Policies

The Stevens Point Area Public School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, pregnancy, parental status, arrest or conviction record, membership in the military reserve, religion, political beliefs or affiliations, citizenship, use or non-use of lawful products off school premises during non-working hours or any other factor prohibited by law. Discrimination on the basis of age, sex or other requirements constitutes a bona fide occupational qualification necessary to the proper and efficient operation and administration of the school district. The director of Student Services is the district’s compliance officer. If you have concerns, please call 715-345-5454.

Rose and Don Petersen Hands-on Learning Lab

Students at the Gesell Institute now have a space where they can learn about the importance of food from growing their own garden to preparing meals in a kitchen.

Education is made fun when taught through foods. The Rose and Don Petersen Hands-On Learning Lab promotes positive growth through activities such as:

Rose ’57 and Don Petersen were instrumental in the recent redesign of the Gesell Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and creating the Rose and Don Petersen Hands-on Learning Lab. 

Learn more about Rose’s legacy or find out how you can make a gift to support the Gesell program.