The Gardner School
of Lincoln Park

The Gardner School of Chicago's Lincoln Park preschool campus offers year-round educational programs for full and part-time childcare for children six weeks old through private Pre-Kindergarten. In addition, we provide enrichment classes and our summer camp, Camp Gardner! All of our lead teachers have four year degrees in early childhood education, elementary education or a closely related field. The stimulating, creative and educationally engineered school has been designed to meet the needs of our most important client... the children! Attention to detail both inside and outside the classroom is what makes The Gardner School a special place for young children.

Enrichment Programs Offered

gymnastics

Gymnastics

For Ages: 18 Months +
computer

Be Smart Computers

For Ages: 18 Months +
dance

Dance

For Ages: 2 Years +
music-drama

Music

For Ages: 2 Years +
runner

Sports

For Ages: 3 Years +

Lincoln Park Campus Leadership

Karina Cadiz
School Director

How long have you been with TGS? 
May 2013

Roles Served with TGS:
Pre-K TeacherDirector of Curriculum and Assistant Director at the West Loop campus

What is your educational background?
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education.

What made you decide to have a career in education? 
I knew I wanted a career that I felt passionate about -- one that is truly rewarding.

What makes you laugh about kids? 
I love how kids are so truthful and often “tell it like it is.”

What do you love most about working with infants through the age of 5? 
I love to see how much a child can change and develop during the preschool years, and I love how children at this age are so enthusiastic about everything!

What is your favorite part of the day at TGS? 
I love visiting each classroom.

What do you love most about TGS? 
The sense of community amongst staff and families.

What is your fondest memory of TGS thus far? 
Seeing my Pre-K class in their graduation caps and gowns, performing “So Long, Farewell” from The Sound of Music.

What inspires you? 
The work ethic instilled by my dad from a young age is what drives me to this day.

What is your passion or passions? 
Caring for others.

How important is early childhood education?
Early childhood education is essential. The preschool years are the foundation of learning and a time of so much growth and development.

What would you tell new parents who are apprehensive about leaving their infant in the care of someone else for the first time? 
Our infant teachers are extremely passionate about what they do and the care they provide to their infants.

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Erinn Cohen
Assistant Director

How long have you been with TGS? 
Since September 2015

Roles Served with TGS: 
Manager in Training for the North Region, Director of Education/Enrichment Coordinator at West Loop

What is your educational background? 
I have my Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Illinois and my Master’s Degree in Child Development from Erikson Institute.

What made you decide to have a career in education?
I decided to have a career in education because I love working with young children. The first 5 years is very important for the child’s growth and development, and I love being an influence on the children at that time.

What do you love most about working with infants through the age of 5? 
I love seeing the children start with our program and transition through the classrooms as they grow and learn! It is amazing how the children grow and develop at such a rapid pace. I also love hearing all the different things the children have to say and all the funny stories they tell.

What is your favorite part of the day at TGS?
My favorite part of the day is the mornings seeing all the children come in with smiles on their faces excited to learn and play each day!

What do you love most about TGS?
I love all the friendly staff at TGS. Everyone at TGS is here to enrich the lives of your children and help facilitate their growth and development.

What is your fondest memory of TGS thus far? 
My fondest memory of TGS thus far was helping to put together the Dance Enrichment Showcase. It was so impressive that the children were able to learn and remember a dance routine to demonstrate what they have learned in Dance Class. Seeing all the children participate and show off their skills for their parents was amazing!

What does the term ‘Where Learning Begins’ mean to you? 
‘Where Learning Begins’ means to me the first step and place for your child’s education journey. We want this beginning of this journey to be positive and exciting for your child!

How important is early childhood education? 
Early childhood education is very important! Children are sponges in early childhood and soak up all of their surroundings. At TGS, teachers are always planning new and exciting activities for the children to learn about their world.

What would you tell new parents who are apprehensive about leaving their infant in the care of someone else for the first time?  
I would tell a new parent that they should feel like they are in good hands with all of the teachers at TGS. The parents are able to come in ahead of time to meet the teachers in the classroom and get a feel for how the day goes as well as ask any questions they may have. It is also nice for a new parent to have the PreciouStatus App where they are able to see all the updates and pictures throughout the day. I would also tell the parents that they are free to call the classroom at any time if they would like to speak with one of the teachers!

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