News & Awards


Explorer Parent Participation Preschool Staff, board member, receive State Recognition Awards at The California Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools’ annual convention held in March. The CCPPNS, with more than 320 member schools, is a state-wide community of parents and educators committed to teaching and inspiring families through parent involvement and mutual support. Explorer’s Director Konne Ainsworth, teachers Annie Castle Deckert, Jackie Kite, Josefina Madrigal and Board Treasurer Lori Levin received awards. For more information about CCPNS follow the link:


In the news


Teacher Konne Ainsworth awarded the City of San Jose Outstanding Contributor to Child Care Award

The City of San Jose Early Care and Education Commission has selected four Outstanding Contributor to Child Care awardees for 2012. They are Konne Ainsworth (Explorer Preschool), McKinley Preschool, San Jose Day Nursery, and SJB Child Development Centers. This award is presented annually to individuals or organizations that have made exceptional contributions to the needs of young children and their families within quality licensed child care settings in the City of San José. It is part of the City of San José Month of the Young Child celebration. The Outstanding Contributor to Child Care Award was presented by Mayor Reed and the San José City Council at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Explorer's 4-day Nutcracker performance gets front page press

A 4-day class tradition, students in costume dance the parts of the Nutcracker. This preschool version is just right for all ages!

Explorer at Willow Glen Community Carnival

A festive booth displayed Explorer art projects. Kids had a chance to participate in a craft, and parents learned more about our school.

Explorer moms race for the cure

Three Explorer moms walked 60 miles over 3 days and raised over $6000 in the 3-day Breast cancer walk benefiting Susan G. Komen for the cure.

Explorer Hosts Popular Children's Band "Milkshake"

The community was invited to attend a live children's concert held at the Markham Little Theatre featuring The Milkshake Band. Explorer recruited the nationally known band and sold tickets as a way to share the spirit of our school with the city of San Jose. It was a rockin' good time!

Our Outdoor Classroom

Explorer Preschool celebrated the completion of its Outdoor Classroom with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on April 29.  The celebration marks the end of a year-long project to create an outdoor educational environment that stimulates the students’ senses and provides endless opportunities to explore and learn.

With the guidance of teachers Konne Ainsworth, Annie Deckert and Jackie Kite, Alissa Noguez Landscape Architect designed a space full of winding path ways, water and sand areas, two climbing structures and a full scale play house.  The design also included more than thirty different types of plants to add texture, color, smell, and taste to the classroom.  West Bay Landscape Company turned this design in to reality.  But the best work off all is done every day by the students who continually find new ways to interpret the space to fit their individual needs.  Like the student who learned a “new way” to work the tire swing or the other one that sees the climbing structure as her very own pirate ship.

Much of the volunteer work and funds needed to build the Outdoor Classroom came from current and alumni families of Explorer.  As part of the Child Care Playground Safety Initiative, the school also received a large grant from the Packard Foundation and Community Ventures Incorporated.  Local businesses such as South Bay Materials, Ogawa-Mune Nursery and KOMPAN Unique Playgrounds contributed supplies and materials at considerable savings making this a true community effort.

Explorer Preschool is an NAEYC accredited parent participation school where children, at an individual pace, can learn and develop through play.  Parents learn to be child educators at home, at school, and in their community, through observation in the classroom, seminars, and discussion with the credentialed teachers.  The school has been working with the families of our community since 1960 and is located at 2700 Booksin Avenue in Willow Glen.

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