Discovery Village Academy: Cornelius Preschool

Find out if there are any available spots for your child at Discovery Village Academy Preschool.

Our Philosophy

Our underlying Education Philosophy is based on proven theories and practices. In the 1960’s, Dr. Donald O. Clifton found that the understanding and utilization of natural talents led to higher achievement. (Soar with your Strengths; Now Discover Your Strengths; Gallup Path) In the 1970’s, Dr. Stephen R. Covey taught several principles which developed character and leadership for individuals and organizations. (7 Habits of Highly Effective People; The Leader in Me) In the1990’s, Dr. Daniel J. Goleman realized the value of developing the emotional aspect of each individual. (Emotional Intelligence; Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ)

The Academy’s focus on students’ talent, character, leadership and emotional development directs the pursuit of experiences and programs which foster engaged, confident and well-adjusted children in safe settings. Our Campus is intended to serve as a retreat for children to have developmental Academic, Active, and Nature Play experiences.  The Active Play and Nature Play oriented educational opportunities for students include child development, cognitive learning and nature/science discovery.  All activities of the Campus are conducted to comply with the exemption requirements of the North Carolina Child Care Facility Act with no program exceeding 4 hours per day for any given set of students.

Education Philosophy Expanded

The following quote give a greater perspective on our philosophy:

Dr. Donald O. Clifton

“What would happen if we actually studied what is right with people?”

“Our  greatest contribution is to be sure there is a teacher in every classroom who cares that every student, every day, learns and grows and feels like a real human being”

“Positive psychology is a framework, or a paradigm, that encompasses an approach to psychology from the perspective of healthy, successful life functioning.”

“Since the greatest room for each person’s growth is in the areas of his (and her) greatest strength, you should focus your training time and money on educating him about his strengths and figuring out ways to build on these strengths rather than on remedially trying to plug his ‘skill gaps’. You will find that this one shift in emphasis will pay huge dividends.

“The only possible failure would be never managing to find the right role or the right partners to help you realize [your] strength[s].”

“If there is any difference between you and me, it may simply be that I get up every day and have a chance to do what I love to do, every day.”

Dr. Stephen R. Covey

“Historically, the family has played the primary role in educating children for life, with the school providing supplemental scaffolding to the family. When it comes to developing character strength, inner security and unique personal and interpersonal talents and skills in a child, no institution can or ever will compare with, or effectively substitute for, the home’s potential for positive influence. But with the steady disintegration of the family in modern society over the last century, the role of the school in bridging the gap has become vital!”

Our current education system needs “partnerships between schools and parents in educating the whole child, which includes developing both the character strength and the competencies required to really succeed in the 21st Century.”

Dr. Daniel Goleman

“Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection – or compassionate action.”

“Everyone knows that high IQ is no guarantee of success, happiness, or virtue, but until the discoveries of modern brain researchers, theorists could only guess why.  …The crucial skills of emotional intelligence, and how they determine our success in relationships and work, and even our physical well-being” … can be readily learned and assimilated.

“Emotional literacy” is not fixed early in life. Every parent, every teacher, every business leader, and everyone interested in a more civil society, has a stake in this compelling vision of human possibility.

“The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice there is little we can do to change until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds.”


Discovery Village Academy will develop talented, engaged leaders who recognize and can achieve their full potential while actively leading others to their full potential, one child at a time.


Discovery Village Academy actively develops and fosters those experiences and resources that:

1) Discover the talents and strengths of each child for their daily benefit, full emotional development, and life-long use,

2) Teach teachers, children and parents how to unleash their full potential,

3) Inspire teachers, children and parents to help others develop their talents and strengths,

4) Engage teachers, children and parents to have their full commitment in their academic pursuits,

5) Emphasize that development of Hope, Engagement and Well-Being are the primary drivers of life success and happiness,

6) Champion the role of parents and family in developing the full potential of each child

ACADEMIC PROGRAMS (Active Play AND Nature Play)

Academic Programs are designed to spark a child’s natural curiosity, stimulate the desire to explore, provide age appropriate activities within widely accepted guidelines for child development.  Children love and need to spend a great deal of time investigating the world around them. They discover how to care for and live in a community with other living things. This philosophy emphasizes personal and interpersonal growth.  Discovery Village Academy will always strive to have gender-balanced classes because it has been shown that they provide the best opportunity for children to develop leadership skills, establish role models and mentors and learn to live and work in harmony with others. Ultimately the programs are designed to provide an opportunity for children to explore, grow and direct their own educational experience within safe boundaries. This latitude leads to the development of joyful lifelong learners, caretakers of the environment and citizens of the world.   The Academic Programs which fulfill the Mission of Discovery Village Academy will emphasize the importance of each student (and their parents) understanding his or her talents and helping them to gain the skills and knowledge that helps them realize their full individual potential and be aware of and respect the talents and potential in others.


The critical goal of the Educational Program is to provide an engaging and nurturing environment so children can learn and develop skills in the areas of talent, character, leadership and emotional development, Rich and varied indoor/outdoor settings with age appropriate “illusion” of risk and freedom allows children of all ages to explore, discover, imagine, create and learn to achieve those goals. Educational research, as promoted by the National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), indicates that the exploratory and creative activity, which children initiate themselves, is the primary way they develop concepts and understanding about their world.  Play in general, and free play in particular, helps children develop the skills necessary for critical thinking, leadership and problem solving.

Discovery Village Academy’s goal is always to facilitate a resource-rich environment that intrigues and captivates the imagination; thus stimulating a child’s innate desire to delve deeper into the learning process.

As part of this overall philosophy of Active Play and Nature Play, the Education Program stresses five main areas to assure a successful implementation:

1) Quality Teachers

2) Quality Education

3) Quality Classroom Settings

4) Quality Family Support

5) Quality Community Support