How Tara spends her day at the Perry Preschool

Tara, age 5, wrote down her ''plan'' for her first activity one morning recently at Perry Preschool: draw a rainbow. ''Making choices,'' planning and following their plans, is part of the learning process, says Michelle Ludwig, program consultant.

In a telephone interview, she recalled some of Tara's other activities that morning.

At the easel, after Tara drew a rainbow, a teacher printed the name of the color over each color she had used. Then Tara went over to a play house. The program also offers an area for art, blocks (including little furniture and giant Tinkertoys), a toy corner with puzzles and games, and a construction area with hammers, wood scraps, and glue. There is also a sand/soil box.

Later Tara counted out crackers and cut cheese to put on them for each child. After cleanup time, the children gathered to tell other students what they had done. The rest of the half-day program included games and reading.

''I think it is exciting,'' Ms. Ludwig says. ''It gives children a very positive way to start (their education).''

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