Helping our Kids Succeed: DHS Tiny Tikes

DHS Student sits with 2 preschool students looking forward

By: Laura Tangen, Family and Consumer Science Teacher at DHS

Inside the walls of Dickinson High School, a blend of children’s voices and teens’ light-hearted laughter can be heard at Tiny Tikes Preschool. Four days a week, DHS students become teachers to 7 excited preschool children. The Early Childhood Education students plan and present stories and lessons, all with a twist of fun and learning.  

Tiny Tikes was created to help students explore future careers working with children. The preschool has existed long enough that some high school students remember attending the DHS preschool themselves.

Sophomore Jake Skabo plans to follow the Health and Human Services education pathway. Skabo says, “I have worked in many community programs involving kids, but this is my favorite. In preschools and elementary schools around the world, seeing a male teacher is uncommon. I never really thought that a male teacher would make a difference. I was impacted by these children and can’t wait to continue this education pathway.” 

Enjoying children is part of the experience. Taya Singer recommends that we “get to know them and grow with them. It’s the best thing in the world to see children accomplish things.” Tierney Yoder states, “seeing the excited children makes my week.”

Not every preschool day runs just as we plan. The DHS students need to figure out how to best help each child succeed. Tehya Chavez wants to be a child psychologist and is learning how the children’s minds work. Chavez says that she has grown “to not take things so seriously and to have fun.” Madison Trittin finds that “working with children has been challenging, yet very rewarding.”

As the semester ends, Lindy Birchman comments, “we have created a bond with the children and are sad to see them go, but we know that we have made a difference.”

After 12 weeks, our high school students will say goodbye to their Tiny Tikes friends on January 6 but come March, the energetic sounds of preschool children will return. A whole new class of DHS students will become teachers for the Tiny Tikes’ spring session. Jocelyn Urlacher recommends that parents enroll their children because we will “stretch your child’s language skills and help them create connections.”

 If you are interested in enrolling your 3-5-year-old child in the Tiny Tikes spring session, email Laura Tangen at