We feel very lucky because through teaching, we get to live our passion. Our philosophy of education encompasses the whole child approach- nurturing and enriching the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social growth and development of every child. We prepare children for the opportunities and challenges of today and tomorrow by addressing their comprehensive needs. A strong foundation sets a child up for success throughout life. We provide a wide range of experiences for different ages and learning styles. Our engaging, hands-on lessons and activities inspire a thirst for knowledge and enthusiasm for learning. As an educator, it is vital to cultivate the development of each child’s unique talents. Through kindling the mind, body, and soul of each and every child, we are making a contribution to the world.
“Teachers who love teaching teach children to love learning.” -Robert John Meehan
We are a year-round program with new enrollment occurring on an ongoing basis as space allows.
Westside Forest Friends takes place at various parks and outdoor areas around the Westside of Los Angeles. This includes Holmby Park which is located at 601 Club View Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90024, as well as other outdoor spaces around Beverly Hills and Westwood. An outdoor learning environment offers a sense of freedom for children, enabling them to play in a carefree manner, expand their imagination, release energy, and explore their senses. Periodically, we also go on field trips around Los Angeles (museums, farmers markets, pumpkin patches, aquariums, etc).
We believe in using positivity to foster healthy behaviors and a healthy learning environment. Our goals include teaching children self-control and respect for themselves and others. Our constructive techniques include redirection, anticipation, modeling, natural consequences, elimination of potential problems, and teaching children to resolve conflicts on their own in an appropriate manner.
Parental involvement is purely time based. Parents can read a story, lead an activity, or join us on our field trips.
Courtney Bitto, the Westside Forest Friends Program Director, was born and raised in West Los Angeles. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a minor in Sports Management. Courtney earned her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State University, Northridge and her Early Childhood Education certification through UCLA Extension. She has 9 years experience teaching 2nd and 3rd grade, and 7 years experience teaching preschool.
Since Courtney is from the Westside, she is very familiar with its neighborhoods and surrounding areas. Many of the beautiful parks and wonderful field trip destinations throughout Los Angeles which she enjoyed during her childhood have now become the setting for Westside Forest Friends. She has designed a nature-based, outdoor curriculum comprised of weekly themes, key skills, and concepts.
Courtney’s hobbies include playing tennis, swimming, traveling with her husband, and spending time with her 3 year old godson, Tristan. She is very excited and proud to be the Director and Head Teacher at Westside Forest Friends. Courtney looks forward to getting to know you and your children as you all work together to create the best preschool experience. Thank you for sharing your precious children with her!
We are a proud member of the Wonderschool network.
Wonderschool is a group of early childhood programs that combine the quality standards of the best child care centers with the warmth of an in-home program in your neighborhood.