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We offer unique enrichment programs for children enrolled in our private school, preschool, and school-age summer camp!

After School Environmental Program
Afterschool Program student in Madison, WI at Kids Express Learning Center
After School Environmental Program

Hickory Hill Academy (HHA), formerly Kids Express Learning Center, offers an innovative After School program for children enrolled in any of our 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. programs. The After School Environmental Club (ASEC), directed by Georgine Jacobs, runs Monday - Friday from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. (Before School care is available as well, 7:30-8:00 a.m.). Children in ASEC enjoy unique opportunities to explore and learn about nature through daily hands-on nature lessons and activities, including opportunities to feed, water, and care for the farm animals that make HHA their home. AESC members have a wonderful opportunity to plan, prepare, plant, tend, and harvest an on-site organic garden. Our After School program is associated with the Jane Goodall Institute's Roots & Shoots environmental education club for children.

Private School Student in Art Class in Madison, WI at Kids Express Learning Center

Our art program comes alive with creative energy and excitement as our budding young artists experiment with techniques used by “Master Artists.” Children learn how to identify techniques used in artworks, and how to recognize the works of renowned artists. Small class sizes allow teachers to introduce and explore with the children a great variety of materials and techniques. The children are surrounded by creative works as they try their hands at collage, painting, sculpting, and drawing things previously visible only to the mind’s eye.

Creative Connections Art Cottage
World Language
Mandarin and Spanish class for private school and preschool students in Madison, WI at Kids Express Learning Center

This Chinese course for beginners includes an introduction to pronunciation and daily expressions. Students will have a fundamental understanding of Mandarin and make basic conversations of daily living. In addition to the dialogues, the selection of reading materials and practice activities will make the content as rich and varied as possible, in order to stimulate the students’ interests. Sample classes on our blog.


Each week, children learn new Spanish words for concepts related to lesson plans created by their teacher. Lessons are designed to introduce these words and guide the children as they practice using the words in conversational sentences, followed by meaningful hands-on reinforcement activities. Children are encouraged to select books written in Spanish to share with one another and their homeroom teachers. Sample classes on our blog.

Preschool student in gardening class in Madison, WI at Kids Express Learning Center

Brimming with fruits, vegetables, and flowers planted by tiny, nimble fingers, HHA's gardens are a joy to visit every summer. Sensory-rich learning flourishes as the children help care for the gardens and watch the smallest seeds sprout, leaf out, and turn into edible treats or colorful flowers. 


During "Summer on the Farm," children engage in lessons that focus on four themes: Earth, Wind, Fire/Sun, and Water. Guided by their enrichment teacher, the children will work all summer to design, plant, care for, harvest, and, finally, taste the fruits of their labor. Cooking activities, art projects, and building experiments are interwoven with gardening activities to create the richest learning experiences for children.


Literature is at the heart of most programs offered at Kids Express Learning Center and the gardening program is no exception. Whether the topic is 'Butterflies and Bees,' 'Bean Salad Creation,' 'Herb Drying and Packaging,' or 'Building a Mini Greenhouse,' enrichment teacher, Miss Georgine, will either find a book to expand upon her topic or will write one. While hands-on experience is a priority in gardening activities, HHA's literature program enhances most topics for children of all ages. 

Science and Nature Studies
Science and Nature class for private school and preschool students in Madison, WI at Kids Express Learning Center
Science and Nature Studies

In Farmer Will’s Nature Nook, a school bus classroom, children engage in hands on experiments and experiences to grasp concepts in physics, chemistry, and more. Children learn about animal characteristics, habits, and more through daily interaction with resident farm animals and nature classes that utilize our school forest, wooded trails, and a tiny pond. Our environment provides rich opportunities to learn about life and the wonders of the natural world. Sample classes on our blog.


Science and Nature Studies teacher, Mr. Rich, demonstrates his passion for nature in every developmentally appropriate nature-based lesson he leads. Children learn through the stories he selects for lessons in Farmer Will's Nature Nook bus, the hands-on activities he plans for in the Nature Center, and through daily interactions with HHA's farm animals. Alongside Mr. Rich and the HHA animals, children learn about animal characteristics, habits, sensitivities, feeding and care. In addition to teaching the children about KELC's domesticated animals, Mr. Rich uses HHA's forest and pond as outdoor 'classrooms' for learning about woodland animals, pond life, birds, and more. Even physics and chemistry lessons find their way into Farmer Will's school bus as Mr. Rich uses all his passions to inspire young, questioning minds. 

Physical Education class for private school and preschool students in Madison, WI at Kids Express Learning Center

Physical Education

Activities are planned weekly based on the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards. The goal-based lesson plans focus on each age and ability served by our classrooms. Exploration and movement activities help children develop an awareness of their bodies along with coordination skills. Weather permitting, lessons are held outdoors in the gardens, lawns and sports court on our campus. If the activities are best served by an indoor environment, two gyms are available. Sample classes on our blog.


Weather permitting, PE lessons are held outdoors in the gardens, lawns and sports court on our campus. If the activities are best served by an indoor environment, two gyms are available for PE lessons. 

Physical Education
Music class private school and preschool student in Madison, WI at Kids Express Learning Center


Bucky Beats is an interactive music experience rooted in percussion, vocal exploration, music reading, exploration of several instruments, and song writing. Classes raise interest in sound, rhythm, instruments, and music, while also helping children to strengthen attention skills. School-age children explore specific instruments, work together to write songs, and are encouraged to have fun and build confidence in their talents and creativity.  Sample classes on our blog.


Children attend classes lead by our local chefs from Yummy Sprouts -- a dedicated team inspired to educate children about healthy food, and how to make it. Our culinary class promotes a lifelong skill of cooking, builds a sense of accomplishment, and encourages children to try new foods. A kitchen also serves as a learning lab where children use all of their senses. Sample classes on our blog.

Culinary Class at Madison Private School and Preschool at Kids Express Learning Center
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Kids Express Summer Camp Activities in Madison, WI

Summer Specials

At "Summer on the Farm", homeroom teachers plan fun, interactive activities promoting literacy, math, writing and learning.  These activities help children retain what they have learned throughout the school year. In addition, our School-Agers participate in a variety of special classes taught by top instructors in the Madison area. These classes are what makes Summer on the Farm a truly unique experience for our School-Age campers. In the morning, campers select either "Rock & Roll for Kids", Zumba, Gymnastics, Golf, Yoga, or Culinary Classes.

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