Purposeful play helps form the core of our Early Childhood program, along with the integration of a thoughtful dual curriculum, Jewish values-based moral development, and a warm, nurturing environment, supplemented by chess and violin. Jewish holidays and customs come to life through joyful, creative story, song, art and play. Reading, writing, and math readiness – as well as an introduction to Hebrew through songs and games – help prepare students for academic and social success in kindergarten and beyond.
Inside our classrooms, activity centers are stocked with items that invite exploration, fire the imagination, and encourage children to make discoveries, experiment, and learn to interact with others as they play. Any morning you will find children moving from center to center, playing with blocks, trains, and Legos; they are dressing up as superheroes, firefighters, princesses, and dinosaurs. They sing, they create restaurants with pretend food, and build skyscrapers. What appears to be unstructured play reflects thoughtful, deliberate planning set up to encourage creative thinking, social competence, language use, fine and gross motor skills, and problem solving – great predictors of success later in life.
Researchers attest to the benefits of children who study music: they develop confidence, improve listening skills, and learn to lead. Similarly, as children learn to play chess, they begin to understand the importance of thinking ahead. Being able to anticipate outcomes has proven to be a factor in future reading comprehension.