At Akiba-Schechter, we believe that youth is precious and that growth cannot be rushed. The developmental stages children must go through in order to be happy and successful take time and energy on the part of the teacher and the student. No two children are alike; each has individual strengths and weaknesses. We believe that each child is unique and deserves to be cherished. Children’s similarities and differences must be celebrated. Our teachers work hard to identify each child’s needs and help him or her integrate into the group.
Cheerful music, colorfully displayed artwork, and children busy at play are some of what you’ll see when you walk through our building. We believe children learn best when the curriculum is thematic and child-centered, which, ideally, is child-initiated. Our teachers are always prepared with rich plans for each day of school, but they are also ready to put those plans aside when the children’s ideas lead in a different direction. While the final product is always nice to see, we most embrace the process of creating. Storytelling and celebrating the Jewish holidays add a warm awareness and joy of the Jewish tradition. Regular visual documentation of their activities helps children reflect on the fun and growth they experience.
Why We Play
At the Akiba-Schechter Preschool we believe in play-based curriculum. Our classrooms are safe, age appropriate, welcoming to parents, and print rich. We provide an environment where children can explore their world through interactions with each other and adults, hands-on activities, literature, music, and movement. Teachers prepare the environment and children have the opportunity to select many of their own activities, including blocks, dramatic play, art, sand and water tables, card and board games, music and movement, group games, dictating and writing stories, songs, group meeting time, and outdoor play. This is balanced with structured group activities.
Our Goals Include:
The Jewish calendar is the starting point for many of our activities, including open-ended art projects, stories, music, math, science, cooking, and celebrations. Throughout the Preschool, all children participate in this basic curriculum. However, each age group approaches these activities in different ways.
Starting at age 2, Akiba-Schechter helps students welcome school and learning into their world through a parent-initiated timetable. Teachers take cues from parents and are sensitive and nurturing to families. We provide opportunities for parallel play, plenty of space, and duplicate toys. For collaborative play and dramatic play, we provide big blocks, dress-up clothes, a kitchen area, strollers, and shopping carts.
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