The ECC at Shaaray Tefila embraces individuality and helps lead children on the magical journey of growth with respect towards personal development while regularly infusing Jewish values and traditions into classroom life. We provide a developmentally appropriate hands-on environment for every child.
Our program emphasizes the development of the whole child: intellectually, cognitively, socially, physically and spiritually. We develop our curriculum around the interests of the individual child and simultaneously infuse opportunities for specialists in nature, sign language, music and movement and monthly social action experiences. Students learn about their rich Jewish heritage both in their classrooms and through weekly Shabbat celebrations with one of our three Rabbis, songs and stories.
All classes have the opportunity to learn with weekly and monthly specialists.
• Comprehensive Nature Program including our own organic garden. Each class meets weekly to learn about our world, its plants and animals, and tending our garden.
• Music Class led by Kenny Green, founder of the Westchester Klezmer Program, Inc. Using his unique style of song leading & interactive storytelling, Kenny engages the children each week as he leads every class in songs both Jewish and secular.
• Sign Language classes led by Children & American Sign Language for Education.
Naturalists from The Nature of Things lead monthly hands-on and developmentally appropriate science education classes that feature an inquiry-based approach to live animal exploration.
• Yoga: The Children’s School of Yoga will visit monthly for our 3s and 4s. Namaste!
Description of Our Classes
2 Year Old’s Program
The twos programs provide an opportunity for peer socialization in a group setting. Children learn to interact with each other in a supportive and nurturing environment laying a foundation for a smooth transition into a five-day a week threes program the following year. Through play and modeling children learn to connect with others, create friendships and develop skills to communicate with adults other than their primary caregivers. These classes provide a happy learning environment that fosters confidence, independence and exploration.
Children may attend 3 mornings a week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, or 5 mornings a week, Mondays through Fridays, from 9:15 am – 11:30 am.
3 Year Old’s and 4 Year Old’s Program
These programs are designed to allow children to learn through engagement, experience and interaction. Children are encouraged to ask questions, experiment with new materials, solve problems and learn social skills. Emergent Curriculum, coupled with a clear working knowledge of the New York State Prekindergarten Foundation for the Common Core, enables us to ensure kindergarten readiness for our students. Our students develop the confidence and abilities needed to make a smooth transition into a traditional kindergarten setting. Teachers guide the children through activities and social interactions and encourage their developing curiosity about their world and their enthusiasm for learning.
School begins each day at 9:15 am and ends at 12:00 pm. All students are invited to stay for Afternoon Adventure, which runs Mondays through Fridays from 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm. This program provides an opportunity for your child to delve into exciting educational opportunities after our morning school sessions each day. A sample project can be found here.
Our Studio Space
Inspired by the Reggio Emilia educational philosophy and Emergent Curriculum, the studio is a place where our learners are invited each week to create. Filled with materials, both new and recycled, the students are encouraged to explore, get messy, and play. Some amazing creations have included recycled pizza box art, 3 dimensional sculptures, weaving activities, and studies of numerous artists, followed by inspirations to create individual works of art based on the artists the children are learning about here
Social Action Activities are included in our curriculum on a regular basis. The children participate in meaningful activities monthly, such as making pies to donate to Neighbors Link, sandwiches for Midnight Run, and recycled paper projects for Tu B’Shevat.
Our Parent Association meets monthly with the director and helps facilitate special events, projects and fundraisers.
Our Grandparents Program invites our own Temple “grandparents” to volunteer their time to join us in the classrooms during school hours. This is a wonderful opportunity for the congregation’s Adults at Leisure to become involved in our ECC and also an enriching experience for our youngest learners!
Community Connections is our monthly program that provides opportunities for families to join us for holiday and community early evening activities. Past events have included crafting Tzedakah boxes, baking pies for Neighbors Link for Thanksgiving, and celebrating Chanukah and Tu B’Shevat with Adults at Leisure and recycling paper for Tu B’Shevat.