Greenburgh Hebrew Center Early Childhood Center - serving the Rivertowns: Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley, Irvington, Hastings and beyond

A private, non-profit preschool for children from 2 to 5 years of age

Cantor Janet with the Nursery School Children

Early Childhood Center kids have fun with Cantor Janet

Call it a Nursery School, Call it a Preschool, we call it the Greenburgh Hebrew Center Early Childhood Center!

This page gives you a brief overview of our school. You are welcome to visit us and observe our children and staff enjoying their school day. The GHC Early Childhood Center offers a combined secular and Judaic pre-school curriculum in a warm, emotionally supportive, creative and fun atmosphere. We are committed to a high-quality learning environment and follow the standards of the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children).

 

School Philosophy

Our purpose is to create an environment for two, three and four-year olds where self-confidence and self-expression are encouraged and supported. In the process, our children also learn responsibility, respect for others, and decision making skills.

All of our activities are age- appropriate and appeal to a variety of learning styles and personalities. Our teachers understand the differences in the development of the young child, and therefore all activities in the classroom are hands on and relevant to each child. Projects are open-ended and focus on the process rather than the product. Consequently, children of all abilities can succeed and self-esteem grows.

In each age group, learning is implemented through a hands-on, play oriented approach. The general goal of our program is to develop strong social, fine motor, gross motor and communication skills.

The Judaic component is an essential element of our children's educational experience at GHC. We feel that through the introduction of an age-appropriate Judaic curriculum in the pre-school years, our children will acquire a lifelong love and devotion to Judaism and the Jewish people. We strongly believe in teaching and practicing Jewish values. Our children are exposed to and participate in Jewish rituals, cultural practices, and holiday celebrations through song, story and art.

 

Curriculum

GHC Nursery School serving the Rivertowns in Westchester County NY Greenburgh Hebrew Center Early Childhood Center follows a pre-school curriculum with experiences in:

  • Emergent literacy through story time and literature related activities
  • Pre-math skills
  • Science and nature exploration
  • Arts and crafts
  • Creative movement
  • Cooking and baking
  • Shabbat and Jewish holiday celebrations
  • Dramatic play
  • Music
  • Tzedakah projects
  • Outdoor and indoor play
  • Local field trips
  • Guest visitors

A typical day for our children includes time for individual and group experiences. Each day allows for the young child's need for high, moderate and low-level activities.

 

Goals

Our teachers have specific goals for their classes, and during the school year, work to implement and achieve these goals. At each age level the teachers structure the curriculum to foster the development of important basic skills.

In the two-year old class, the emphasis is on helping and encouraging children to achieve separation from their parent or caregiver. It is also very important at this age for children to learn to transition between activities without upset. During this year growing communication skills are encouraged, and this growth allows children to begin to change their play patterns from parallel to cooperative play.

In the three-year old class, language further develops as children are encouraged to talk about their creations in the block corner, describe their art projects, participate in finger plays, and listen at story time with increased understanding. Children learn about math through play and the activities of the classroom. The refinement of fine motor skills is an additional goal of the threes. As the three-year-old sense of self becomes stronger, the children become more socially aware and friendships take on new importance.

A major goal in the four-year old class is kindergarten readiness. One of the ways we accomplish this goal is by enhancing the pre-reading skills of the children. An experience chart is used on a daily basis familiarizing children with a group of sight words and the concept that letters make words and words make sentences. Children practice writing their names, and dictate and create class books throughout the year. Math skills are taught through sorting, counting, patterning, number recognition, and comparison through voting and measurement. Equally important in the fours is the growth of emotional development. This is accomplished by providing an environment where children learn to care about one another, embrace diversity, feel part of a larger social group, and embrace friendships.

 

Other Activities at GHC

Depending on interest, the school may offer a Mommy and Me Toddler class for one-year olds, designed to provide toddlers with a "taste" of preschool. Children in the Mommy and Me program may attend with either a parent or a caregiver. Consistent with our philosophy of Jewish education, all children and parents are invited to Tot Shabbat at GHC, as well as lunch following services. Tot Shabbat is held every Saturday morning from 11:15 - 12 noon. Ruach Tot Shabbat is specifically designed for children ages 3-7 and their parents.  Held on the 2nd Friday of each month from 5:30 - 6:15 PM, it includes a Shabbat themed activity, followed by songs, candles, challah and grape juice.  All GHC Early Childhood Center families are welcome and encouraged to participate in all activities and events at the Greenburgh Hebrew Center.

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