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The Weinstein JCC Preschool: Where Learning is a Journey of Discovery every day!

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Accepting Applications for the 2023-2024 School Year for

Preschoolers, ages 2-5 years old!

The Early Childhood Department of the Weinstein JCC is licensed by the State of Virginia and proudly accredited by NAEYC since 1986.

Preschool 2023-2024 begins Sept. 5. We continue to offer a half-day Preschool program from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. M-F, for families looking for a part day option as well as a full day from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.

The Weinstein JCC also offers an early morning option from 8-9 a.m. as well as an extended day option from 5-6 p.m.

Applications can be accessed from the Early Childhood page of the weinsteinjcc.org website.  Applications are now being accepted for all new families to the Weinstein JCC Preschool.

The preschool is inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach, in which the basic premise is a shared and deep belief in the strength of children’s amazing potential for growth and learning, exploring, and building relationships with their peers, teachers, and environment.

The Reggio Emilia Approach grows from the belief that children are rich, powerful people full of the desire and ability to grow, experience, and construct their own knowledge. Stimulating interactions and many opportunities to communicate with one another and with caring, respectful adults help children to grow, develop, and learn.

This child-centered philosophy provides the creative freedom for children to fully represent their ideas, as well as helping children to become self-directed and lifelong learners. Each classroom encourages exploration and learning which builds on the child’s current knowledge, abilities, and interests. Like detectives’ children pose questions, and then investigate to find answers.

Children use many “languages” of art, words, movement, building, to communicate their knowledge to themselves and others. Teachers act as resources to and researchers of the learning process by asking thought provoking questions, offering materials, and documenting children’s work.

The preschool places a strong emphasis on developing children’s deeper connections with the natural world with plenty of time given to be outdoors daily in all kinds of weather.

The beautiful outdoor play-spaces are intentionally designed for children to easily interact with nature. A meandering tricycle path throughout the playgrounds, sand and dirt digging areas, and the water features add to the outdoor experience.

The Weinstein JCC preschool playgrounds are certified Nature Explore Outdoor Classrooms, meeting the criteria from Nature Explore, a program of Dimensions Research Foundation. The Center works mindfully to create and sustain wonder-filled natural outdoor classrooms for children that support imagination, curiosity, creativity, and safe risk-taking while providing children opportunities to play with open-ended natural materials.

The preschool’s vegetable, herb, flower, butterfly gardens and bird habitat are lovingly tended by the children throughout the year. The greenhouse located in the children’s Edible Schoolyard enhances the children’s gardening all year long.

A Preschool Nature Educator and Garden Educator collaborate with the EC faculty to provide hands-on activities and opportunities that encourage children’s knowledge of and confidence in the natural world.

The Weinstein JCC’s goal is to support children’s healthy development while inspiring the next generation of environmental stewards through the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam-repairing the world.

Children of all faiths are welcome into the Preschool and are invited to join in an exploration of Judaism that is integral to the program. Celebration and observance of many Jewish holidays and traditions are a large part of the program. Children participate in the celebration of Shabbat every Friday and in the sweet ceremony of Havdalah every Monday morning. Observing the end of Shabbat and looking forward to the next Shabbat.

Judaic Specialist Dawn Kowal visits every classroom, collaborates with every teacher, knows every child, and adds to the fun of Jewish learning, traditions, and holiday celebrations in the preschool.

Dawn’s enthusiasm, fun-loving personality and deep love of Judaism inspires and motivates our students, family members and faculty!

The preschool connects children and families to Jewish ethics and values through the teachings of An Ethical Start™ that is based on the book “Pirkei Avot – Ethics of the Fathers.”  The focus of the mishnayot (teachings) which are woven throughout the children’s preschool experience, are the values of: responsibility, dignity, kindness, community, tradition, and respect.

The Weinstein JCC strives to develop in children a social responsibility by teaching good will and respect towards others.

Dedicated, experienced, and professional educators provide opportunities for growth and development in a warm and loving environment where children are accepted, nurtured, and celebrated as capable and competent learners.

Developing foundational skills, building social connections with peers, as well as providing opportunities for discovery and exploration are woven throughout each child’s day.

Teachers create classroom environments that activate children’s thinking; providing materials to support their innovations and include elements that inspire and extend their rich possibilities. Teachers are careful observers of children’s budding ideas and creativity while providing experiences that build joy, wonder and gratitude.

They are inspired to find each child’s strengths and passions so they can be integrated into the classroom in ways that support their individual development.

Parents and families are very important to the success of the preschool program and vision. Building strong partnerships between home and preschool are integral components to creating an environment that celebrates each child’s uniqueness, strengths, abilities, and character.

The Weinstein JCC hopes you will come and be part of an innovative and inclusive early childhood experience that celebrates learning and the uniqueness of every child in a warm and nurturing Jewish environment!

Please contact EC Director, Donna Peters at (804) 545-8617 or dpeters@weinsteinjcc.org for more information.