Who We Are
Gan Shalom Cooperative Preschool is a Jewish early childhood education program supported by Hill Havurah for children aged 24 months through 4 years old. Enrollment is open to both Jewish and non-Jewish students. At Gan Shalom we believe that children construct their own knowledge and develop the cognitive skills they will need throughout their lives through play and exploration. Our curriculum is designed to celebrate the competence of young children, to meet the individual needs, interests and developmental stages of each child, and to create an atmosphere in which children, teachers and parents are all active participants in the learning process. It is our desire to provide a warm, loving Jewish environment where each child feels secure and happy, and where learning is meaningful and fun.
Gan Shalom Cooperative Preschool believes that children’s first teachers are their parents, caregivers or guardians. Parents and caregivers have an active role in the Gan Shalom community. They often participate in classroom activities and have a leadership role in the governance of our preschool. We believe that teachers, parents, and the child have equal roles in their learning and value collaboration as the child grows during their time at Gan Shalom.
For the 2020/2021 school year, we offer two classes:
- Tutim (Strawberries): Two-year olds meeting two mornings per week ( Tuesday • Thursday) from 9 am–12 pm
- Anavim (Grapes): Older two-, three- and four-year olds meeting three mornings per week (Monday • Wednesday • Friday) from 9 am–12 pm
- Rimonim (Pomegrantes): at least 30 months 3 or 5 mornings a week from 9am-1pm (Children eat lunch at school)
Day in the life
Each day children are greeted with inviting provocations using open-ended materials and options for continuing ongoing explorations. Every morning includes opportunities for free play to allow children to independently structure their learning and pursue ideas they would like to further investigate. Children are encouraged to strengthen self-care skills in each part of our daily routine, including serving snacks, getting dressed, and cleaning. Children are often seen helping and supporting each other in these self-care tasks, based on individual areas of growth to help each other fulfill their individual needs.
During our mornings together, children will have the opportunity for both gross and fine motor development and practice applying social-emotional skills that align with the values we teach. Each day children will enjoy a morning meeting, open snack, and time outside together. Teachers observe children's growth, interests, assist in areas of scaffolding for children to progress their current knowledge and skill set, and support 'risky play' when appropriate, as a means for children to explore their own world without too much interference. Classrooms are set up to create areas for children to easily access desired play items. Teachers also encourage students to use items found in nature and bring the outdoors in to provide a calm and imaginative aesthetic.
Through celebration of Shabbat (every Thursday/Friday) and Jewish holidays, we foster a Jewish identity while recognizing the diversity of our students and community.
Questions about Gan Shalom? Contact president.ganshalom@HillHavurah.org
For more information about the Hill Havurah, please visit: www.HillHavurah.org