JCC preschool director Carol McNally has seen this scenario so many times, she’s lost count: A family moves to a different side of town, pulls their child out of The Roth Family Jewish Community Center’s Richard S. Adler Early Childhood Learning Center, and registers them at a top-rated preschool closer to their new home. A year later, they call Carol asking if there’s room for their child to come back. They liked the new school, but something was missing... they just couldn’t put their finger on it.
“It’s the sense of community,” says Carol. “There are other schools with great academics and wonderful teachers, but they just don’t have the warmth and compassion that our JCC has. We’ve been here for 45 years. We truly are a family.”
Becca Kauffman graduated from the JCC preschool in 1987, and daughter Emma currently attends (Becca’s son Trippe is also a graduate).
“The moment I knew we were home at the JCC preschool was when I went to my first Shabbat with my son Trippe,” Becca reminisces. “I remember singing some of those songs during Shabbat when I was in the school, and it was comforting to experience it through my children.”
The nationally accredited preschool, which cares for children eight weeks through pre-kindergarten, has earned its reputation as the best preschool in town. It all starts in the infant wing, where the school takes a whole-baby approach. Simply put, the preschool adheres to the baby’s schedule and not the other way around. Babies nap when they are tired. Infants remain with the same caregivers for two years.
Both social and emotional development are key. The preschool’s partnership with Social Bridges, a licensed, private, interactive social skills curriculum for children, provides teachers with extensive training.
While the JCC preschool is open to families of all faiths, the JCC proudly teaches Jewish values such as charity, kindness, and repairing the world. The JCC’s emphasis on Jewish values contributes to its excellent track record in preparing children for kindergarten – and life.
“Our curriculum is always a full year ahead of schedule,” says Carol. “Every year, the parents of our graduates say that their children were socially and academically prepared for school, and more importantly, they love to learn. That’s the best we could ever hope for.”