Spring Sing Raises $2,000 for Early Childhood Education

New room will open in next school year for 3-year-olds

There is always something happening in the Early Childhood Education Center at the Jewish Community Center.

Wednesday, April 24, was the program’s Spring Sing and Silent Auction. Throughout the day visitors to the JCC, family members of the preschoolers and staff members bid on items in a silent auction. The packages included offerings from local businesses, restaurants and attractions as well as artwork the children created in their classrooms. Toward the end of the day, the preschoolers presented a program for their parents. Each class performed a couple of songs, then a slide show of photos taken throughout the year was shown. The activities concluded with refreshments and visiting.

Early Childhood Assistant Director Angie Hiland said the auction was a success, raising almost $2,000. The money will be used to update things in the classrooms, especially the home centers.

During the last week in April, almost everyone in the city got into the Derby spirit and the Early Childhood Education Center joined in the fun. The children created Derby hats out of newspaper, then dressed them up with paint and other decorations. If it’s Derby week that also means parades and floats. The preschoolers created their own floats and had a parade on the JCC Campus. One class even decorated stick horses, made jockey vests and ran some horse races along with other field day activities and races.

In early May, parents showed their appreciation for the teachers by bringing goodies, sodas, candy and gift cards to local restaurants for Teacher Appreciation Week. The week ended with a unique gift to the teachers – half an hour out of the classroom for lunch topped off with a special dessert.

To mark Mother’s Day, mothers were invited to join their children for the Friday Shabbat program on May 10 and then to stay for lunch. The children mad placemats and flowers to give as gifts and the mothers had the opportunity to meet the other moms and their children’s friends.

The academic year will end with graduation on Friday, May 31, at 11:30 a.m. Weather permitting, a picnic and pool party will follow.

Several changes in the Early Childhood Education Center are planned for the fall. Demand has been so high for places in this high quality program that the JCC is opening a new classroom in the fall for 10 older three year olds. “That classroom will be working on a four-year-old curriculum,” Hiland said, “things you’d se in a pre-kindergarten classroom.” That in turn opens up spaces in some of the other classrooms, although those spaces are filling up, too. Currently, she said, there are six openings for the 2013-14 school year.

Hiland is also looking forward to fully implementing the Discover CATCH program throughout the Early Childhood Education Center. She and teacher Krissy Verdon spent three days in Columbus, OH, in March training in the program, and this week, they trained the rest of the staff.

The program, which incorporates physical activity, healthy food choices and creative classroom management, starts children early on healthy lifestyle choices that will stay with them throughout their lives.

For more information or to enroll your child in the JCC’s Early Childhood Education Center, contact Angie Hiland, 238-2716 or ahiland@jewishlouisville.org.

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