"We permit the children the luxury of being children, of having a wonderful experience in a warm, caring environment and learning to play and grow in the company of others."
- Helen Cohen, Director of the FJECC
Our philosophy is rooted in respect, individual dignity and self-worth. At the FJECC, children have the opportunity to thrive and grow, to have fun and to enjoy themselves while learning about their physical, intellectual, social and emotional selves, their language, and their world.
We adopt a pedagogical approach within the developmental model of education structure. Our faculty sets limits in positive ways, modeling and teaching appropriate social behaviors and moral understanding. Conflicts are viewed as an opportunity to help children develop the skills to solve problems and cope with stressful situations. We nurture social development, encourage each of our students to participate constructively in peer relationships, and teach them the language of cooperation, negotiation and compromise.
We pay close attention to each child's developmental needs, interests and strengths, guiding our students toward an awareness of who they are as individuals, as Jews and as members of the larger community in which they live. Children are given numerous opportunities to foster their natural curiosity and gain mastery in a range of areas at their own pace. We have a strong Judaic program, and we are committed to respecting and validating the cultural and religious backgrounds of each child and family.
We believe in the value of play and the child's right to choose that play freely. Through play, children consolidate an understanding of physical, intellectual, social and emotional skills, their language and their world. Autonomy and independence are strongly encouraged so that children may see themselves as competent and confident players.
We cultivate the growth of each child by paying close attention to his or her developmental level, interests and strengths. Children are given numerous opportunities to gain mastery in many areas at their own pace. Above all, we work to help all our students feel good about their individual accomplishments.
We emphasize the importance of respect for one another and ourselves. Friendship, communication, problem-solving skills and affirmation of self are built into our moment-to-monent interactions.
Our environment is varied, dynamic and fluid to support the ever-changing and developing needs of each child. We allow children to be children, learning to play and grow in the company of others within our unique and dynamic indoor and outdoor spaces.
We have a strong Judaic program that helps establish the building blocks of Jewish identity. We participate in Shabbat and Jewish holidays, and children engage in Torah study, applying the values they learn. We celebrate, respect and validate the cultural and religious backgrounds of each child and family who enters our school. Families of all religious and cultural backgrounds are welcomed and embraced.
We see parents as our partners in the process of educating children. Parent involvement and school community relations are all important factors in the overall success of the education of children. We provide ongoing formal channels of communication, including detailed narrative progress reports, weekly newsletters and regular parent/teacher conferences. We also encourage parents to email or call the director and teachers at any time with questions or concerns.
A short poem by Eve Merriam captures, in part, our philosophy about children:
"There go the grownups | To the office, to the store | Subway rush, Traffic crush | Hurry, Scurry, Worry, Flurry | No wonder grownups don't grow up anymore."
"IT TAKES A LOT OF SLOW TO GROW!"
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