Program & Philosophy
Making a Difference
- We believe in the uniqueness of each child.
- We provide the building blocks for individual growth.
- We respect our children’s place in time.
- We build strong partnerships with parents so that children will flourish.
- We build friendships and memories that last a lifetime.
One Child at a Time:
- We pride in our focus on individual children and their individual needs.
- The inclusion of children with special needs is embraced.
- Therapists are welcomed.
- We readily communicate with professionals and families.
Commitment to Excellence:
We believe the foundation of excellence emanates from the creation of a learning community of teachers, parents and children. Everyone committed to learning and implementing the best practices in early childhood for the sake of our children and our families.
Why a Jewish Early Education Program?
At Gan Ami/the JCC, children of all faiths are embraced. The JCC proudly teaches Jewish values-such as Tikkun Olan (repairing the world), Gemilut Chassidim (acts of loving kindness), Tzedakah (giving charity/funds where they are needed), Hachnasat Orchim (welcoming everyone). In addition, children celebrate Jewish and Israeli culture through food, song and story. Gan Ami proudly celebrates Jewish culture in a fun, inclusive way. The emphasis on Jewish values contributes to our excellent track record in preparing children for kindergarten-and life.
Building Jewish Identity
At Gan Ami preschool, core Jewish values and practices are a part of our daily routine. Every classroom begins the week with Havdallah and ends the week on Friday celebrating Shabbat with an all school Shabbat Sing. In between those moments, Jewish traditions are integral to our program. All of the holidays are celebrated in a creative and enthusiastic way. Music is an important part of Jewish culture and is taught in every classroom. The music curriculum, led by our music specialist, Wendy Cohen, includes some traditional melodies, and lots more new and energetic Jewish songs for young children. Hebrew is also a part of our day and your child will have an opportunity to learn commonly used Hebrew words and expressions from a native Hebrew speaker.
Another important foundation of the Gan Ami program is An Ethical Start, a values curriculum designed exclusively for JCC preschools. These values from Pirkei Avot, such as, Who is Rich? The one who is happy with what he or she has, and don’t look at the jug, rather, what is on the inside, allow us to stress values and participation in a community in a positive, fun, interactive way.
Jewish Early Childhood Education Initiative (JECEI)
You want your preschool to be the best. You desire a program that is dynamic, open to change and constantly aiming for growth and refinement. Gan Ami prides itself on doing just that. Toward that end, Gan Ami is participating in JECEI, a national initiative to further enhance and guide Jewish preschools. The overall goal is to help make Jewish preschools vital and dynamic early childhood educational institutions.
Parent Involvement Committee:
Gan Ami prides itself in having a very active group of parents at both sites who take ownership for the program and supporting the school. This committee performs many functions, including the opportunity to shape policies and procedures, help develop special programs and fundraising. All interest parents are welcome.
Welcome to your child’s early childhood experience! The Parent Involvement Committee exists for the partnership and community of JCC/Gan Ami families and staff, and is integral to the school’s success.
Parent Involvement Committee Purposes:
- To create and support programs for the children, parents, and families.
- To include all interested parents in enhancing their child’s preschool experience.
- To assist communication between and among staff and parents.
- To assist in development of community volunteers.
A great way to be active in your child’s classroom! Room Parents are the liaison between parents, teachers, and staff and are an additional support to the teachers. Responsibilities may include, but are limited to, mentoring of new families into Gan Ami, organization of staff appreciation breakfast, organization of holiday gifts. This important position to help ensure that communication to and from parents in each room occurs.
Throughout the year, there are many programs for parents and families.They include such activities as discussion groups, Ethical Start programs, speakers, holiday programs and topics related to child development, Jewish education and just FAMILY FUN!