Beth Hillel’s Early Childhood nursery program is a developmental program for children ages 2-4 where children learn through play, hands-on activities, and art. In the safe and inviting classrooms and outdoor areas, the children are encouraged to make choices, participate in both inside and outside activities, and explore and discover their environment. Through independent play, large and small group activities, and role modeling, students learn social-emotional, motor, and cognitive skills to help them develop the skills they need to succeed in life. All of the classrooms provide ample time and space for art, science, cooking, motor development, dramatic play, manipulatives, and literacy. Each classroom also has a library as well as a “quiet” or “zen” space that the children may use at any time.
Our nursery program puts a strong emphasis on developing students’ SOCIAL and EMOTIONAL skills; the children learn how to be independent, play cooperatively, solve problems, and build resilience. The teachers help nurture friendships between the children by emphasizing playing safely, communicating effectively, and developing empathy. Our program is structured with predictable schedules, routines, and expectations that provide a sense of comfort.
The children have opportunities to develop their GROSS MOTOR and FINE MOTOR skills. Particular importance is placed on gross motor skills like jumping and pedaling a bike. On the yards, each child has whole-body opportunities to explore different parts of our play structures, sandbox, swings, open grass area, and track for tricycles, scooters, and wheelbarrows. Fine motor skills like holding a crayon and beginning scissor skills are important for pre-writing skills. In the classrooms, the teachers thoughtfully introduce a variety of developmentally appropriate tools and materials to help the children develop their fine motor muscles.
The children begin to develop number and letter sense and learn important executive functioning skills such as focus, self-regulation, and self-control to nurture their COGNITIVE growth. The teachers include scientific thinking, pre-mathematical concepts, and literacy-based curriculum into everyday planning and activities.
What Parents Say
Temple Beth Hillel’s preschool has been such an amazing place for my son and daughter. Both of my children can’t wait to get to school and feel so welcomed and loved by all of the teachers and staff.They love all of the different activities from art projects and science experiments to Hebrew and music. The teachers are always enthusiastic, caring and fair and have taught my children so much about being thoughtful to their friends and respectful of others.Temple Beth Hillel truly feels like home and we could not have picked a better place to send our children to preschool.–Diana Beyer, Parent
Mechina – Pre-K
Our Mechina classrooms are for children ages 4-5 and continue to build on the concepts learned in the Nursery program. The children begin to explore numbers, letters, and scientific concepts, promoting readiness for Transitional Kindergarten or Kindergarten. Mechina children learn independence skills, conversational Hebrew, to focus their attention during group and individual activities, and to successfully complete tasks and activities. The Mechina rooms give additional opportunities to build independence and choice; rooms include a writing center, science, dramatic play, library/cozy corners, manipulatives, and art.
The teachers continue to emphasize growth in SOCIAL and EMOTIONAL skills, teaching children to be active helpers and team players, how to demonstrate resilience, and use critical thinking to problem solve. Special importance is placed on building independence as well as learning to be a part of a community with shared spaces and materials. Skills that are crucial for elementary school are emphasized to prepare each child for success.
In our Mechina program, students continue to develop their GROSS MOTOR and FINE MOTOR skills. Children learn how to hold a variety of writing utensils, follow a line to cut, lace strings and beads, put together manipulative toys, stacking objects and building towers.
The teachers focus on students’ COGNITIVE growth. Children learn to follow 3-4 step directions, to focus and attend to class meetings and stories, and to move with a group of other children. In addition, beginning reading skills (letter identification, writing, telling stories with a structure) and beginning math skills (counting to 20, patterns, grouping, classification) are introduced through art, games, movement, and play.
Specialists / Enrichment
Each week our children participate in three different enrichment classes:
- Music – Our wonderful music specialist Lee brings her guitar, musical instruments, scarves and more to every classroom once a week.
- Movers and Groovers – The children participate each week and work on developing their gross motor skills. The instructor teaches the children a variety of skills through relay racing, obstacle courses, games, dance and much more.
- Hebrew – The Nursery and Mechina classes have Hebrew once a week, learning basic conversational phrases and meaningful words for the classroom environment.
In addition, we offer a wide range of after-school enrichment programs:
- Cooking Around the World
- KID-FIT Sports
- Art & Science