Our program combines the best of all the curriculum available - using Montessori, Waldorf and Bank Street activities while providing the structure and guidance to help children develop self-confidence, self-control, a curiosity for learning and responsibility towards others. Mary and Mary hold degrees in nursery, physical, and special education and have had years of teaching experience with which to design an environment to the needs of their students and families.
Each week, Ruffles and Bingo go home with 2 of our children to visit with their homes and be cared for by their 'owner'. It is the child's job to feed, love and 'exercise' the pets while they are in their care. Ruffles and Bingo have gone to birthday parties, shopping, camping, visited theme parks, traveled to Buffalo and the Adirondacks! Soon, they may even need a passport! We ask the families to journal Ruffles' and Bingo's adventures, which are then shared with the group upon return. This favorite activity also helps to teach the children how to deal with disappointment, since not everyone gets a turn each week. We kick off the year with a visit from Kathy and Laura Stevens, who bring a real live pup and help us learn how to safely approach an unfamiliar dog (or not!). We learn how to be safe and care for the pets in our daily encounters or at home.
Since you aren't a co-op, how can parents contribute to their child's programming?
We encourage parents to take an active role
in or outside of the classroom. The classroom is always open to family members. Reading a story, sharing a skill or interest, bringing in a special snack, preparing materials used for activities and assisting with field trips....all are great ways to engage in your child's experience. When time is limited, just by asking your child about the best and worst (yes, even worst!) part of their day, you are able to help them process their thoughts and feelings relating to their classroom activities and friendships.
You are located in a church. Is this a church -affiliated program?
No. St. John's has been supportive of bringing the preschool into their home and we are excited about being here. However, we are not affiliated in any way other than that we are using their space and respectful to their needs. We pack care boxes for the church's Sailors at Sea program during the holidays while discussing what it's like to be away from home. This year, we contributed 7 boxes to the program, sorting and wrapping and handwriting a personal note to go in each box.
What is there nearby for caregivers to do while their child is in program?
Wouldn't you love a place to find solice, read a book, catch up on email, write a letter and sip some coffee or tea? If you want something to eat, Hungerford Market is a few doors away. HomeFront Cafe serves breakfast and lunch. Schedule a massage at ReNue Spa across the street. There are trails and parks nearby, and Altamont Village is a great place to walk. Tawasentha Park is only minutes away, with spectacular trails and places to relax. The library has quilting classes and The Spinning Room is a neat yarn shop that always welcomes drop-ins and offers classes. So you see, there's lots to do in Altamont and it's only a 15 minute drive from the heart of Guilderland- even less from Voorheesville, Knox, or Duanesburg!
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