North Shore Congregation Israel Re-launches Preschool to Better Serve the Needs of Today’s Families with Preschool Age Children
North Shore Congregation Israel is pleased to announce the launch of The Preschool @ North Shore Congregation Israel, formerly Gates of Learning. The rebranding of the preschool reflects the shift in priorities of today’s preschool parents.
More than 345 North Shore Congregation members, preschool parents and potential members responded to a recent online survey. It revealed that more than half of the respondents indicated that grandparents of young children are interested in participating in their family’s early education, and find it an important bonding experience. The survey also indicated that many parents are looking for programs that offer various class options at times outside of traditional preschools classes, in order to accommodate the working parents who are unable to take their children during typical preschool hours.
“It is important that our congregation listens to our members and parents in the community, in order to continue our quest for maintaining excellence in Jewish early childhood education,” said Ellen L. Grossman, Preschool Director. “Priorities and expectations constantly change, so we felt it was important to take the time to really listen and understand the needs of today’s child and parent and tailor our program around it.”
The preschool updated its name, logo and mission statement in addition to adding classes to better accommodate today’s busy parents, including a “Create a Class” option, where a small group of parents can request days and time to hold a class for children ages 2-3 as well as a “Baby Steps” class for children under 1 year, which allows parents of young children to meet each other as well as introduce their children to the future preschool experience. The new “Stay and Play” sessions let parents stop by to enjoy some coffee while their children can use the preschool facilities, including the playgrounds and gym.
The survey also confirmed that most parents now expect preschools to offer enrichment classes that expose their children to additional experiences outside of the classroom, including cooking, Spanish, yoga and math, as well as the option for children to eat lunch at preschool with their peers. These activities also extend the number of hours that young children are in an educational environment.
The Preschool @ North Shore Congregation Israel’s new mission reflects an approach to Jewish early childhood education with a focus on excellence through partnerships with families, teachers and the greater NSCI community. The innovative program will include progressive, emotionally responsive and Reggio-inspired theories and practices, while providing a nurturing, supportive place for children and their families to build meaningful lifelong relationships.
To celebrate the preschool re-launch, current and prospective preschool families are invited to the North Shore Congregation Shabbat B’Que, where children can decorate flower pots, symbolizing the growth of the preschool, receive balloons and giveaways featuring The Preschool @ NSCI’s new logo and mission statement. Activities begin at 4:30 pm including a tour of the preschool, with the Family Shabbat B’Que at 5:00 followed by Kabbalat Shabbat Services. Gates of Learning alumni are also invited to join the celebration.
“Early Jewish Childhood education is only the beginning to a lifelong learning process,” said Dr. Roberta Goodman, Director of Education at North Shore Congregation Israel, “and The Preschool @ NSCI serves as a gateway to a family’s journey in the important educational process.”
North Shore Congregation Israel is a Reform Jewish congregation on the border of Glencoe and Highland Park, with a membership of 1,200.
Please visit the new website, www.thepreschoolatnsci.org, or call 847.835.0724 to schedule a tour, attend the Shabbat B’Que or for more information.