This year, Rye Presbyterian Nursery School celebrates its 57th year of working with young children and their families.
This year, Rye Presbyterian Nursery School celebrates its 57th year of working with young children and their families. RPNS is known for being a preschool inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy of early education. The hands-on and engaging approach fosters a love of learning by challenging each child.
The school offers morning and afternoon sessions for children, ages 2-5, in ten spacious classrooms. In addition to a new playground, facilities include an outdoor bicycle track and a developing garden inspired by the children. Special programs for students include, enrichment, art studio, physical education, and music and movement classes.
At RPNS, projects and investigations that make up curriculum emerge from the students’ ideas and interests. Last year, a 4-year-old class embarked on an in-depth study of New York City. The students wanted to learn about the New York Public Library, Grand Central Terminal, and of course, the train system. By exploring photographs, reading stories, and interviewing people who had traveled to the City, the classroom evolved into a research space. The dramatic play area became a train station with a ticket booth and maps; a detailed replica of the library appeared in the art area; and the loft became Grand Central Station, complete with the clock tower, an active information booth, and constellations on the ceiling. As the children took the imaginary train into Grand Central they had to follow maps, exchange money, and check the time on the clock. They wrote stories about their journey to and from the City.
The class rode the train together from the Rye train station to New York City with parents who showed the children the process they go through every day to get to work. MTA expert Dan Brucker led them on a tour of Grand Central Terminal. They then walked to the New York Public Library, where a librarian answered their questions and taught them many fun facts about the library’s history. The class even wrote a book about their trip.
By giving children the opportunity to explore their unique interests and capabilities, RPNS not only prepares children for the early elementary years but also challenges each child to reach their full potential as an individual learner. Mathematics, writing, reading, and science have greater meaning for children when they are excited about what they are learning.