Here are details about five area pre-school programs
Rye Presbyterian Nursery School
82 Boston Post Road
Director: Cheryl Flood
Rye Presbyterian Nursery School (RPNS) begins its 54th year with young children and their families. Faculty, staff, and boards of directors work together to provide a rich preschool experience for our 300-plus children, ages 2-5.
RPNS fosters a thoughtful and stimulating environment in its ten classrooms, studio, and outside spaces. The faculty collaborates in co-teaching teams, encouraging children’s learning through a variety of media and tools, including clay, weaving, beading, wire and sculpture, paper making, music, drama, and drawing/painting.
At RPNS, we listen for and provide experiences in all academic content areas leading to higher levels of thinking, including math and literacy.
The nursery school’s play-based learning curriculum is inspired by progressive philosophies, especially the schools of Reggio Emilia.
- We believe children learn by doing — hands-on projects, expeditionary learning, and experiential learning.
- We place a strong emphasis on problem-solving and critical thinking.
- We encourage social skills development through collaborative and cooperative learning projects.
- We believe understanding and action are the goals of learning not rote knowledge.
- We encourage the development of social responsibility through community service projects.
- We emphasize the skills necessary for life-long learning.
Rye Country Day Pre-Kindergarten
Faculty: Laura Festo and Noelle Vinson
The Pre-Kindergarten program at Rye Country Day is designed for children who are 4 years of age before September 1 of the entry year. Under the guidance of early childhood professionals, children are actively engaged in a variety of activities throughout the morning. The program is a half-day program, from 8:15-12, with extended days on Tuesday and Thursday, from 8:15-1:30. Developmental considerations and appropriately designed challenges form the basis of the program.
The topics of study reflect the needs and interests of the students. As a result, the Pre-K investigations might vary from year to year. The Lower School philosophy “recognizes each child’s unique timetable and needs, the measure of success is in the ongoing process rather than the finished product.”
Christ’s Church Nursery School
Rectory Street, Rye
Director: Lisa Pearson
After a successful launch of its first “early 5s” class last year, Christ’s Church Nursery School (CCNS) is embarking upon a new kindergarten initiative, KinderBlocks of Learning, which will offer an afternoon option for kindergarten-aged children in Rye. KinderBlocks will provide an opportunity for 5- and 6-year-olds to engage in a multitude of literacy, math, and science enrichment activities.
The Christ’s Church Nursery School repertoire of class trips expanded to the Bruce Museum last year. The students also go to the Square House and the Neuberger Museum at SUNY Purchase for studies on Jackson Pollack and Georgia O’Keefe. The Rye Nature Center plays an integral role in the fall and spring programming. This year, the school welcomes the Rye Arts Center as a new community partner.
The building of community is a core precept of CCNS. Beginning August 27, it will host class play dates on the playground to provide families with an opportunity to get to know each other. Host families have also volunteered to welcome families who are new to Rye.
Last September, CCNS began a new tradition of combining Back to School Night with a Parent Social held in the church’s Rectory. They look forward to another informative, yet fun-filled evening next month.
Community Synagogue Early Childhood Center
200 Forest Avenue, Rye
Director: Marilyn Zelman
Community Synagogue’s licensed Day Care Center offers classes for ages 2 through 5, and the opportunity for all but the 2-year-olds to stay until 2:15 p.m. five days a week. A hot lunch can be purchased four days a week. The center also offers Toddler Time, a program for 1-year-olds and their caregiver that includes yoga, music, arts and crafts, and large motor play.
All of the Head Teachers have a Master’s in Education The center has a nature specialist, music specialist, social worker and has a Certificate of Registration with the University of the State of New York, along with a Day Care License, which allows children to stay longer than three hours.
The Early Childhood Center programs are designed to facilitate and support the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive growth of children. They strive to create a learning environment that is developmentally appropriate for each age group and for the individual child.
Acknowledging the central role of play in a young child’s life, the center offers many opportunities for play and active exploration within a structured, stimulating, non-competitive, and nurturing environment.
The program begins the week after Labor Day and runs until the middle of June.
All Souls Preschool
55 Parkway Drive
Director: Sheridan Povemba
All Souls Preschool was founded in 2012, a merger between two long-established area nursery schools. When Rye Methodist Nursery School found itself without a home, The Pre-Day School at All Souls Parish reached out and suggested a merger. Having similar philosophies and ideas for future growth, the two programs joined forces.
A typical day finds children working together in a multi-age group for the first part of each session. They participate in a group music experience and then venture off into a child-directed choice time. As the first hour comes to a close, children work together to tidy up and prepare to move on to the next part of their day.
For the remainder of the morning, children work within their age groups. Through hands-on, interactive experiences children are introduced to age appropriate concepts. The schedule allows for alternating between more active, gross motor learning experiences and quieter, thoughtful learning times.
Snack and outdoor time are part of the daily routine. Under the watchful eye of the teachers, children learn about manners, sharing, friendships, and other important social cues that will help them develop relationships throughout their life.