Learn more about four of Rye’s nursery schools — Christ’s Church, Rye United Methodist, Community Synagogue Early Childhood Center, and Rye Presbyterian Nursery School — so your child can get a leg up on their education.
Christ’s Church Nursery School
Rectory Street, Rye
Director: Lisa Pearson
Tuition: Starts at $1,800
Christ’s Church Nursery School (CCNS), established to provide an enriching experience for children, begins its 2011-2012 school year September 12. The program at CCNS was designed to encourage the growth and spiritual development of the unique person found within each child, and to develop constructive attitudes for happy and responsible relationships with peers, parents, and teachers. CCNS recognizes that play is the process by which children learn and internalize knowledge and it is through play that they meaningfully explore the world around them.
CCNS has a rich tradition of incorporating the visual arts into many aspects of its curriculum. Senior teacher/artist Mary Archer has developed a repertoire of projects that inspire awe and incredulity among the adults who view the children’s works, and Mary and Debbie Yarter’s classes created clay self-portraits that were displayed at Belle Cleaners last spring. CCNS recognizes that the visual arts and acquisition of visual literacy in young children provide a strong foundation for developing reading readiness skills. An important byproduct of their artwork is the vocabulary developed in the process.
A hallmark of CCNS is its dedicated block room. Mathematical concepts, social studies, science, and social skills are all taught as the children learn through playing and building with blocks in this magical room. Small groups of children design, construct, graph, and experiment under the tutelage of a master block teacher, Regina Cullivan, who has trained to work with young children in what is referred to as the “social competency lab” of blocks!
New to CCNS this year is the Orange Room, a class designed specifically with the “young 5” child in mind. This transition class between nursery school and kindergarten will be taught by Karen DaSilva, a recent graduate of Columbia University’s Teacher’s College. Her pedagogical talents, energy, and innate sense of how children construct knowledge, coupled with her holding a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education (a pre-requisite for all head teachers at CCNS) singled her out as the best-qualified candidate. Nicole Povemba, a former teacher at Osborn School who is a graduate of Bank Street College with a Master’s in early childhood and special education, also comes on board as a literacy specialist working with our 4 year olds and young 5s.
Also new to CCNS this year is Ann Salem, who returns to the classroom after an extended hiatus spent raising her family. She will assist Meg Lewis with the 2 year olds, working together to help students develop a sense of autonomy and a love for learning.
Kathy Moran and Cathy Culyer will continue to guide the 3 year olds, sharpening their sixth sense of wonder while creatively exploring their world. Roseanne Lovallo and Helen Thompson round out the staff of teaching professionals at CCNS.
Chapel is an integral part of the program, as the community gathers at least once a month to hear a story by the Curate of Christ’s Church, Matthew Moretz. The children are encouraged to bring a canned good for donation to the Port Chester Carver Center. There is also an opportunity to bring items to replenish the clothing closet at Carver Center. The children know that they are helping other children when they come to chapel with their donations.
Rye United Methodist Nursery School
964 Boston Post Road, Rye
Head of School: Sheridan Povemba
At Rye United Methodist Nursery School they work to provide a safe, nurturing, learning environment to help each child develop a positive self-image and cooperative social skills, and to gradually become an independent thinker. The focus is on the social, physical, intellectual, creative, and emotional development of every child. The program gives students a rich, enjoyable experience and lays the foundation for a smooth transition to kindergarten, the next chapter in their educational career
A unique spacious environment offers components of both an Open Classroom and a Traditional Pre-School experience. United Methodist’s Afternoon Enrichment Program offers children an opportunity to build upon their pre-school and kindergarten experiences. Each five-week session focuses on a specific theme. Within that theme children participate in small group, hands-on learning experiences that support growth in mathematics, literacy, and science.
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 five days a week. A hot lunch can be purchased four days a week. They also offer Toddler Time, a program for 1-year-olds and their caregiver that includes yoga, music, arts and crafts, and large motor play. The center has a music specialist and a social worker on staff as well.
The Early Childhood Center (EEC) 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 EEC 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.
Rye Presbyterian Nursery School
882 Boston Post Road
Director: Cheryl Flood
As Rye Presbyterian Nursery School begins its 54th year, it continues to see itself as a community of learners. The school has always believed in young children as competent learners, filled with rich ideas and insight. Faculty and Boards of Directors have worked together to provide an exciting, age-appropriate preschool education for 300 children, ages 2-5.
RPNS has ten classrooms, an art studio, and two playgrounds, including an outdoor track area. Each classroom reflects the interests of the children and co-teachers who share the space. Rooms include a variety of learning centers: a mini art studio, message center/writing center, dramatic play area, a construction area, an area for exploration of light and a library. Rooms are also equipped with a computer, for teacher’s documentation and children’s research.
The Rye Presbyterian staff includes 23 teachers, administrators, a school nurse, and a part-time psychologist, speech therapist, and occupational therapist. Throughout the years, the staff has been dedicated to providing age-appropriate learning experiences, based on the belief that young children learn best through play. As they construct, imagine, experiment, dialogue, and socialize with other children and adults, they are developing the skills needed to become independent, intellectually and socially competent individuals.
As a Reggio-inspired preschool, RPNS fosters a rich environment in our classrooms, studio and outside space. Their faculty collaborates in co-teaching teams, listening to children’s play to uncover ideas for emergent project work. Expression is encouraged through a variety of media and tools, including clay, weaving, beading, wire and sculpture, paper making, music, drama, drawing, and painting.
Through technology and documentation, RPNS makes these ideas visible to the school community of parents and professionals. As they revisit and appreciate the ideas of children and what they wonder about, they gain greater understanding of how to nurture the remarkable joy and learning of childhood.