For more information about JCC early childhood programs or to schedule a tour between 9 am and noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays, contact Kate Brantley at ext. 109 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
At Shalom Children’s Center Pre-K, we build a foundation for long-term success in school by providing opportunities for children to explore new ideas through concrete experiences. We encourage children to take risks, to find peaceful ways to mediate conflicts, and to approach learning with hearty enthusiasm. Children gain self-confidence in the classroom by learning to make independent decisions, understanding how to negotiate relationships, and communicating about their own ideas.
Getting Ready for Kindergarten
Experts agree that in order to build the social, emotional, language, cognitive, fine motor, and gross motor skills necessary for kindergarten readiness, children need opportunities to use all of their senses to explore and question the world around them. Our Pre-K facility has been established to meet the specific needs of four- and five-year-old children, with large, well-equipped classrooms and outdoor space to exercise growing bodies and engage in hands-on nature and science exploration.
Children as Constructivist Learners
Children are natural learners. A Jewish expression of values emphasizes that teachers inspire children to question their world and appreciate multiple perspectives. Based on an image of the child as a competent and capable learner full of potential, teachers and children engage in research as a way of co-constructing knowledge. When children are agents of their own learning, they build life-long critical thinking skills and are more deeply invested in the process.
Our approach to learning consists of engaging the children in exciting explorations of themes and concepts to encourage learning across multiple disciplines. Children offer input, raise questions, and work together to solve problems. Through discussions and experiences, the children’s ideas and interests emerge into the thematic units demonstrated among learning centers. This is called the “emergent inquiry” or “Reggio-Emilia inspired” approach to teaching.
We immerse the children in a literacy rich environment, using books to reinforce the curriculum and offering numerous opportunities for written and verbal self-expression. Math skill development is a natural outgrowth of our daily activities with counting, measuring, sorting, calendaring, and a variety of games that are integrated throughout the children’s classroom encounters.
Some of the unique offerings in our Pre-K curriculum include:
- Indoor and outdoor hands-on science and nature experiences
- Numerous field trips to performances, museums, local farms, and more
- Trips on the city bus to downtown to learn about our community, using money, and protecting the environment
- Intergenerational activities with the Jewish Family Service’s Elder Club
- Educational kinesiology & yoga
- “Handwriting without Tears” and “Montessori Services” manipulatives to encourage pre-literacy skills
- Peaceful conflict resolution strategies and empathy training using the “Second Step” curriculum & “Love and Logic” positive discipline approach
- Gardening, including planting and harvesting activities, soil exploration, seed saving, environmental stewardship, and cooking what we’ve grown
- Hands-on activities and lessons incorporating Jewish values and festivals
- Visits from music and movement specialists
- Seasonal swimming lessons for one hour daily in the large pool
Times of Operation
Shalom Children’s Center is open from 7:30 am – 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Part-day (7:30 am – 1:00 pm) and full-day (7:30 am – 6:00 pm) enrollment options are available Monday through Friday, Monday/Wednesday/Friday, and Tuesday/Thursday. Children are enrolled for a 12-month period, with the school year beginning in mid-August as per the Asheville City Schools calendar. Shalom Children’s Center closures for holidays and teacher workdays are listed in our annual school calendar.