What could be more important than choosing who will care for your children?
As part of a Jewish community vigorously committed to education and to our communal future, families are continually shocked to see that there are almost no Jewish infant programs in the Boston area. The few that exist are unlikely to be in your neighborhood. (The press has been abuzz about this topic this season, with pieces in Lilith, the New York Times and the Boston Globe.)
What is the alterative to this reality? Imagine that at your local Jewish preschool, there are incredibly talented, loving, and professional educators available to see your children through the infant and toddler years. If you choose to enroll your child, not only will he or she have access to the high-quality education and identity building that define excellence in Jewish education, but your family will benefit as well. You will meet other young families and get the support you need during these special and stressful years.
There is a clear and urgent need for Jewish Early Childhood programs to offer longer hours and enroll younger children while providing high-quality care and education to support and engage our families.
To this end, The Paradigm Project is proud to announce a Fellowship for promising teachers of infants and toddlers in Greater Boston’s Jewish preschools. Together, Fellows will study Jewish big ideas and best practices in infant and toddler education, in an effort to bolster their school’s offerings for young Jewish families.
The yearlong collaborative journey launched this weekend with a 2-day meeting in Western Massachusetts. As fellows settled into their host site, The Yiddish Book Museum in Amherst, teachers spent time getting acquainted with one another while sharing examples of quality in their classrooms. A visit to the Smith College Center for Early Childhood Education inspired teachers to continue their pursuit of creating rich learning environments in which Jewish values are seamlessly woven with educational theory and practice.
The participating educators work in a variety of settings serving the diverse needs of Jewish families in the Greater Boston area. Together the Fellows continue to explore the question, “What is excellence in a Jewish infant/toddler program?” while fostering a professional community of collaboration and reflection. The learning process will include visits to model programs, online learning and one-to-one mentoring.
The nine Fellows are Jill Weiner (Godine Early Learning Center, JCC Newton), Ruthie Arbit (Cambridge-Somerville Early Intervention), Pam Dressler (Striar Hebrew Academy of Sharon), Bat Sheva Vulej (Kehillath Israel Nursery School), Heather Cerar (Jewish Community Center, North Shore), Lucie Chag (Billy Dalwin Preschool at Temple Emunah), Sally Goldstein-Elkind (Gan Shelanu), Cynthia Squibb (Temple Beth Shalom Preschool), Sandra Levine (Frances Jacobson Early Childhood Center at Temple Israel).
For more information about the Paradigm Project, visit www.jparadigm.org or www.facebook.com/ParadigmProjectECE.
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