An early education like no other

Rachel Jones Lopez with daughters Rosalie, age 2, and Augusta, 4. “I’m so grateful for the people that make the J a place of positivity and growth,” she says.

Last week students at the Cohn Early Childhood Learning Center experienced a number of new activities, including a Diwali celebration and walks to promote awareness of Down syndrome and breast cancer (see album below). While it was exciting for the children to walk around The J’s outdoor track and — no surprise — have a party, the events also highlighted the ECLC’s approach to early childhood education.

“Dynamic events like these obviously provide an interesting break for our children,” says ECLC Director Barbara Traweek. “But more importantly, the Diwali celebration educated our students about another culture while the walks provided at least some basic information about two important health issues. In the end, they all fold together to highlight what it means to live in a diverse community.”

Developing the whole child

It’s all part of how the ECLC staff strives to provide a high-quality program that promotes the development of the whole child by helping develop emotional, social, creative, cognitive, and physical skills. The ECLC website states that young children are inherently connected to their homes and families, “and it is understood that parents are the principal influence in their children’s lives.” One of those parents is Rachel Jones Lopez, mother of ECLC students Augusta and Rosalie.

“My family has been so lucky to have the ECLC,” says Rachel. “All of our daughters’ teachers have shown so much patience, creativity, and love for their students. They’re learning the academic concepts, social skills, and other school-readiness skills they need, but they’re also going on hikes and learning to cook international dishes.”

And, adds Rachel, the ECLC being part of The J — with full access to its facilities — means that ECLC students are able to benefit from swimming lessons and also try out soccer, tennis, basketball, and ballet.

“My children love going to school, and it means the world to me to know they’re safe, happy, and valued.”

Photo album: Celebrating Diwali and walking for breast cancer awareness 

Last Tuesday ECLC students and teachers celebrated Diwali (the Hindu festival of lights), and the next day they conducted a Breast Cancer Walk around Levite Field. The countless members of The J community who have been touched by breast cancer include three ECLC teachers who have lost mothers to breast cancer, and two more with mothers who have survived it.